Monday, March 05, 2012

Iranian Pastor Youcef still alive, Nations protest order

Update: Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani to he...
Youcef, Joel, Tina, & Daniel Nadarkhani
UPDATE 3/5/2012
Sources connected directly to the case have confirmed as of Saturday morning in Iran that Youcef is alive, that he is doing well and is in good health. Thank the Lord. Youcef's life is still in imminent danger as long as he remains behind prison bars. We can’t stop praying and spreading the word about his situation until he is out of prison. Please post these updates to Twitter, Facebook and send them on to friends and family. The US House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning Iran for the death sentence for apostay and demanding his immediate release. The Senate is now working on their version of the resolution. Germany summoned the Iranian ambassador to the Foreign Ministry to express their concerns over Youcef's case. As we have reminded you in the past this is a spiritual battle. The Islamists in Iran want to destroy Christianity from that country. We ask that you pray for Youcef's strength to stand for the Gospel and that the Lord Jesus would use his testimony to bring many to the transforming power of Christ. Source: Present Truth Ministries 3/5/2012

UPDATE 2/22/2012
Present Truth Ministies and American Center for Law and Justice are reporting that the Iranian judiciary has signed an execution order for brother Youcef Nadarkhani. At this point this is the only detail we know. Based upon how the Iranian courts have acted in the past we do not know what to anticipate. Often they will execute people without any prior notice to attorney’s or family.  The order has not been delivered to Youcef’s family and we do not know if they will allow another appeal. We also do not know if it has been approved by the Ayatollah who is the head of the Judiciary Sadegh Larijani. At this point pray for his deliverance and that the Lord would exalt his holy name. Source: Present Truth Ministries, ACLJ

UPDATE 12/15/2011 
Youcef’s local attorney in Rasht was informed that the head of the Iranian judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, has ordered the presiding judge over the trial in Rasht, Mr. Ghazi Kashani to do nothing for one year. The order was not to issue a verdict and hold Youcef in prison. They were told to use whatever means necessary to cause him to recant and return to Islam. They hope that in a year his case will fade from world interest so that they can do what they want with him. We ask that you would pray for this situation. Ask the Heavenly Father to work his perfect will for Youcef, provide for his family and working salvation in the lives of many in Iran. Source: PresentTruth Ministries

UPDATE 12/8/2011
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani remains in good health and strong faith as he awaits a mid-December final verdict on his impending execution. Despite the regime’s attempt to distance themselves Youcef’s apostasy conviction, the ayatollahs continue to warn of the threat active house churches play against their government. Pastors Behnam Irani and Petros Forouton remain in prison for “crimes against national security,” from being involved in Christian ministry. A Tehran court recently handed down a verdict for Alireza Seyyedian who received six years in prison for crimes against national security for Protestant Christian activity. Four more Christians have been ordered to report to prison within a few weeks; William and Nazly Belyad, Parviz Khalaj, and Behrouz Sadegh Khandjani were all convicted of crimes against the order for their Christian activity. Parviz and William both have previous convictions for the same. William received five years and Parviz has a year added to his sentence. Pray for our Iranian brothers and sisters and their families facing extremely difficult choices and all facing financial hardships. Use your experience with being an advocate for brother Youcef to be an advocate for each of these believers as well. 

UPDATE 11/16/2011
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani continues to await a verdict on his impending execution. A member of his denomination, the Church of Iran, who requested anonymity, reports that Pastor Youcef has been given literature attacking Christianity as false and Islam as true in order to entrap him or induce him to recant. Therefore, his attorneys have advised him to remain silent and not respond to questions. He has also been physically hit by authorities. Pray for Youcef's strength to remain firm, for his mind to be toughened, for grace to endure his trial. Pray for increased international pressure on Iran and boldness and wisdom for Youcef. Source: Baptist Press

UPDATE 10/28/2011 
Brother Youcef Nadarkhani is still waiting for a ruling from the Gilan provincial court. The court sent a second letter earlier this week to the Ayatollah Khameini requesting his legal opinion since it has become an international political issue. They have not received any response from his office. If he does not respond, the court will have to issue the decision without his input. The court does not want to make any political or religious statement by either signing the order for his execution or releasing him and overriding Sharia law. At this point no one can tell what will happen. Youcef certainly needs prayer and continued international pressure. Contact NOW Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei asking for the release of Youcef Nadarkhani Source: Present Truth Ministries

Sign the petition to ask US Sec. of State Hillary Clinton to pressure Iran to Save Christian Pastor.  Also, email the Embassy of Iran in Canada and ask them to release Pastor Youcef:

Use this link to the Canadian Embassy of Iran to appeal on Youcef's behalf. The link has a suggested writing and etiquette outline. Contact the US State Department urging the Secretary of State or the President to speak out on this human rights violation and appeal to the Iranian government to acquit and release Pastor Nadarkhani. 

UPDATE: 10/14/2011 11:30am:
Breaking: 's lawyer tells ACLJ moments ago, no retrial, Ayatollah can delay opinion but he believes response within 20 days Source: ACLJ

UPDATE: 10/10/2011 11:00am EDT:
The delivery of Youcef Nadarkhani’s verdict has been delayed again by the court in Gilan province. The reason for the delay, according to his attorney, Mohammed Dadkhah, is because they have referred the case to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Contact NOW Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei asking for the release of Youcef Nadarkhani 

It is very unusual for a court to ask for the legal opinion of the Supreme Leader. Pastor Youcef was supposed to receive his verdict today. We ask that you continue to pray and take action for him. Source: Present Truth Ministries

UPDATE: 10/5/2011 4:00PM EDT: As far as we know, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is still alive. Today was the seventh and last day by law his written verdict was to be delivered. Grassroots advocacy has put the news media, int'l leaders, the US House Speaker, the President, and the US State Dept in gear, but we need to hear Sec. Clinton weigh in on this. 

Sign the petition to ask US Sec. of State Hillary Clinton to pressure Iran to Save Christian Pastor.  Also, email the Embassy of Iran in Canada and ask them to release Pastor Youcef:

According to presenttruthmin, a group of officials from Tehran interviewed Pastor Youcef today about the behavior of the judges and the charges filed against him. It seems like a positive development, however, in Iran only the facts must be considered. Some observers are concerned that they could manipulate his words in order to prove their false charges against him. The verdict has been delayed until Monday October 10th. The delay may mean that the judges have decided to consult with key religious and political leaders, such as the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Keep praying for Youcef, his wife Tina, and sons Daniel (11) and Joel (7).

Keep up the pressure: Use the webform yourself on the website of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei asking for the release of Youcef Nadarkhani 

Update: 9/29 8:30am EDT: The reports of Pastor Youcef's sentence being overturned are not true. He is supposed to receive a written verdict within 7 days, but in the past this has taken months. Source: Present Truth Ministries 

Update: 9/28 8:00pm EDT:ACLJ is reporting that Youcef Nadarkhani's death sentence may have been overturned or changed They are working to verify this information with the Iranian Supreme Court and Pastor Nadarkhani's legal team. Pray! 

UPDATE: 9/28/2011 4:40EDT: Baptist Press reports Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani on Wednesday refused for the fourth and final time to recant his faith and could be executed at any time. 

In the U.S., Speaker of the House John Boehner released a statement urging Iran to spare the pastor's life and release him. Overseas, British Foreign Secretary William Hague also called on Iran to overturn the sentence. Observers say external pressure could be critical in preventing the Iranian government from performing its first apostasy execution since 1990. 

Use this link to the Embassy of Iran to appeal on Youcef's behalf. The link has a suggested writing and etiquette outline. Contact the US State Department urging the Secretary of State or the President to speak out on this human rights violation and appeal to the Iranian government to acquit and release Pastor Nadarkhani. See this Video with ICLJ's Jordan Sekulow on Youcef's imminent danger. 

UPDATE: 9.28.2011 3:30EDT: Pastor Youcef returned to court today, and for the third time refused to recant his Christian faith.  Under the Iranian court's interpretation of Sharia law, he could be executed at any time. Christian Solidarity Worldwide is reporting that the Iranian Supreme Court is going to give him one final chance to recant before sentencing him to execution by hanging.
The Nadarkhani Family

9/26/2011: Just days after Iran released two Americans accused of spying in Iran, an Iranian court has upheld the apostasy conviction and execution sentence of 34 year old Christian Pastor with the evangelical Church of Iran, Youcef Nadarkhani.

It is reported that Pastor Youcef was able to see his wife Tina and sons Daniel (7) and Joel (4) for the first time since March 2011, and was in good spirits speaking of how he longed to serve the church upon his release. They may have seen him for the last time.

Youcef originally got in trouble for complaining that Iranian public schools required his sons to study the Q'uran as proselytism. Later he was charged with apostasy and evangelization of Muslims.

Pastor Youcef will be brought to the court for two additional “hearings” on September 27th and 28th for the sole purpose of being called upon to recant his Christian faith. Although Pastor Youcef’s attorneys will attempt to appeal the case, there is no guarantee that the provincial court will not act on its own interpretation of Shariah law and execute pastor Youcef as early as Wednesday.

Technically, there is no right of appeal, and under Iran’s interpretation of Hadith and Shariah law, Pastor Youcef is to be given three chances to recant. He has already been asked to recant yesterday and today, and is scheduled to be asked again tomorrow after which point he could be executed at any time.
Press for the international community to take note of Pastor Youcef’s situation and call for his unconditional release.

Contact your member of Congress and are urge the State Department to get involved to save the life of this Christian Pastor. Contact the Iranian Ambassador to ask for Pastor Nadarkhani's acquittal and release. 

Pastor Nadarkhani has been charged, and faces execution, solely on the basis of his adopting Christian faith. As such, the Islamic Republic of Iran is violating its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 18 includes a provision for the right to “have or to adopt” a religion, which has been interpreted authoritatively by the UN Human Rights Committee as including the right to change one’s religion. Iran’s constitution sanctions Christianity as a legitimate minority faith and asserts that Christians are allowed to freely carry out their religious rites. Article 23 asserts that no one may be “reprimanded simply because of having a certain belief”.

Please share Pastor Youcef’s situation with anyone you know, and pray for his release. You can learn more about Pastor Youcef's conviction, appeal, U.S. reaction, rehearing, and impending execution.

Source: American Center for Law and Justice