Persecution Friday: Iran – Pastor Charged with Apostasy

November 26, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com 

Iran: Pastor Charged—Apostasy

The Assize Court of the province of Gilan, in Iran, has officially charged Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani with denying that Mohammed was a prophet. The court stated that this resulted in apostasy because Nardarkhani believes in Jesus and has shared his faith with others, according to The Voice of the Martyrs.

The indictment, which was issued by a public prosecutor in the presence of a jury, stated, “He has frequently denied the prophet hood of the great prophet of Islam and the rule of the sacred religion of Islam. … He has proven his apostasy by organizing evangelistic meetings and inviting others to Christianity, establishing a house church, baptizing people, expressing his faith to others and denying Islamic values.”

According to court documents, when Pastor Youcef was asked about his faith, he told authorities, “Since I was born in a Muslim family, I was Muslim until I converted to Christianity at the age of 19.” He openly acknowledged accepting Jesus Christ. Continue Reading Persecution Friday: Iran – Pastor Charged with Apostasy…

Persecution Fridays: Iran

October 22, 2010 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com 

Iran: Pastor Sentenced to Death

Christians in Iran are reporting that Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani has been sentenced to death for what is called a “thought crime.” VOM contacts confirm that the pastor’s trial was held in recent weeks in the 11th Chamber of The Assize Court of the province of Gilan, but a formal verdict has not yet been delivered by the court.

Pastor Youcef, a leader in the Full Gospel “Church of Iran” network, is one of several members of his church who have been imprisoned. The Iranian government has also threatened his wife with life imprisonment and has threatened to take away their two children, who are currently being cared for by relatives. Pastor Youcef was arrested in October 2009 after protesting a decision by the government requiring that his son study the Quran.

Media reports suggest that Pastor Youcef was transferred to Lakan prison, which is supervised by the Political Police of the Islamic Republic. If a death sentence is officially handed down by the court and Pastor Youcef is executed, his would be the first judicial execution of a Christian in Iran in two decades.

This arrest is the latest in a series of arrests of believers in Iran in the past year. Eighty-three Christians are known to have been arrested in Iran since the beginning of 2010. Of those, 65 were subsequently released, but 18 are still believed to be in custody.

The Voice of the Martyrs stands with and supports persecuted believers in Iran. VOM encourages you to pray for Pastor Youcef, his family and other believers in prison. Ask God to protect them and to embolden them to proclaim his name in the face of great persecution.


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