A little more than two weeks ago, VOM sources reported that Iranian Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani was sentenced to death by the Assize Court of the province of Gilan. Pastor Youcef, a leader in the Full Gospel "Church of Iran" network was arrested in October 2009, after protesting a decision by the government requiring that his son study the Qur'an. As of October 21, a formal verdict had not been delivered.
This past Friday, sources inside Iran confirmed that security officials informed the court not to deliver an official verdict, citing the amount of international attention the case is receiving. While the Iranian officials originally assumed they could hide their actions, the international attention has forced them to maintain appearances, thus deciding to neither deliver a sentence of death nor execute Pastor Youcef at this time.
Continue to pray for Pastor Youcef and his family, his release and his protection during this time of isolation.
To read more about the persecution of Christians in Iran, visit VOM’s Iran Country Report.