Thursday, June 30, 2011

Update: Iranian pastor’s death sentence upheld

Youcef Nardarkhani
The death sentence of Youcef Nardarkhani, an Iranian pastor convicted of apostasy, has been upheld and confirmed by the Iranian Supreme Court, reports Present Truth Ministeries.

Pastor Youcef, a leader in the Full Gospel "Church of Iran" network, was arrested and imprisoned in October 2009 after protesting a decision by the government requiring that his son study the Qur'an.

In September, Iran's 11th Circuit Criminal Court of Appeals for the Gilan Province upheld Pastor Youcef’s death sentence and conviction for apostasy. The delivery of the death sentence, however, was delayed. Many believe the delay was a means to pressure him to him to turn away from Christ in prison.

With the sentence now upheld and confirmed, it is possible that the authorities will ask him to recant his faith and execute him if he refuses without advance notice—a typical pattern of action taken by authorities in such cases.

If Pastor Youcef is indeed executed, his would be the first judicial execution of a Christian in Iran in two decades. He is but one of several members of his church who have been arrested by Iranian officials, and his wife has also spent time in prison because of her faith in Christ.

You can help by praying!
  • Pray God will continue to equip Pastor Youcef to stand firm in his faith.
  • Pray he will sense the love and support of all those praying for him and working on his behalf. 
  • Pray the Iranian authorities involved will be convicted of their injustice and overturn the case.
  • Pray for comfort to abound in the hearts and minds of Pastor Youcef’s wife and children.

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