Thursday, July 14, 2011

Iranian pastor’s death sentence verified

Pastor Youcef and his wife.
A written verdict from Iran's Supreme Court
confirms Pastor Youcef's death sentence.
(Photo: Present Truth Ministries)
Last week we told you about the uncertainty surrounding Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s possible death sentence. Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has since been able to confirm that his appeal against the death sentence was unsuccessful.

CSW received a copy of a written verdict from the Supreme Court of Iran which upholds Pastor Youcef’s death sentence. While the verdict is dated June 12, 2011, Pastor Youcef’s lawyer was only given this written notification recently. When Pastor Youcef was initially tried for apostasy in September, a similar delay was made with regards to his guilty verdict.

There is no death sentence for apostasy in Iran’s penal code; however, the Supreme Court refuses to overturn the verdict seemingly for fear of potential controversy. The Supreme Court did request the court in Rasht, Pastor Youcef’s hometown, to re-examine some procedural flaws in the case but has still left Pastor Youcef’s fate in their hands.

Pastor Youcef was arrested in October 2009. Of the Church of Iran denomination, Pastor Youcef had been attempting to register his church. His arrest is believed to be based on his question of Muslim control of the religious instruction of Iranian children. He was initially charged with protesting, but the charges were later changed to apostasy and evangelizing Muslims.

Pastor Youcef’s lawyer, Mr. Mohammed Ali Dadkhah, a prominent human rights defender, has also been sentenced to 9 years in prison for allegedly acting against the Islamic regime.

CSW’s entire article can be found here.

You can help by praying!
  • Pray God will fill Pastor Youcef and his family with peace and that they will continue to stand on the Word, knowing that God protects His children.
  • Pray for those in charge of Pastor Youcef's case, that God would soften their hearts and cause them to overturn their decision.
  • Pray Iranian officials operating in corrupt and oppressive ways will repent of their actions and come to embrace Christ as Lord.

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