31 posts categorized “Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani”

December 27, 2012

Iranian Pastor Youcef Re-Arrested on Christmas

Sadly, today CBN News is reporting that Pastor Youcef was re-arrested on Christmas.  Please take a few minutes to watch the short video report provided below.  Please click here to read the full story at CBN News.

Please keep Pastor Youcef and his dear family in your prayers.

 

 


September 19, 2012

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani's Letter of Thanks

A few days ago the world witnessed a modern day miracle when Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, a man who was sentenced to death, walked out of his prison cell and into the arms of his wife and children.  I still feel overwhelming joy as I type this.

Today I wanted to share with you the letter of thanks he wrote to all of those who prayed for him, wrote letters to him and defended him while he was in prison.  The letter was shared by CBN News from Present Truth Ministries.

Screen shot 2012-09-19 at 3.48.10 PMNot to us, LORD, not to us, but to Your Name be glory, for Your faithfulness, for Your loyalty… Psalm 115:1

Salaam ! (Peace be upon you !)

I glorify and give grace to the Lord with all my heart. I am grateful for all the blessings that He gave me during my whole life. I am especially grateful for His goodness and divine protection that characterised the time of my detention.

I also want to express my gratitude towards those who, all around the world, have worked for my cause, or should I say the cause that I defend. I want to express my gratitude to all of those who have supported me, openly or in complete secrecy. You are all very dear to my heart. May the Lord bless you and give you His perfect and sovereign Grace.

Indeed I have been put to the test, the test of faith which is, according to the Scriptures "more precious than perishable gold." But I have never felt loneliness, I was all the time aware of the fact that it wasn’t a solitary battle, for I have felt all the energy and support of those who obeyed their conscience and fought for the promotion of the justice and the rights of all human beings. Thanks to these efforts, I have now the enormous joy to be by my wonderful wife and my children. I am grateful for these people through whom God has been working. All of this is very encouraging.

During that period, I had the opportunity to experience in a marvellous way the Scripture that says: "Indeed, as the sufferings of Christ abound for us, our encouragement abound through Christ.." He has comforted my family and has given them the means to face that difficult situation. In His Grace, He provided for their spiritual and material needs, taking away from me a heavy weight.

The Lord has wonderfully provided through the trial, allowing me to face the challenges that were in front of me. As the Scriptures says, "He will not allow us to be tested beyond our strength…" Despite the fact that I have been found guilty of apostasy according to a certain reading of the Shar’ia, I am grateful that He gave the leaders of the country, the wisdom to break that judgement taking into account other facts of that same Shar’ia. It is obvious that the defenders of the Iranian right and the legal experts have made an important effort to enforce the law and the right. I want to thank those who have defended the right until the end.

I am happy to live in a time where we can take a critical and constructive look to the past. This has allowed the writing of universal texts aiming at the promotion of the rights of man. Today, we are debtors of these efforts provided by dear people who have worked for the respect of human dignity and have passed on to us these universal significant texts. I am also debtor of those who have faithfully passed on the Word of God, that very Word who makes us heirs of God.

Before ending, I want to express a prayer for the establishment of an unending and universal peace, so that the will of the Father be done on earth as it is in heaven. Indeed, everything passes, but the Word of God, source of all peace, will last eternally.

May the grace and mercy of God be multiplied to you. Amen !

Yousef Nadarkhani

8 September 2012


September 18, 2012

Iran: Youcef Released

Screen shot 2012-09-18 at 3.04.32 PMPastor Youcef Nadarkhani was released from prison on Saturday, Sept. 8, after remaining in custody for nearly three years while fighting apostasy charges and a death sentence. Authorities dropped the apostasy charge and retained only a charge of evangelizing Muslims. For the lesser charge, he was sentenced to three years in prison and given credit for the two years and 11 months already served. With bail accepted for a 30-day early release, Youcef left the prison and was reunited with his wife, Fatemeh, and their two sons.

“Thank you to everyone that has supported me with your prayers,” Youcef told Present Truth Ministries.

The 34-year-old pastor from Rasht, which is about 750 miles northwest of Tehran, was arrested in October 2009 after protesting a government policy that required children, including his 8- and 9-year-old sons, to study the Quran in school. He was later charged with apostasy and evangelism to Muslims. Youcef was tried on Sept. 21–22, 2010, by the First Court of the Revolutionary Tribunal and convicted of apostasy. He was sentenced to death on Nov. 13.

Authorities tried to re-convert Youcef to Islam through a variety of methods, including medication, while he was in Lakan prison. After he repeatedly refused to renounce his Christian faith, his wife was arrested, put on trial without an attorney and sentenced to life in prison. She was later released when an attorney appealed her sentence.

Although acquitted by the courts, Youcef may now face other dangers. Another pastor imprisoned on apostasy charges, Mehdi Dibaj, was abducted and murdered less than two weeks after his release in 1994. Middle East Concern reports that at least 16 other Christians remain in detention because of their activities. Some are serving prison sentences of up to six years because of their faith.

Sources: VOM contacts, Present Truth Ministries, Middle East Concern


September 10, 2012

Jay Sekulow on Fox News Discusses Youcef Nadarkhani's Release

Here is a wonderful news report from Fox News with Megan Kelly and Jay Sekulow. Praise the Lord! Please continue to pray for Pastor Youcef and his family.


It's a Real Miracle! - Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Released from Prison!!!

 

Screen shot 2012-09-10 at 4.04.39 PM

It's not everyday that I get to write about a real miracle, but today we have that great news to share with you.  Over the weekend, the awesome and miraculous news about Pastor Youcef broke.  He's been SET FREE.  The following main article is from Mission Network News.  The additional links that follow are other news agencies who have reported on this great story.  THANK YOU ALL FOR PRAYING AND WRITING! 

Iran (MNN) ― Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was back in court over the weekend. Many believed he was going to receive additional charges.

But Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs says that wasn't the case. "Instead, the court withdrew the guilty verdicts for apostasy and the resulting death sentence. They pronounced him guilty of acts of evangelism to Muslims and sentenced him to three years in prison. He had been in prison two years and 11 months. So, they accepted a bail payment and allowed him to go free one month early. He is back with his family right now."

Nettleton says it's a miracle. 

Nettleton also says the international pressure had an impact. "I think if nobody had heard of Pastor Youcef, this would be this would be a much different story, and I don't think he'd be with his family right now."

Iran seems to care about what the world thinks of them, to a point, states Nettleton. "Iran is interested in what the countries in the European Union think of them. They are interested in some of the other countries in the world, but they don't really care what the United States thinks because our two governments are so at odds."

Christians worldwide were surprised by this move. Nettleton said he expected charges like "espionage or spying, and then they could execute him and say, 'Well, it wasn't a religious crime. It wasn't religious persecution. He was guilty of spying. He was guilty of espionage."

Keep praying. Sometimes after Christians are released, they face persecution and even death.

The great news is: the church in Iran is growing. Nettleton says Islamic leaders run Iran. "When there is frustration with the government, that translates very easily to frustration with Islam because it's the mullahs who ARE the government. The people are so hungry for something else."

Many are finding Christ through satellite Christian television and the internet. Many churches have been established. 

Source: Mission Network News

 

Related News:

U.S. Commission of International Religious Freedom Hails Release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani

Activists hail release of Christian pastor in Iran, teen in Pakistan

Christian pastor- once sentenced to death in Iran, is released says group

 


July 10, 2012

Update on Pastor Youcef on In the Market with Janet Parshall

Screen shot 2012-07-10 at 2.55.37 PMYesterday, Janet Parshall from Moody Radio, interviewed Todd Nettleton about the latest concerning Christian persecution around the world.

If you missed this short interview, please click here to listen now.  The interview is almost 30 minutes and it will definitely inspire you to continue your prayers for the persecuted church.

Todd and Janet discussed the latest with Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who has now spent over 1000 days in a prison for the crime of blasphemy.  Now, according to ACLJ and other sources, Pastor Youcef could be charged with something different, like issues concerning national security.

Also, Janet and Todd discussed the horrors of Evin Prison, which is in Iran and not only is Pastor Youcef there, but many other Christians are.  Please pray for a revival to take place in this prison, which is notoriously one of the worst for prisoners to be in.

Todd shared some good news coming out of Eritrea, concerning a recent move with the United Nations and also gave updates on Egypt and China and asked for believers to pray for the thousands of Christians in Egypt and China who are living in conditions that are not friendly to Christians.

Click here to listen to this inspiring episode of In the Market with Janet Parshall

 


June 21, 2012

Resolution Calling for Youcef Nadarkhani's Release One Step Closer to Senate Vote

Screen shot 2012-06-21 at 4.22.24 PM

Iran (MNN) ― The U.S. resolution calling for the release of Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is now one step closer to a vote in the U.S. Senate.

Senate Resolution 385 was passed unanimously by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this past Tuesday, June 19.

When Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was arrested in Iran on October 2009, it was on the charge of apostasy. Lyndsay Vessey with Open Doors USA says that while the case has gone up and down, Nadarkhani remains steadfast behind bars. “He’s been in prison for well over a year, but he’s been told that if he recants his faith and returns to Islam, he will be released. But he’s not been willing to do that.”

Senate Resolution 385, drafted by Sen. David Vitter, R-LA “condemn[s] the Government of Iran for its continued persecution, imprisonment, and sentencing of Youcef Nadarkhani on the charge of apostasy.”

The resolution is partnered with House Resolution 556 which passed on a unanimous vote earlier this year. The Senate resolution was introduced the same day the House resolution passed.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), an organization that fights religious discrimination, says this Senate resolution “could not come at a more important time with Pastor Youcef's attorney continuing to face imprisonment himself.”

Nadarkhani’s lawyer, Mohammed Ali Dadkhah, is facing nine years of jail time after being sentenced with “acting against the national security.” Dadkhah has not been granted trial.

The clock is ticking for this resolution to go to the Senate for a vote before control switches hands in the upcoming election season. If the Senate resolution is not completely passed through all the systems and signed into recognition before a new Senate session begins at the end of the presidential elections, the resolution will start back again at square one.

Some may wonder whether a resolution from the United States can really make a difference in Nadarkhani’s case and call Iran to accountability. Vessey considers, “When the U.S. government speaks out, it does let the Iranian government know that they are being watched. And it also, I think, gives hope to those who are suffering persecution.”

Pray for Senate Resolution 385 to be put to a vote in the Senate quickly and pass through with little trouble. Pray for courage for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and his family, and for religious persecution in Iran to diminish in the face of the Gospel.

Source: Mission Network News


June 1, 2012

Iran: Letter from Youcef

Screen shot 2012-06-01 at 3.27.28 PMGreetings from your servant and younger brother in Christ, Youcef Nadarkhani.

To: All those who are concerned and worried about my current situation.

First, I would like to inform all of my beloved brothers and sisters that I am in perfect health in the flesh and spirit. And I try to have a little different approach from others to these days, and consider it as the day of exam and trial of my faith. And during these days which are hard in order to prove loyalty and sincerity to God, I am trying to do the best in my power to stay right with what I have learned from God’s commandments.

I need to remind my beloveds, though my trial has been so long, and as in the flesh I wish these days to end, yet I have surrendered myself to God’s will.

I am neither a political person nor do I know about political complicity, but I know that while there are many things in common between different cultures, there are also differences between these cultures around the world which can result in criticism, which most of the times response to this criticisms will be harsh and as a result will lengthen our problems.

From time to time I am informed about the news which is spreading in the media about my current situation, for instance being supported by various churches and famous politicians who have asked for my release, or campaigns and human rights activities which are going on against the charges which are applied to me. I do believe that these kind of activities can be very helpful in order to reach freedom and respecting human rights in a right way can bring forth positive results.

I want to appreciate all those are trying to reach this goal. But on the other hand, I’d like to announce my disagreement with the insulting activities that cause stress and trouble, which unfortunately are done with the justification (excuse) of defending human rights and freedom, for the results are so clear and obvious for me.

I try to be humble and obedient to those who are in power; obedience to those in the authority that God has granted to the officials of my country, and pray for them to rule the country according to the will of God and be successful in doing this. For I know in this way I have obeyed God’s Word. I try to obey along with those whom I see in a common situation with me. They never had any complaint, but just let the power of God be manifested in their lives, and though sometimes we read that they have used this right to defend themselves, for they had this right, I am not an exception as well and have used all possibilities and so forth and am waiting for the final result.

So I ask all the beloved ones to pray for me as the holy Word has said. At the end I hope my freedom will be prepared as soon as possible, as the authorities of my country will do with free will according to their law and commandments which they are answerable to.

May God’s grace and mercy be upon you now and forever. Amen.

Youcef Nadarkhani


May 30, 2012

Help Us Write 10,000 Letters to Pastor Youcef

Screen shot 2012-05-30 at 3.26.40 PM

Today I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to write Pastor Youcef since the last time we encouraged you to write. 

As of today, Pastor Youcef has spent 962 days in an Iranian prison, with a death sentence hanging over his head, for the "crime of blasphemy".  And during the time he's been in prison, he's been tempted by his captors to recant his faith in Christ, he's been vilified in the media and he's stood firm for Christ and not denied him.

Will you please join us in writing him today.  We've had 7690 letters already written to Pastor Youcef, but we are still praying that we will get 10,000 letters of love and support sent to him.  Will you write him today?  It's so easy, just click here and write him.

And don't forget to  pray today for Pastor Youcef's release from prison, as well as all prisoners who have been taken captive because they are followers of Jesus.

 


May 21, 2012

New Letter from Pastor Youcef Reveals an Urgent Need for Prayer

Screen shot 2012-05-21 at 3.27.34 PMOur friends at The American Center for Law and Justice have released a new letter from Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who is currently awaiting a decision about whether or not he will be put to death for his faith in Jesus Christ.

The original letter from Pastor Youcef is here, in Farsi and the translation you can read in its entirety here.

ACLJ had  Jason DeMars of Present Truth Ministries, translate the letter.  Here is a small part of the letter.

First, I would like to inform all of my beloved brothers and sisters that I am in perfect health in the flesh and spirit. And I try to have a little different approach from others to these days, and consider it as the day of exam and trial of my faith. And in these days which are hard in order to prove your loyalty and sincerity to God, I am trying to do the best in my power to stay right with what I have learned from God's commandments.

I need to remind my beloveds, though my trial due has been so long, and as in the flesh I wish these days to end, yet I have surrendered myself to God's will.

...

I try to be humble and obedient to those who are in power, obedience to those in authority which God has granted to the officials of my country, and pray for them to rule the country according to the will of God and be successful in doing this. For I know this in this way I have obeyed God's word. I try to obey along with those whom I see in a common situation with me. They never had any complaint, but just let the power of God be manifested in their lives, and though sometimes we read that they have used this right to defend themselves, for they had this right, I am not an exception as well and have used all possibilities and so forth and am waiting for the final result.

So I ask all the beloved ones to pray for me as the holy word has said. At the end I hope this be prepared as soon as possible, as the authorities of my country will do with free will according to their law and commandments which are answerable to.

Please continue your prayers for Pastor Youcef.