CBN News is reporting today that Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was re-arrested in Iran on Christmas Day. Pastor Nadarkhani has been told that he will have to serve out the remainder of his three-year sentence because he is guilty of the crime of evangelizing Muslims. Iran is governed by Sharia Law, which makes it illegal (and punishable by death) to evangelize Muslims or to preach Christianity. Wishing someone Merry Christmas is considered slander against the prophet Mohammad, and is also punishable by death.
The article reports:
Christian activists worry that Nadarkhani still may not be safe, even if he is released after the 45 days are finished.
“We hope that Pastor Nadarkhani will be released without delay once this alleged sentence has been fully served,” Thomas said. “We are also asking for prayers for the pastor’s safety, and for his family at this difficult time.”
Please pray for the Pastor and while you are at it, thank God for the religious freedom we have in America.
Yesterday the International Business Times reported that Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who is facing the death penalty in Iran, is actually being charged with rape–not apostasy.
However, the article reports:
However, a December 2010 court ruling issued and signed by Supreme Court judges Morteza Fazel and Azizoallah Razaghi mentions the religious charges against Nadarkhani and nothing more.
What has happened here is that the world has noticed that Pastor Nadarkhani was facing the death penalty for apostasy and has begun to question the Iranian record on human rights.
The article further reports:
As the case slowly garners international attention, the rape allegation is a signal that Nadarkhani has become, to put it bluntly, a public relations disaster for Iran.
In what could prove to be Nadarkhani’s last days, world leaders have finally condemned the death sentence and pushed for the pastor’s release.
There is no doubt in my mind that this is a made-up charge. Hopefully the civilized nations of the world can put enough pressure on the Iranian government to prevent the execution of an innocent man.