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Pastor Youcef and his family
Photo: Present Truth Ministries

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian pastor sentenced to death for apostasy in September 2010, refused to recant his faith during four court hearings held on September 25-28. He now faces an imminent verdict of the death sentence, which is expected to be issued within seven days. "They probably won't kill him today, but they can do it whenever they want," a source said. "Sometimes in Iran they call the family and deliver the body with the verdict."

In July, the Supreme Court instructed the Revolutionary Tribunal of Gilan Province to review Youcef's case to verify whether he was previously a practicing Muslim (for more information, click here). At the recent hearings, the court in Rasht ruled that Pastor Youcef was not a practicing Muslim before becoming a Christian but that he remains guilty of apostasy because of his Muslim ancestry.

Please pray for continued strength and grace for Pastor Youcef. Pray that all charges against him will be dropped. Pray that Pastor Youcef will rely on the Lord to give him the words to say when he stands before accusing authorities (Matthew 10:19). Pray that Iranian authorities will act justly in this case.

A source in Iran has shared that it is critical for foreign governments to negotiate and engage in diplomacy with Iranian authorities about Nadarkhani's case, adding that Youcef's predicament could be more hopeful if they intervened.

To learn more about the suffering Church in Iran, go to the Iran Country Report.

Current Ministry Fund

By funding television broadcasts, VOMC is making it possible for a vast audience of viewers to be reached throughout Iran with the "Good News" of Jesus' love via satellite.

Project Fund: Underground Church

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
85,888,910 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity
Persian, Azeri, Kurd, Lur, Baloch, Arab, Turkmen and Turkic tribes

Religion (%)
Islam (99.6), other, including Christian (0.3), Unspecified (0.2)

Leader
President Ebrahim Raisi (2021)

Government type
Theocratic republic

Legal system
Religious legal system based on secular and Islamic law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Iran

As the Gospel message goes forth over the airwaves, may the growth of the church continue to multiply despite persecution. Pray that the Iranian government will be open to change, allowing full rights and protection for its non-Muslim citizens as well. In the meantime, may those who are forced to flee the country find safe refuge and help so they can live in peace and worship the Lord with freedom.

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