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Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani
Photo: Present Truth Ministries

Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian pastor sentenced to death for apostasy in 2010, has been informed that his verdict is to be delivered on October 10. To cover up the untenable death sentence for apostasy, an Iranian official has claimed that Pastor Youcef's sentencing is for "rape," "extortion" and "security related" charges. However, contrary to the official's claim, an Iranian Supreme Court brief from 2010 mentions apostasy as the only charge made against him.

On October 5, a group of officials from Tehran interviewed Pastor Youcef about the charges filed against him and the behaviour of the judges. While it seems to be a positive development, there is concern that the officials could manipulate his words in an attempt to prove their false charges.

"The fabrication of charges against Pastor Nadarkhani is to justify his sentence and is therefore acknowledgement that death for apostasy is not justifiable," said Geoff Tunnicliffe, CEO and Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance. "The authorities' attempt to maintain the pastor's capital punishment by adding false charges shows that Iran is going against its own conscience."

Please pray that in spite of the latest reports from authorities in Iran, the truth of Youcef's testimony will not be tarnished in any way. Pray that international pressure will have great effect for Youcef and others like Him who are willing to remain faithful regardless of the consequences. May Youcef and his family take great comfort in knowing that people all around the world are praying for them and speaking up on his behalf.

For more on the trials believers face in Iran, please visit 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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