Iranian Man Faces Death over Religious Conversion – IPS News
Faith leaders in the U.S. representing 25 million citizens have expressed outrage about the case of Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian man who faces the death penalty if he refuses to recant his Christian faith.
Nadarkhani, 32, was born to Muslim parents but converted to Christianity at the age of 19. He was the pastor for a congregation of about 400 Christians in Rasht. Nadarkhani was arrested in October 2009 while trying to register his church, which is part of the nationwide Church of Iran. On Aug. 23, 2010, Nadarkhani’s apostasy death sentence was upheld by Branch Eleven of the Appeals Court of Gilan Province. Nadarkhani is currently being held in Rasht Prison.
Victoria Nuland, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, said in a Jul. 6 statement, “We are dismayed over reports that the Iranian courts are requiring Youcef Nadarkhani to recant his Christian faith or face the death penalty for apostasy – a charge based on his religious beliefs.” “While Iran’s leaders hypocritically claim to promote tolerance, they continue to detain, imprison, harass, and abuse those who simply wish to worship the faith of their choosing,” Nuland said. “We join the international community in continuing to call on the Iranian government to respect the fundamental rights of all its citizens and uphold its international commitments to protect them,” she said. Read more.
PRAY – And now, Lord, observe their threats and grant to Your bondservant Youcef (full freedom) to declare Your message fearlessly. While You stretch out Your hand to cure and to perform signs and wonders through the authority and by the power of the name of Your holy Child and Servant Jesus. And with great strength may Youcef deliver his testimony and may great grace rest richly upon him. (Acts 4:29,30,33)
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The Daily Brief from: Capitol Hill Prayer Partners, P.O. Box 5152, Herndon, VA 20172-1970, Tuesday, July 19, 2011, that is published by Capitol Hill Prayer Partners (CHPP), a ministry dedicated to praying for our leaders, and for issues involving our national security. We are a 501 (c) 3, tax-exempt nonprofit ministry, relying solely upon the gifts of our friends to maintain this work.