Arrested: October 2010
Youcef Nadarkhani, a 34-year-old pastor from, about 750 miles northwest of , was arrested in October 2009 after he protested a government policy that required children, including his 8- and 9-year-old sons, to study the Quran in school. Youcef told school officials that the Iranian constitution allows for freedom of religious practice. As a result of his protest, secret police called him before a political tribunal and arrested him for protesting. The charges were later amended to apostasy and evangelism of Muslims. Youcef was tried on Sept. 2122, 2010 by the 1st Court of the RevoMore Info...
Marzieh and Maryam endured 259 days in prison in in 2009. In their first interview, the two recounted how letters from Christians encouraged them.
They said, "We heard that people sent us letters in prison, but we didn't get any of them. Just hearing that people sent us letters was a great encouragement to us. What's interesting is that the guards who opened our letters read the Bible verses and the prayers and were impacted. We know this because they told us and mentioned some of the verses from the Gospel.
"I can't thank them [those who sent letters] with all that is in my heart; I can say 'thank you,' but this is not enough."
On behalf of Marzieh and Maryam, thank you.
Marzieh & Maryam
VOM's contacts are reporting a new development in the case of Youcef Nadarkhani. His lawyer has finally received the written ruling from the Supreme Court. According to one source, the Supreme Court has agreed with the death sentence verdict. However, the court "pointed out procedural flaws and is asking the lower court to re-examine the case."
The judges would like clarification as to whether Youcef was truly a Muslim prior to becoming a Christian. If Youcef is determined to have been a "true" Muslim, and he does not recant his Christian faith, the death sentence will stand.
There is no guarantee Youcef will not be executed before the court re-examines the case.
Please continue to pray.
China House Church Alliance Leader Sentenced to Labor Camp
Authorities this week sentenced Shi Enhao, deputy leader of the Chinese House Church Alliance, to two years of "re-education through labor" a sentence that requires no trial or conviction.
On July 14, we prayed for Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani. Since then an Iranian judge ordered an investigation to determine whether he was a Muslim as a teenager. Already found guilty of leaving Islam, Pastor Yousef is now awaiting the outcome of the judicial investigation to see if the judgment will be upheld that he either be executed or, if possible, forced to return to Islam.
Prison authorities have recently shown Tohar Haydarov some of the many letters sent to him. However, they will not allow him to read them, because there are "too many citations from the Bible in them." Praise God the authorities see how much Christians around the world care for Tohar!
A judge recently confirmed Tohar's ten year prison sentence, saying that the sentence was equal to his "crime."
Tohar has asked Christians to "appreciate dearly your worship services, and listen attentively to the sermons. I so much wish to attend worship services, but alas I don't have the opportunity."
Christians in ask for prayer for Haydarov.
Syria, Christians Trapped, but in a Peaceful Prison
In the context of the rapidly changing , an Open Doors observer comments on the situation for Christians in . He sees the church leaders in Syria taking "a stand as neutral as possible." Other Christians share their testimony of finding peace in the midst of turmoil.