On 12 April, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani turns 35.
But instead of planning birthday celebrations with friends and family, he remains imprisoned in Iran, living with the threat of an execution that could happen at any time.
Hence Christian Solidarity Worldwide is launching a month of prayer and action for him in the run-up to his birthday.
In autumn 2011, CSW's advocacy and campaigning triggered a wave of global action on behalf of Pastor Nadarkhani. It mobilised 60,000 activists on his behalf. CSW's lobbying efforts stimulated statements from international politicians and widespread media coverage.
Why was he arrested and sentence to death?
Pastor Nadarkhani was arrested in 2009 soon after questioning the Muslim monopoly of religious instruction for children in Iran, which he felt was unconstitutional. He was charged, tried, found guilty of apostasy and sentenced to death. He's been in prison ever since and has been under pressure to renounce his faith in order to have the charges annulled and the death sentence lifted. Within the last month we received unconfirmed reports that his execution order had been signed.
Show your support – join the month of prayer!
In Acts 12, we read of Peter's miraculous release from prison while the Church was earnestly praying for him. We have a vital role to play by standing in solidarity with Pastor Nadarkhani and praying a lifting of the death sentence, and for his unconditional release.
It's really easy to get involved:
- Forward this email to your networks and ask them to join CSW's month of prayer
- Tweet your support for the prayer campaign using #Nadarkhani and the link www.csw.org.uk/nadarkhani in your tweet
- Arrange to pray and maybe light a candle for Pastor Nadarkhani in one of your church services during the month – using the prayer sheet for churches
Executive Director – Religious Liberty Commission
World Evangelical Alliance