UPDATE! IRAN: PRAYER ALERT: Pastor Nadarkhani Acquitted of Apostasy and Released!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Sources: BosNewsLifeHuffington PostGuardian UK 

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been acquitted and released! Thanks be to God and thanks to all of you who prayed! This is evidence of the power of believers around the world joining to pray for the persecuted.

Youcef Nadarkhani Release
Photo Credit: Church of Iran for BosNewsLife

In a sudden turnaround, the court in Rasht acquitted Pastor Nadarkhani on charges of “apostasy” (or abandoning Islam). However, he was found guilty of evangelizing among Muslims – a crime that carried a sentence of three years in prison, the amount of time he had already spent in the Rasht prison. His lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah argued in court that Iran, as a signatory to several international treaties, was required to allow freedom of religion. Delays in the trial of Pastor Nadarkhani suggested some disagreement within the Iranian leadership concerning his final punishment. Firouz Khandjani, a friend and council member of the pastor’s church said that “According to the Sharia" or Muslim law, "when a notion is a matter of disagreement they cannot refer to it...It is the official reason why he was released,"

After more than 1,000 days, Pastor Nadarkhani saw the iron door of the Rasht prison close behind him and was embraced by his wife Fatemah “Tina” Pasindedih and their two young sons, Daniel and Yoel, who greeted him with tears and flowers. Other relatives were also present, weeping and smiling as they welcomed him back into freedom.

Youcef Nadarkhani Release
Photo Credit: Church of Iran for BosNewsLife

"Thanks to all who have supported me with prayers", Pastor Nadarkhani said in a statement through an interpreter, "the Word of God tells us to expect to suffer hardship and dishonour for the sake of His Name”.

Photo Credit: Church of Iran for BosNewsLife

While jubilation is an appropriate response to Pastor Nadarkhani’s release, continued prayer is needed for the safety and protection of Pastor Nadharkani and his family, and for the other Christian leaders and believers still in Iranian prisons.

For More details on Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani read here: 

EFC RLC Prayer Alert - September 8, 2012
EFC RLC Prayer Alert - February 2012
EFC RLC Prayer Alert - October 2011

Religious Liberty Alert from the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, national member of the World Evangelical Alliance.