"As you want me to give up Christ and otherwise have to die, then I simply have to die"- Brother Youcef

11:56:00 PM

Hebrews 13:3 "Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body."

Col. 4:3-4 "At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison--that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak."
Acts 12:5 "So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church."
I've been keeping up on a pastor in Iran named Youcef Nadarkhani. I'm going to sum it up- he's been imprisoned for over a year for not wanting his son to learn from the Quran in school. He was sentenced to death November 13th 2010 and given 20 days to appeal. Today was day 20- and they apparently have appealed, but at this point its going to be a miracle of God that Pastor Youcef is not hung next week. Please pray. Also, we've been encouraged to get this story into the media, causing Iranian officials to feel international pressure.
Here is a the full story from a great website called "Present Truth Ministries" (there are updates after this- please check out the website for the most updated information):

Full Story of Youcef Nadarkhani

Here is a brief history of Youcef Nadarkhani, leading up to his current situation.

Youcef is 33 years old and is from Rasht, in the Gilan province of Iran. For the past ten years he has been a pastor in a network of house churches. He was previously imprisoned in December of 2006, the charges being apostasy (leaving Islam for Christianity)  and evangelism (spreading the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ), but was released two weeks later.

He is married and has two sons, ages 8 and 6. They were attending a local school when the government decidediran map 1 300x275 Full Story of Youcef Nadarkhani that all children should be taught about Islam, including those from Christian families. Youcef went to the school and protested this based on the Iranian constitution, which allows for freedom to practice religion. As a result, the secret police called him before the political tribunal in Rasht, Iran on October 12, 2009. At that time he was arrested, charged for protesting, and has been in prison in Lakan (which is seven miles south of Rasht) ever since. Later the charges changed to apostasy and evangelism to Muslims.

Through this time he has had access to an attorney, and has been allowed visits from his wife, children, and friends. However, for the first month in prison and two weeks before his trial up until now the visits and meetings with his attorney have been limited. They have used various methods to try to convert him back to Islam, including giving him pills, apparently in an attempt to claim that he was insane.

Because Youcef’s faith remained strong, they decided to arrest his wife in order to place more pressure on him. On June 18th, Fatemah Pasindedih was arrested and placed in prison in Lakan. During this time their boys went to live with a relative. Both Youcef and his wife Fatemah were threatened by authorities that their children would be taken away and given to a Muslim family. Youcef was not swayed to turn back to Islam, so his wife was put on trial without an attorney, and sentenced to life in prison. An attorney was later hired and the sentence appealed. The sentence and conviction were overturned and she was released.

On September 21 and 22, 2010, Youcef was put on trial, and verbally given the sentence of death. A written verdict was delayed and then delivered, on November 13, 2010, by the 1st Court of the Revolutionary Tribunal. He is to be executed by hanging for the crime of apostacy. Twenty days are allowed to appeal the sentence with the Supreme Court of Iran.

Youcef is now in the secret police security prison in Lakan. He has been held in solitary confinement. Recently he has been allowed visits from his attorney and wife once a week.

The verdict is in the process of being appealed. We should have a date for the hearing before the Supreme Court shortly.

It is critical that we continue to pray for pastor Youcef and make our voices heard. Please reach out to your elected officials and to the international news media so that Youcef’s case will come to light.

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