Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was sentenced to death last year for leaving Islam and turning to Christianity, was physically and mentally tortured, according to an anonymous source from the Church of Iran.
The pastor said he remains strong in his Christian faith despite being found guilty by an Iranian court for leaving Islam, an offence that is punishable by death in the Muslim country.
"Certainly he was hit, but his telephone conversations are heard by authorities," the anonymous source shared with Compass Direct News.
Details were also revealed about some of the issues happening in the prison where Nadarkhani is being kept: "We know that he has been in extreme situations, and we consider that torture. When you have spent time in a solitary cell unable to talk to others for a long time, or you are told you will be killed, this is also torture."
The pastor is under constant pressure to renounce his Christian faith and return to Islam, which would be one of the only available options for saving his life.
Nadarkhani resisted such conversion attempts, and launched an appeal against the verdict last month. The case is expected to go all the way to the highest Islamic authority in the country - Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
Despite reports of his abuse, the pastor remains silent and tries to keep up his spirits, according to ANS.
Jason Demars from the Present Truth Ministries shared: “He has been strong mentally and strong in faith. And of course he has been told multiple times over the course of his incarceration that he would be executed if he does not recant."
Nadarkhani is allowed limited communication with his family since his imprisonment, as he waits for the Supreme Leader’s verdict to decide his fate.
The members of his church have led a call for all Christians around the world to pray for his well being and release.