No matter their religion, few lawyers would take on the responsibility of legally defending Christians in Iran, a country that is majority Muslim, with a confusing legal system that treads a fine line between courthouse law and faith-based Shariah law.
Mohammad Ali Dadkhah is one of the few daring human rights attorneys in Iran. Out of the top human rights attorneys in the country, including those who have founded the Center for the Defense of Human Rights, Dadkhah is one of the few who has managed to stay in the country and out of jail.
Aside from defending numerous political prisoners throughout the years, Dadkhah has also committed himself to defending those who are religiously persecuted, including Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, whose high-profile case has attracted worldwide attention. more >>
Iranian Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who has become the face of religious persecution throughout the world after being arrested for his beliefs in Oct. 2009, has issued a letter to persecution aid group Present Truth Ministries (PTM).
In the letter, Nadarkhani speaks of his current condition, his dedication and sincerity to God, his thoughts about his persecution, and shares his reaction to Florida Pastor Terry Jones's burning of Qurans in protest of his imprisonment.
Nadarkhani, 34, was arrested in Oct. 2009 for protesting the mandatory teaching of Islam at his children's schools. His charges were later changed to apostasy and attempting to evangelize Muslims. more >>
Defense attorney Mohammad Ali Dadkhah's recent sentencing to nine years in Iranian prison proves to be a dire situation for both Dadkhah, who may face imprisonment in one of the world's worst prisons, and one of his most prominent clients, Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who may no longer have legal representation in court.
The Christian Post spoke to Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, to get a better understanding of Dadkhah's current situation.
"This is a very bad situation. People don't survive this prison, that's how bad this prison is," Sekulow told CP. more >>
The sole attorney representing Iranian Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has reportedly been sentenced to nine years in prison for alleged acts violating national security and spreading propaganda against the regime. His imprisonment would place Nadarkhani's case in further jeopardy, according to observers.
Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, who has defended several people on death row in Iran, told British publication the Guardian that he has also been banned from practicing law for 10 years and prohibited from teaching at universities. The Guardian's report was published Thursday.
The American Center for Law and Justice has confirmed that Iranian authorities allowed Youcef Nadarkhani's family and local lawyers to visit him while in prison on April 11, which marked the evangelical Christian pastor's 35th birthday.
In addition to the date marking Nadarkhani's birthday, it was also the 913th day of imprisonment for the married father of two. The pastor was arrested in Oct. 2009 for protesting the mandatory teaching of Islam at his children's schools.
His charges were later changed to apostasy and attempting to evangelize Muslims, for which he was sentenced to death. more >>
While Christians around the world were celebrating Resurrection Sunday, 12 Iranian believers were defending themselves before a judge in the city of Rasht after being arrested for practicing their faith.
Jason DeMars, founder of Minnesota-based Present Truth Ministries, told The Christian Post on Thursday that the 12 believers are being charged with "crimes against the order" for activities like drinking alcohol while taking communion and holding illegal meetings. One part of PTM's mission is to support the persecuted church in the Middle East, and DeMars has stayed up to date on their situation by speaking with members of the Christian community in Iran.
Although they are not being charged with apostasy – a crime punishable by death in Iran – DeMars says the judge did call them "apostates" during the trial, and suggested in a recent blog post that it may have been a scare tactic used by the court. more >>