Iranian pastor Behnam Irani, who is serving a five-year sentence, has finally been taken to the military hospital after becoming so ill that he became unconscious within the last week.
Irani has been severely beaten while in Karaj's Ghezel Hesar Prison– allegedly for crimes against national security but really for holding house church services and leading people to Christ. He has been finding blood in his stool, Present Truth Ministries reported Monday. After the hospital visit, it was discovered that the pastor was suffering from a bleeding ulcer.
"We are thankful that he has been allowed to see a doctor and is being treated for his illness, but since the situation is so serious, we ask for your prayers for his healing," wrote Present Truth Ministries in the update. more >>
The U.S. State Department issued a statement Monday to Iran demanding that Tehran immediately release Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who has been imprisoned for over 1,000 days.
Noting that July 8 marked the 1,000th day that Nadarkhani had been imprisoned, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, "Pastor Nadarkhani still faces the threat of execution for simply following his faith, and we repeat our call for Iranian authorities to release him immediately."
Nadarkhani, 35, is facing death simply because he converted to Christianity when he was 19 and has refused on multiple occassions presented by the court to recant his faith. The pastor from Radht, Iran, was born to Muslim parents and came to faith as a teen. As a pastor he led a network of house churches in Iran. more >>
Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who is on death row over apostasy charges, marks 1,000 days in prison today and is set to stand trial again on Sept. 8 for alleged crimes against national security. The American Center for Law and Justice is urging the 2.5 million users on Twitter who have been campaigning for his release to commemorate Pastor Youcef's 1000th day by tweeting and praying.
The ACLJ argues that Nadarkhani has been "illegally imprisoned" for 1,000 days and wants to step up international pressure for his release. The Christian legal group is asking participants of its "Tweet for Youcef" campaign (#TweetForYoucef) to tweet with hashtags #Nadarkhani and #1000illegaldays on Sunday to bring awareness to the pastor's story. The campaign has over 2.5 million participants in over 234 countries.
The ACLJ has also released a video about Nadarkhani's situation on the campaign's website. more >>
A new trial date has reportedly been set for Youcef Nadarkhani, the Iranian pastor on death row, for Sept. 8.
According to Present Truth Ministries, which has been closely monitoring the pastor's case, Nadarkhani will presumably be tried for crimes against security. "We assume by implication that this means the charges of apostasy have been dropped since the new charges have been issued, but we have no confirmation of that," the ministry said Thursday.
The 35-year-old pastor from Rasht, Iran, has captured the hearts of Christians worldwide as he continues to stand firm in his Christian faith despite facing the death penalty. more >>
Authorities in Iran this week ordered the closure of a church in the capital, Tehran, amid a government campaign to crack down on the few recognized churches offering Farsi-speaking services, according to a human rights group.
The order came from Iran's Revolutionary Guard's Intelligence branch on Tuesday (June 5). The Revolutionary Guard, also known as Sepah, is known for its military aggression.
"Unfortunately, it is now official – the church in Janat-Abad [district] was ordered to shut down," said Monsour Borji, an Iranian Christian and advocacy officer for rights initiative Article 18. "If no reverse decision is made, this Sunday [June 10] no meeting will be held." more >>
The worldwide collapse of Christianity is set to take place due to a purported Gospel of Barnabas, claims an Iranian newspaper. But Christians have dismissed the claims, describing them as "laughable."The text was discovered 12 years ago in an anti-smuggling sting in Turkey, and Iranian news outlet Basij claims it says Jesus was never crucified and that he was not the Son of God.The paper also argues that in the text Jesus himself predicts the coming of Muhammad.The text was written in Syriac on animal hide, and Basij argues that it was written in the 5th or 6th centuries.Christian scholars, however, have dismissed the text, rebuking it as a fake and saying that interest in the discovery was sparked only after the Vatican made an official request to review the text back in February.Basij also claims that Chapter 41 of the text says that Islam is the final and righteous religion.
"God has hidden himself as Archangel Michael ran them (Adam and Eve) out of heaven, (and) when Adam turned, he noticed that at the top of the gateway to heaven, it was written 'La elah ela Alla, Mohamad rasool Allah (Allah is the only God and Mohamad his prophet),'" the Iranian news outlet claims."The discovery of the original Barnabas Bible will now undermine the Christian Church and its authority and will revolutionize the religion in the world," the report claims.St. Barnabas was one of the earliest Christian disciples in Jerusalem. He traveled alongside Saint Paul undertaking missionary journeys and was a prominent leader in the formative days of the Church.Phil Lawler, editor at Catholic World News and author of six books has described the report as a "laughable Iranian challenge to Christianity.""If the document was written in the 5th of 6th century, it couldn't very well have been written by someone who was traveling with St. Paul about 400 years earlier," Lawler wrote."It must have been written by someone who was claiming to represent St. Barnabas. Should we accept that claim? Another good question."