Reports from various human rights organizations Tuesday indicate that Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, the human rights lawyer responsible for defending Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, has started serving a nine-year prison sentence for allegedly acting against national security and spreading propaganda.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which closely followed Pastor Nadarkhani's court case and is likewise following Dadkhah's case, says that because Dadkhah represents his clients free of charge, he is being accused of "aiding and abetting" in the alleged crimes of his clients.
"In a world where persecution on the basis of faith is escalating, we must also stand with those who defend our fundamental freedoms," Tiffany Barrans, International Legal Director for the ACLJ, told The Christian Post in an emailed statement. "As the world awakened to the realities of religious persecution in Iran when the masses fought for Pastor Youcef's freedom, we must now shift our attention to defend those who defend the persecuted." more >>
Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was released Sept. 8 after three years imprisonment, issued a letter shortly after his new-found freedom, thanking his supporters and God for helping him through his difficult journey.
Nadarkhani begins his Sept. 8 "thank you" letter, made available by persecution watchdog Present Truth Ministries, by offering his gratitude for those who prayed for him during his imprisonment. He then goes on to describe the challenges he faced during his three years in Iranian prisons.
"Indeed I have been put to the test, the test of faith which is, according to the Scripture, 'more precious than perishable gold,'" Nadarkhani writes. more >>
While Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has recently been freed from three years of imprisonment, his lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, continues to face the threat of a nine-year prison sentence for his past involvement in human rights cases.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which has closely followed the cases of both Nadarkhani and Dadkhah, says that now is the time for the international community to turn its focus to Dadkhah, as he is one of many human rights lawyers who face imprisonment in Iran.
"It is important to remember that after the press subsides on Pastor Youcef's story, his lawyer, a dedicated servant, remains under this threat. Numerous human rights lawyers in Iran are already imprisoned. We will continue to speak out on the numerous human rights abuses in Iran, including those that the attorneys who defend prisoners of conscience face," the ACLJ said of Dadkhah, who legally represented Nadarkhani at his Sept. 8 hearing. more >>
Prominent evangelical leaders whose advocacy efforts helped make Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani into an international poster face for religious freedom are rejoicing over his recent release from prison but are now asking Christians to stay vigilant in supporting the rights of persecuted religious minorities worldwide. The leader of the largest evangelical group in the U.S. says Christians should "pray and press for more outcomes like this."
In a statement on Monday, the National Association of Evangelicals, which represents 45,000 evangelical churches in the United States, welcomed the encouraging news about Nadarkhani. NAE President Leith Anderson said he is praying for similar results in other countries.
"We are relieved for Pastor Nadarkhani, and pleased with this good decision of the Iranian government," said Anderson. "We watch as laws are increasingly being used by governments against religious minorities, and we pray and press for more outcomes like this." more >>
Youcef Nadarkhani, the Iranian pastor who captured the hearts of millions as he stood firm in his faith while facing execution, has been acquitted of apostasy.
Two organizations that have closely been monitoring the case and have sources in Iran reported Saturday that Nadarkhani, who went on trial early Saturday, has been released from prison and is at home with his family.
"Thank you to everyone that has supported me with your prayers," Nadarkhani said, according to Present Truth Ministries. more >>
Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been imprisoned in Iran for his faith since 2009, and a New York City deacon has suggested that the persecuted pastor serves as the epitome of a faithful Christian.
In an email interview with The Christian Post, Deacon Greg Kandra of the Diocese of the borough of Brooklyn said he admires Nadarkhani's faith and courage. The Iranian evangelical pastor has repeatedly refused to recant his Christian faith in exchange for freedom from prison and a death sentence.
"[His faith is] both inspiring and humbling – and I wonder how many of us in the West, confronting something similar, could be so steadfast," Kandra said. more >>