The American Center for Law and Justice told The Christian Post that, according to their sources in Iran, Youcef Nadarkhani is indeed alive. The statement was emailed Wednesday amid reports that an execution order may have been issued for the evangelical Christian pastor.
"Our efforts to secure his release are intensifying - in Congress to seek support of the resolution and at the U.N. to bring this case to the attention of member nations," Gene Kapp, the ACLJ's media representative, told The Christian Post Wednesday morning.
Both the ACLJ and Present Truth Ministries (PTM), which has also been closely monitoring Nadarkhani's case, revealed this week that it was believed that the Iranian courts may have signed an execution order for Nadarkhani. However, PTM issued a press release Wednesday saying it had learned that an execution order had in fact been signed by the Iranian courts. more >>
Iran's Ministry of Intelligence has ordered the last two officially registered churches holding Friday Farsi-language services in Tehran to discontinue them.
Emmanuel Protestant Church and St. Peter's Evangelical Church were the last two official churches offering Farsi-language services on Fridays in Tehran, according to Middle East Concern (MEC). Officials issued the order on Feb. 10
Authorities had ordered the Central Church of Tehran to close its Friday Farsi services in December 2009. The Central Church, an Assemblies of God (AOG) congregation, had conducted multiple services on Fridays. more >>
United States Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-Pa.), with the support of seven members of Congress, introduced a resolution into the U.S. House of Representatives Friday that condemns Iran for continuing to imprison pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and calls for his immediate release.
The resolution, called H. Res. 556, is "Condemning the Government of Iran for its continued persecution, imprisonment, and sentencing of Youcef Nadarkhani on the charge of apostasy."
The three-page document cites that Iran is in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It also argues that Iran is in violation of its country's constitution, which allows for freedom to express one's religion. more >>
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, made a statement on Friday describing Israel as a "cancerous tumor" and declaring Iran's support for anyone who opposes the Jewish nation.
Khamenei also warned the U.S. about any attacks against Iran, saying that the country will continue its nuclear program regardless of international pressure and will only grow stronger, Mirror.co.uk shared.
His speech, which was aired in Iran on state TV, contained some notably hostile remarks against Israel. more >>
Megachurch pastor Rick Warren has taken to the social media platform Twitter to request prayers for Iranian pastor Behnam Irani, who is currently serving a five year sentence in an Iranian prison for crimes against national security.
"Pray for our dear pastor Behnam Irani who's been severely beaten in prison in Iran for preaching Jesus," Warren tweeted late Wednesday night.
This isn't the first report of Irani suffering beatings in prison. Jason DeMars, Founder of Present Truth Ministries, told The Christian Messenger in Dec. 2011 that "[Irani has] been daily beaten up by criminals there in the prison. The criminals have been asked to do it by the authorities there." more >>
An Iranian Revolutionary Court sentenced Iranian Christian convert Leila Mohammadi to two years in prison earlier this month.
Mohammadi's trial was held on Jan. 18, and the court charged the young woman with "collaboration with foreign-dependent groups, broad propaganda, deceiving citizens by formation of what is called a house church, insulting sacred figures, and actions against national security."
Mohammadi was arrested on July 30, 2011 when Iranian police officials stormed her home located in east Tehran, confiscated her belongings, and threw her in solitary confinement at Tehran's infamous Evin prison. more >>