Iran Court: 'Pastor To Be Executed By Hanging'

Friday, November 26, 2010 | Tag Cloud

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent

TEHRAN, IRAN (Worthy News)-- A detained pastor of a major network of Christian house churches in Iran will be executed by hanging for "apostasy", or abandoning Islam, according to translated court documents seen by Worthy News Wednesday, November 24.

The 11th Chamber of The Assize Court of the province of Gilan said Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani had proved his "apostasy" by "organizing evangelistic meetings and inviting others to Christianity, establishing a house church, baptizing people, expressing his faith to others and, denying Islamic values."

Nadarkhani is "an apostate [and] will be executed by being hung...Somehow his soul is taken from him," the court wrote.

The written verdict was "officially handed out" Tuesday, November 23, said a source of Nadarkhani's evangelical Church of Iran network speaking on condition of anonymity.

Lawyers Naser Sarbazi from Tehran and Abbas Salmanpour from Gilan's capital Rasht, who already learned about the verdict earlier this month, are appealing the sentence, Worthy News learned.


Under Iranian law, once the written verdict is delivered, there will be 20 days to appeal to the Islamic Republic's Supreme Court.

The 33-year old Nadarkhani, who was detained in October last year, is currently held in a security prison in Lakan, Iran, just south of his hometown of Rasht.

He was arrested after protesting against the enforced reading of the Koran, viewed as a holy book by Muslims, to Christian children including his own. His wife Fatemeh Passandideh was released October 11 by a court in Gilan province, after she was detained on similar apostasy charges, Christians said.

In comments accompanying the death sentence, the court claimed Nadarkhani confirmed he converted to Christianity from Islam, despite possible execution. "Even in his last defense...when he was asked [by the prosecutor] 'from the age of puberty until the age of 19, what religion have you had?', he replied... 'Since I was born in a Muslim family I was Muslim until I converted to Christianity at the age of 19'."

Nadarkhani said the persecutor "induced" him "to believe whoever is born from Muslim parents and does not choose any religion after passing the puberty age, is a Muslim," the court acknowledged.


However adding to the "apostasy" were indications that he did not agree with all aspects of Islam, according to the verdict obtained by Worthy News. The court noticed that Nadarkhani believes in "the unity of God and the resurrection of the dead" but expressed concerns that in his view Mohammad "is the prophet of Muslims but not a messenger from God..."

Nadarkhani's defense team argued that their client confirmed that "Muhammad was a prophet of Islam" and that he did not commit a crime of apostasy because he was never a true Muslim.

The lawyers also pointed out that there is "no punishment specified in the Islamic judicial system of Iran and other penal laws" for these kind of cases and that their client "has not committed a crime to deserve a punishment."

The court disagreed. "It has been proven to the members of the jury that Mr. Yousef Nadarkhani, son of Biram, has been born from Muslim parents, choose Islam [but] abandoned it at the age 19. His actions according to the fatwas of all Shia theologians is considered as inherent apostasy from the sacred religion of Islam."


If confirmed, Nadarkhani would be the first Christian to be officially executed in Iran for religious reasons in 20 years. The last Iranian Christian convert from Islam executed by the Iranian government was Assemblies of God Pastor Hossein Soodmand in 1990.

However several other Christians, including at least six Protestant pastors, are known to have been assassinated by unknown killers in recent years.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has asked President Barack Obama Obama to seek the release of Nadarkhani, who is married with two young children.

Yet, citing from the Bible, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani wrote to his fellow believers not to fear persecution in the strict Islamic nation, saying Jesus Christ gives him strength. "As we’ve heard He has said: "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

Despite reported persecution there are at least 100,000 believers in the nation, most of them former Muslims, according to Elam Ministries, a mission group of Iranian church leaders. Many of them worship in underground house churches, including those of the Church of Iran movement.

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25 thoughts on “Iran Court: 'Pastor To Be Executed By Hanging'”

  1. I know we as the general public reading this can't do anything, but pray to God and May Jesus Christ give pastor Yousef the strength n the power to go thru all these ordeals. Let the Holy Spirit descend upon him and comfort, encourage and strengthen his faith in Jesus Christ our Lord, even at the cause of his death. However, we do pray for pastor's release and hope the SC, wud consider his case and gives his freedom.

    Appreciate all the persecuted people who's faith are being tested, and who ready to lay their lives. Jesus Christ, said... "there's no greater love than one laying one's life for one's friend."

    If we know the truth, we can see...what the Bible teaches,(Word of God), that one becomes a martyr for giving one's life for Christ sake or for any good cause to save others. and then Jesus says that person is blessed for suffering like this, for the earlier prophets too went thru the same siuation. Whereas, where it is proclaimed, one becomes a martyr for taking away other people's lives alonwithself, in the name of thier religion n god is happy abt it. What non-sense??? Do we ever consider a god to be like that.... very well, it's the Father of All Lies...and we know his name??? no publicity here for him, as he is under the feet of Christ already damaged. Now just trying his luck with those of his followers. Well, Jesus Christ was born, lived as a Man, crucified and Resurrected on the 3rd day. He is coming again.... and the time is near!!! so all u out there, guys making a hell out of their lives..(followers of Christ, espcly those doing the Will of God).... BEWARE!!!

    Dear pastor Yousef, our prayers r with you every second and may the power of Jesus Christ remain with you till the end. He will fight the good fight for you. Be Bold, be strong for the Lord Thy God is with you.

    P.S. We as Christians shud be also careful and prepare ourselves to face any odds things in live, as the world is changing.... we ar in the beginning of the Last Days! I guess so... Be Alert, watch and pray always!!!!!

  2. What a strong witness for the Gospel, for the Truth ( one of His names ). Christians everywhere if you read this, pray you too will have such a great faith, like our brother Yousef. Surely his reward is great in the Kingdom of Heaven. Pray Yousef's example will be a testimony to those persecuting him, that the Spirit will convict them of the hardness of their hearts and they will turn to Jesus.

  3. It's hard to see how an entire country can stand in silence when something like this happens -- unless, the entire country condones it. The entire country is Mohammedan and the "offense" is against Mohammedanism. That would mean that only a tiny minority are not of the persuasion that killing people that disagree with them is OK. 85 million people supporting apostasy executions; 85 million terrorists.

    Mohammedanism needs a REFORMATION.

  4. father you are the God of all flesh ,nothing is to hard for you,save the pastor comfort all the member of his family let them be bold as a lion ,show to them you love and compassion .

  5. God Bless him we here in America do not know what it means to give our life's for Christ. But soon we will because we gave up God for the golden god of greed. And we soon will be judged for our sour works! Abortion must be stopped at all cost! We must pray for God to forgive us for allowing them to kill our babies and our country. It would be an honer to die for Christ!

  6. Since these barbarians freak out on Koran/Hadith burnings, but care nothing for the living, here is our answer: For every bombing or attempted bombing and for every harrassment or killing of non-muslims, Korans & other Islamic writings will be burned in undisclosed places. Stand down or Korans burn. Some will be on video & posted on the internet - enjoy!

  7. This is a return to the days of earth's beginnings when people were entirely uncivilized - simply barbaric. For one group to demand that another believe as they do goes beyond all decency. Who put Islamic courts in charge of individual beliefs? Sounds like people who put themselves in the place of God. I will pray that this minister be spared and he & his family be given refuge in the USA.

  8. This isn't right! You shouldn't have to die for changing religions! That is evil! People should be able to choose for themselves what they believe!!

  9. Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for each day you give us, and for the gift of eternal life through your son Jesus. I also want to thank you for the strong faith I see in your children, like the faith Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani has displayed, both in protesting the mandator reading of the Koran to children , as well as the strong faith and incredible love he has for you, Lord, in encouraging his congregation. heavenly Father, I ask that you would grant this man a full pardon, but if not, I ask that you bestoe your perfect peace, that surpasses all understanding, on both him and his family, including his congregation. I also ask that his persecutors be humbled, as well as witnessed to of your unending love and your unending sovereignty at the same time. Thank you, Heavenly Father, that our treasures are not of this world, but of your kingdom. To God Almighty be the glory, Lord of heaven and Earth, we ask all this, in Jesus' mighty and precious name, AMEN!

  10. AMEN!

    Father, bless this man who stands for Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Hold his family in Your hands, and cover this situation so that Yours is the gain. Open the eyes of these people, Lord. Call out the names written in Your Book of Life, and give this precious Brother Your Peace that surpasses all understanding. We ask that You spare his life Lord, but more than this we ask that these people see Christ in him, and come to a full knowledge of the Truth.


  11. oh my GOD, still this era of ours when people's will are recognised, freedom, free and to take decisons. if adoring a different religion is a crime or sin, who here on earth have not sin, and this is not. i pray in name ofJESUS on his highest throne to spare the life and soul of this man. as far as u can create u don' the right to destroy too

  12. Joseph R Carreiro Sr If the modern Muslims talk Peace,live Peace,Love Peace the the modern Muslim must condemn any Muslim belief that is on the opposite side of Peace. The Sharia Law is the opposite of Peace,The belief that all non believers or infidels should be killed in the name of Allah is the opposite of Peace and the beliefs of all R...radical Muslim Terrorists is the opposite of Peace,then what do we do? If the tremendous percentage of Muslims around the World oppose Muslims who do not practice Love and Peace the the objectors of Love and Peace will soon be eradicated because Millions can easily defeat thousands or even many thousands of those who reject Love and Peace.Think about this.Nothing to do with Religion,only to do with Radical Muslim Terrorism.This theory was put out by a Muslim Doctor from New York. Could work if all peace loving world Muslims get together an do something about Radicalism.It is a Muslim and they can stop it. Think about this.

  13. May the Lord richly bless this man and his family. I'm praying for his release, nevertheless, may God's will be done. Even so Lord Jesus come.......

  14. WAKE UP, PEOPLE!!! All your praying will not help this man.......

    If you really want to help start calling your congressman/senator, and get them to lobby the State Dept. and Obama administration to start putting real pressure on the mullahs. We need to start talking regime-change here......

  15. I did pray and also called my congressman and senators. If you don't know your numbers for them you can call 1-800-688-9889. They will ask for your six digit and sometimes four digit additional zip. In turn they will give you your locals tel. # so you can also ask you senator and congressman to lobby the State Dept and put pressure on the Obama administration to put pressure on Iran to do something.

  16. Now,i am not a bible basher,but if there is a more backward thinking government than the one in Iran,well,where is it? if any government needs bombing back into the stone age,then it is the government of Iran. Just my view,mind. Iran and Syria,2 governments who rule by fear,and kill thousands just because they can. Right,Libya sorted,their people are happy. NEXT?! 

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