Apr 26 2012
Pakistani Christian Pastor Nadarkhani Still Alive
According to a U.S. attorney, rumors of an Iranian pastor's execution are false (see earlier story).
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who will be 35 years old this month, was earlier given the death penalty for converting to Christianity, though he has repeatedly stated that he never practiced Islam in the first place. Jordan Sekulow, director of policy and international relations for the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), says there have been false reports of the pastor's execution, as photos of Nadarkhani with a noose around his neck have been circulating.
"I would just tell people [to] be very wary if you see these images, because in Iran, it is very rare that they publicize an execution like this," he notes. "Because of the heightened sense of the world's awareness…they would make this a bigger issue. That doesn't mean everything is good and that everything will be fine yet."
Nadarkhani has been in jail more than 900 days because of his faith.
"The Iranian government admitted that at the U.N. Human Rights Council...it was only about the fact that he was a Christian," the ACLJ attorney explains. "They said it was not apostasy, but … it was that he had a house church and that he witnessed to minors without their parents' consent -- or you know, evangelize, proselytize -- and he offended Islam by saying Jesus was the only way [to heaven]."
[Please] continue praying for Nadarkhani and his family.