Friday, September 30, 2011

Iran: 300 People Arrested Over the Past Year for their Faith.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani

Please continue to pray for Iranian Pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani, as he awaits delivery of his sentence any hour now. He had his last defense in court yesterday to plead for his life. Below is an excerpt from International Business Times' article, Youcef Nadarkhani: Iran's History of Religious Persecution:

"The Judge kept asking my client [Youcef Nadarkhani] to say, 'I have renounced Christianity and I recognize Islam as rescinder of all other regions,' and he kept saying, 'I won't say that.'"

Publically, Iran has positioned itself as a tolerant advocate of human rights. The Islamic Republic is a signatory on the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the country wrote in freedom of religion into its constitution.

Nonetheless, religious persecution is sadly not an uncommon event in Iran.

"The reality is as a Christian you don't have the rights of other Iranians. The actions and the basic policy toward evangelicals go against the rhetoric that they use for the country," David Yeghnazar, the U.S. director of Iranian church organization Elam Ministries, told the IBTimes.Despite Christianity's protected status in the country, in the last six months of 2010 at least 202 people were arrested for their religious beliefs, according to Elam. Additioanally, at least 100 more have been detained so far this year."

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