Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani of Iran
FoxNews.com reports that Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is safe for now after the Iranian Supreme Court ordered a retrial for the pastor sentenced to death for refusing to renounce his Christian beliefs.
Iranian media reported that the high court sent the case back to lower court because of concerns about the initial investigation.
"If there is an appeal and the case is returned to the supreme court, the case will be reviewed," read a statement quoted by ISNA, the Iranian student's news agency, AFP reports.
Pressure is currently mounting against Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani's impending execution. Several state heads have called for his release. In the US, at least 39 members of Congress have now signed a letter demanding that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton push for the Iranian pastor’s freedom.
Before being arrested, Nadarkhani pastored a 400-strong Christian congregation. It was reported that he protested against authorities after his son was forced to read from the Quran in school. He was later arrested. In June 2010, his wife, Fatemeh Pasandideh, was also arrested in an apparent attempt to pressure him to renounce his faith. She was released in October 2010, according to Amnesty International.
Let's continue to pray for divine strength and comfort for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani as he continues to make a stand for Christ and the Gospel.
Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was detained in June 2010 along with wife Fatemeh Pasandideh in the city of Rasht in northwestern Iran because of their Christian activities. Iranian Islam laws advocate execution for Arabs who are proven to have practiced Islam during their adult years but later on converted to another faith.
Iran though, denies that the crime they are accusing Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is related to his Christian activities. In an attempt to prove their claim, they have hurled several unfounded accusations against Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, including "security charges" and his supposed "running of a brothel".
The Present Truth Ministries (PTM) learned that the verdict to whether execute the Iranian pastor or not will be announced on Monday, October 10. A recantation of his faith in Jesus Christ and a decision on his part to return to Islam appears to be his only way out of the execution.
Let's pray for spiritual strength for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. Let's also asked the Lord to save his life, if possible. May Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani's current situation move us to always pray for Christians serving in countries that are against the Gospel.
We will try our best to update you on the development of this story.