Iran: Authorities rearrest a Protestant pastor this time with his wife

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The Iranian authorities hook a Christian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani , over unknown reasons. This is the second time that the Iranian authorities have hooked Pastor Nadarkhani. On May 13, Friday he was arrested and his wife Tina Pasandide Nadarkhani, and another Christian from his congregation, Yasser Mosayebzadeh, for reasons which remain unknown to this point.

Persecution of Christians in Iran

A Christian NGO, Christian Solidarity Worldwide” (CSW) reported that Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who comes from the Protestant community “Church of Iran,” was rearrested by the authorities. Pastor Nadarkhani has previously been imprisoned and was released in September 2012.

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He was arrested in 2009 followed by his criticism on the Muslim monopoly of education in schools, which he termed was “unconstitutional.” As a result, the Iranian authorities, booked him under charges of apostasy while an Iranian court awarded him a death sentence in 2010. Later in 2011, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani’ death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court of Iran.

During his imprisonment, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was repeatedly pressurized to renounce Christianity, and was even offered quashing of his death sentence if he would give up his Christian faith and convert to Islam. However, he kept on refusing, and finally on September 8, 2012 he was released from the prison and was acquitted of charges of apostasy. Nonetheless, faced an imprisonment of three years for being found guilty of “evangelizing Muslims.”

It was a miraculous release indeed, as the pastor evaded death sentence. After his release even his defense lawyer Mohammed Ali Dadkhah, who is a prominent lawyer in Iran and human rights activist faced imprisonment for ten years and was dismissed in September 2012 for “actions and propaganda against the Islamic regime.”

The Christian Solidarity Worldwide, (CSW) has expressed serious concerns for Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, and has urged the Iranian authorities to present “clarification on the reasons for his arrest” and has requested the Iranian institutions to “fully respect the constitutional and international human rights obligations, ensuring justice and equality before the law for all citizens, regardless of their beliefs.”