Iran: Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani charged of national security crimes, asked to pay fine or face re-arrest

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Iran charges Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani with crimes against national security. The Islamic regime has presented him one week to pay a fine of $33,000 in order to procure bail or else he will have to face re-arrest or imprisonment. Christian persecution watchdog, Christian Solidarity Worldwide has confirmed that the evangelical pastor was charged on July 24.

Christian persecution in Iran

In line with a press release issued by CSW was summoned to appear before the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Rasht on July 24. The court charged him of “acting against national security.” In May, security forces conducted raid on Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s home.

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CSW’s press release disclosed that the regime has granted him a week’s time to pay 100 million Iranian Touman, failing to comply with he will be rearrested. Moreover, Pastor Nadarkhani was also barred from evangelism.

CSW Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said in a statement, “It is deeply troubling to hear of the renewed harassment of Pastor Nadarkhani. The national security charges leveled against him are spurious and an indication that the authorities persist in criminalizing the Christian community for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief.”

“The international community must press the government of Iran to uphold its obligations to respect the right of its citizens to freedom of religion or belief, as outlined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which it is signatory, and in Iran’s own constitution,” he concluded.

Pastor Nardarkhani was initially arrested in 2009. The evangelical pastor was charged with apostasy and handed capital punishment in 2010. In 2012, he was cleared of apostasy charges, he was sentenced to imprisonment for three years for evangelizing. He was released in January 2014, on May 13 2016, he was again arrested along with wife but was released again after few hours.