Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani Threatened with Death in Iran

Christians around the world are rallying behind efforts to free Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who's facing the death penalty in Iran after refusing to deny his faith.

Yousef's fate is now in the hands of the Iranian supreme court.

As speculation grew Wednesday night that his death penalty sentence might be overturned, Christians rejoiced on Facebook and Twitter.

"I was praying for this man and his family and congregation this morning," one person wrote on Facebook. "Praise the Lord for this miracle!"

But CBN News learned Thursday morning that those reports were untrue.

Yousef's lawyer said the death sentence still stands and the false information was likely released by the Iranian government in an attempt to stop negative coverage of the case.

Many were devastated by the news, quickly returning to prayer for Pastor Yousef and his family.

"Right now the focus should be... for people to get this story out, to share it," Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice told CBN News.

And supporters are doing just that.

"Please pray for this man and his family. He's standing firm for the faith," one supporter said on CBN News' Facebook page.

"There is a reason why this story has gone so public," another wrote. "I believe God is trying to expose the evil regime of the Iranian Gov't and the LORD is calling on HIS children, HIS WARRIORS to lift our bother Yousef Nadarkhani, his family, and other followers of Christ in that nation up in prayer! This is a call to action! Time is running out!!"

Christian Solidarity Worldwide is urging Christians, religious leaders, and governments to contact the Iranian embassy in the United Kingdom.

The White House also spoke out Thursday, condemning Iran for crossing "all bounds of decency" by persecuting Yousef.

"We're still dealing with a case of very severe Christian persecution," Sekulow warned. "He has been in jail -- not on trial, but actually imprisoned -- for two years just because of his faith."

CBN News has started an effort on Twitter to spread the word about Pastor Yousef's case.

Follow us @CBNNews, then retweet our post, "Who is Yousef Nadarkhani? A pastor, husband & father who may be killed in Iran for his faith. RT for religious freedom"

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