Pastor jailed on Christmas Day

By Michael Carl

Reports coming out of Iran say that the Iranian government again has arrested and jailed Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani.

According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, the Iranian government used a previous criminal charge to put Nadarkhani back in Lakan Prison in Rasht, Iran.

Nakarkhani was acquitted of blasphemy and released from jail in September after spending over 1,000 days behind bars.

The American Center for Law and Justice reports that a judge in an Iranian court is ordering that Nadarkhani spend the final 45 days of his prison term on other charges behind bars.

The ACLJ report says the decision is “malicious” because “Pastor Youcef was torn away from his wife and two young boys on Christmas Day.”

The ACLJ said it was only international pressure that freed Nadarkhani earlier this year.

“Iran’s brutal repression and persecution of Christianity has not gone unnoticed. The type of immense international pressure placed on Iran earlier this year that led to Pastor Youcef’s prior release may be the only hope for freedom for these men,” the ACLJ statement said.

WND reported in August that after Nadarkhani’s 1,000th day in jail, the pastor was likely facing additional charges.

The English language site for the Farsi Christian News Network said that Nadarkhani would be charged with banditry and extortion. The network report says Nadarkhani was supposed to appear in court earlier, but there’s no record the hearing took place.

The Assist News Service reported that an Iranian website claimed Nadarkhani was accused of “security crimes.”

“The article claimed that Youcef Nadarkhani is accused of rape and repeated extortion,” Assist reported.

Nadarkhani’s arrest comes only days after the Iranian Revolutionary Guard arrested and detained Iranian-born American pastor Saeed Abedini.

WND reported last week that the American pastor was being held in the “brutal” Evin Prison.

The pastor, who holds dual Iranian-American citizenship, was arrested by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Abedini was arrested shortly after arriving in Iran in September to visit his parents. Reports of his arrest didn’t become known until this past week.

Abedini’s captors have refused to disclose the charges, but the American Center for Law and Justice says that the prison is “especially brutal” and that he’s in jail because he formerly ran a network of house churches while he still lived in Iran.

Reports explained he returned to Iran to work on an orphanage.


Leave a Comment