Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was reportedly re-arrested and imprisoned on Christmas Day in Iran.
Pastor Youcef had been imprisoned under a death sentence for apostasy for nearly three years before being acquitted and released in September.
Now, in a clearly malicious move, Pastor Youcef was torn away from his wife and two young boys on Christmas Day.
Fox News confirms, “Youcef Nadarkhani, 35, had been summoned to return back to Lakan Prison in Rasht, the facility where he served time and was then released, based on the charge that he must complete the remainder of his sentence, according to several reports and confirmed by those close to Nadarkhani in Iran.” The Iranian court has ordered that he serve the 45 remaining days of his sentence, which he had previously been told he would serve as probation.
Iran’s flagrant disregard for international law by imprisoning this Christian for a second time for his faith did not occur coincidentally on Christmas Day. Iran is increasingly persecuting Christians and anyone who is willing to defend them.
To make matters worse, Pastor Youcef’s Iranian attorney, Dadkhah, who was instrumental in securing his release earlier this year, is currently in one of Iran’s most notoriously abusive prisons, Evin prison. We have confirmed that his health is quickly deteriorating under the desperate conditions of his imprisonment. He was imprisoned soon after Youcef’s release in apparent retaliation for his career spent defending human rights against the radical Islamic Iranian regime’s assaults.
In addition, American Pastor Saeed Abedini remains imprisoned in Evin, merely because of his Christian faith.
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. Please continue to pray, Tweet for Youcef, and sign petitions for their freedom. We are aggressively working to attain their freedom, and will keep you informed as new information becomes available.