Category Archives: Iran

Pastor Saeed Abedini’s letter from inside Iran’s Evin Prison

Urgent prayer & action: Final verdict for Pastor Youcef… death

From BCN:

Pastor Youcef and family(Iran)—According to a FOXNews report today, the final verdict has been handed down on Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s fate—death.

As Youcef’s supporters all around the world feared, the Iranian trial court has decided that he will be executed on the charges that he left Islam to convert to Christianity.

These charges have stood in spite of the fact that it could not be proven that the 34-year-old father of two had been a Muslim during his adult years, which would prove apostasy. In addition, Youcef himself has always maintained his innocence saying that he was always a Christian as an adult.

He was given the chance to recant his Christian faith, but he refused, and he also refused to say that Muhammad was a prophet.

Jordan Sekulow, executive director of The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), said, “The world needs to stand up and say that a man cannot be put to death because of his faith.

“This one case is not just about one execution. We have been able to expose the system instead of just letting one man disappear, like so many other Christians have in the past.”

According to the report, the final order was given just days after US Congress supported a resolution sponsored by Penn. Rep. Joseph Pitts, which denounced the charges and called for an “immediate release.”…

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s family and supporters are asking for urgent prayer by Believers worldwide, on his behalf, and for people to contact their legislators to ask for intervention.

Read it all, and pray. Also, for information on how to help, visit the ACLJ’s website: http://aclj.org/

For Iranians waylaid by pirates, U.S. to the rescue

From the New York Times:

ABOARD THE FISHING VESSEL AL MULAHI, in the Gulf of Oman — Senior Iranian military officials this week bluntly warned an American aircraft carrier that it would confront the “full force” of the Iranian military if it tried to re-enter the Persian Gulf.

On Friday, Fazel Ur Rehman, a 28-year-old Iranian fisherman, had a warmer greeting for the carrier task force.

“It is like you were sent by God,” said Mr. Rehman, huddled under a blanket in this vessel’s stern. “Every night we prayed for God to rescue us. And now you are here.”

In a naval action that mixed diplomacy, drama and Middle Eastern politics, the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis broke up a high-seas pirate attack on a cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman, then sailors from an American destroyer boarded the pirates’ mother ship and freed 13 Iranian hostages who had been held captive there for more than a month….

Neither the pirates nor the crew of the Sunshine had known it, but three Navy ships — the Stennis; the U.S.N.S. Rainier, a supply ship; and the U.S.S. Mobile Bay, a guided-missile cruiser — were steaming in formation a few miles away. The carrier was taking on provisions from the Rainier and had several helicopters in the air when the Sunshine radioed its distress call.

Aboard the carrier, Rear Adm. Craig S. Faller, who commands the carrier strike group, looked at the chart and radar images of the Sunshine’s location with something like disbelief. The Sunshine and the Stennis were only a few miles apart. “These might be the dumbest pirates ever,” he said….

Read it all, and read Pirate State: Inside Somalia’s Terrorism at Sea by Peter Eichstaedt.

After initial silence, the Iranian government responded to the rescue:

…”The rescue of Iranian sailors by American forces is considered a humanitarian gesture and we welcome this behavior,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by state TV’s Al-Alam Arabic channel.

Iran’s hard-line Fars news agency had a different take, calling the rescue operation a Hollywood dramatization of a routine event….