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Anglican Unscripted Episode 62: January 6, 2013 January 7, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church News, Anglican.TV.
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Just when you thought it was safe to watch online Videos again… In this week’s Episode Kevin and George give some behind the scenes information regarding the next Gafcon. They also talk about invisible Christian Persecution this Christmas season and the Anglican World before and after the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson. Peter Ould discusses the recent Church of England news about Bishops in Civil Partnerships and Allan Haley tackles the real effect of the latest news from the Diocese of South Carolina. Comments to AnglicanUnscripted@gmail.com Tweet #AU62

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Yousef Nadarkhani re-arrested: Anglican Ink, December 27, 2012 December 27, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Iran, Persecution.
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Yousef Nadarkhani, the Iranian pastor jailed sentenced to death for apostasy from Islam but released after an international protest campaign was re-arrested at his home on Christmas Day, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports.

In a 26 December 2012 statement, CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: “We are disappointed to hear Pastor Nadarkhani has been returned to prison in such an irregular manner. The timing is insensitive and especially sad for his wife and sons, who must have been looking forward to celebrating Christmas with him for the first time in three years.”

Born in a non-practicing Muslim family, Mr. Nadarkhani (35) converted to Christianity as a young man and for ten years led of a network of house churches in Rasht in Iran’s Gilan province on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea.  On 12 Oct 2009 he was brought before a political tribunal after he complained about new government regulations requiring that his two sons be instructed in Islam.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Freed Iranian pastor travels to London to thank CSW for its support: The Church of England Newspaper, December 2, 2012 p 6. December 7, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Iran, Persecution.
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The Iranian pastor sentenced to death for apostasy from Islam but released after three years imprisonment following an international protest campaign, was granted a special visa last month to travel to London to address Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s National Conference.

On 10 Nov 2012 Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani spoke to the For Such a Time as This conference through an interpreter thanking Christians in the West for their prayers and petitions on his behalf.

“It is the opportunity for me to share about what the Lord did for me and to thank you because you supported me by your prayers, you supported my family in a very difficult time,” he said.

“My prayer is I ask the Lord to bless you for what you did for me as a small member of the body of Christ. Today my presence here is the will of God and the result of what your prayers did for me.”

Last month’s trip, which included a visit to Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London, was the first for the Iranian Christian leader since his release from prison.  “It was a pleasure to welcome Pastor Nadarkhani to our conference and to hear his testimony of faith and perseverance, and of his love for God, for his family and for his nation. His quiet courage, integrity and lack of recrimination cannot fail to have inspired anyone who heard him to deepen their own commitment to their faith,” CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said.

First published in The  Church of England Newspaper.

Yousef Nadarkhani thanks Christians for their prayers: Anglican Ink, November 26, 2012 November 26, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Iran, Persecution.
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Yousef Nadarkhani, the Iranian pastor jailed sentenced to death for apostasy from Islam but released after an international protest campaign was in London this month to thank Christian Solidarity Worldwide for its advocacy on his behalf.

On 10 Nov 2012 Pastor Nadarkhani spoke to the For Such a Time as This conference through an interpreter thanking Christians in the West for their prayers and petitions on his behalf.  The following Sunday he preached at Holy Trinity Brompton in London, speaking to the plight of Christians in Iran.

He told the CSW conference his visit was an “opportunity for me to share about what the Lord did for me and to thank you because you supported me by your prayers, you supported my family in a very difficult time,” he said.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Iran frees imprisoned Christian pastor jailed for apostasy: The Church of England Newspaper, September 16, 2013 p 7 September 15, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Persecution.
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Yousef Nadarkhani

An Iranian court acquitted Yousef Nadarkhani of apostasy from Islam this week, permitting the Christian pastor to return home after three years imprisonment.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports that at an 8 September 2012 hearing, a court in Rasht in Iran’s Gilan province on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea court overturned Yousef Nadarkhani’s 2010 conviction for apostasy, finding him guilty instead of proselytizing Muslims.  The court sentenced him to three years imprisonment for seeking to evangelize Muslims, but ordered he be released for time served.

Born in a non-practicing Muslim family, Mr. Nadarkhani (35) converted to Christianity as a young man and for the past ten years has been the pastor of a network of house churches in Rasht.   In 2009, Mr. Nadarkhani was arrested and brought before a political tribunal on 12 October 2009 after he complained that new government regulations requiring that his two sons, Daniel (10) and Yoel (8) be instructed in Islam in school violated the Iranian constitution’s guarantee of the free practice of religion.

Mr. Nadarkhani was brought to trial on 21-22 September 2010 before the 1st Court of the Revolutionary Tribunal. On 13 November 2010 the court handed down a guilty verdict and ordered he be hanged.  The third chamber of the Iranian Supreme Court in Qom on 28 June 2011 upheld the conviction for apostasy and the death penalty, but stayed execution pending an investigation by the trial court to determine when Mr. Nadarkhani had left Islam.

In October 2011 the trial court wrote to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini, requesting his opinion as to how to proceed in light of the Supreme Court’s decision. Last month it was announced the local court would review the proceedings in light of Sharia law precedents and investigate at what age Mr. Nadarkhani had left the Muslim faith.

Each of Islam’s five major schools of jurisprudence call for the death penalty for those who leave Islam for another faith. However Islamic law distinguishes between apostasy of an adult and a child. Iran’s proposed Islamic Penal Law also divides apostates into two categories: parental and innate. Innate apostates were those whose parents were Muslim, made a profession of Islam — the Shahada — as an adult and then left the faith, while parental apostates were those born in non-Muslim families, converted to Islam as an adult, and then left the faith.

Iranian law is unclear as the punishment for apostasy, but the proposed Article 225-7 of the Islamic Penal Law states the “Punishment for an innate apostate is death,” while Article 225-8 allows a parental apostate three days to recant their apostasy. If they continued in their unbelief, “the death penalty would be carried out.”

The push to impose penal sanctions on apostates from Islam comes amidst a rise in conversions to Christianity in Iran.  Approximately 200,000 or one percent of Iran’s population, belong to officially sanctioned groups that have historic ties to the region such as the Armenian, Assyrian and Catholic Churches.

However, the number of Protestant Christians is unclear.  In 1979, there were less than 500 known Christians from a Muslim background in Iran.  “Today the most conservative estimate is that there are at least 100,000 believers in the nation,” reports Elam Ministry –  a British based Christian ministry to Persians.

News of the release of Mr. Nadarkhani was greeted with joy by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), one of the principle organizations in the West that had championed his cause. CSW chief executive, Mervyn Thomas said they were “delighted to learn of Pastor Nadarkhani’s release after a long incarceration. We commend the Iranian judiciary for this step, which is a triumph for justice and the rule of law.”

“While we rejoice at this wonderful news, we do not forget hundreds of others who are harassed or unjustly detained on account of their faith, and CSW is committed to continue campaigning until all of Iran’s religious minorities are able to enjoy religious freedom as guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is party.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Iran frees Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani: Anglican Ink, September 8, 2012 September 8, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Islam, Persecution.
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The Iranian Christian pastor awaiting execution has been acquitted of the charge of apostasy and released from imprisonment.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports that at an 8 September 2012 hearing, the court overturned Yousef Nadarkhani’s 2010 conviction for apostasy, finding him guilty instead of proselytizing Muslims.  He was sentenced to three years imprisonment, but released for time served.

In 2009, Mr. Nadarkhani was arrested and charged with apostasy after he complained that new government regulations requiring that his two sons, Daniel (10) and Yoel (8) be instructed in Islam in school violated the Iranian constitution’s guarantee of the free practice of religion.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.