Iran pastor still lives
An Arabic website reported last night that Iran pastor Youcef Nadarkani had met his death. But Western advocates confirm that he still lives.
Who said that the Iran pastor was dead?
The first report that the Iran pastor was dead came from Blue Star Chronicles. The site “Tundra Tabloids” says that the authorities had “slowly strangled” him. The original report allegedly came from an Arabic website. The Middle East Media Research Institute has no information on whether the Iran pastor is alive or dead, or where that report came from. A few other organs, including Gateway Pundit and the Christian Post, picked up the story but then admitted that they could not confirm it.
A commenter on the “Tundra Tabloids” site left a link that, she says, was where the story had come from. The link did not resolve.
Earlier reports that the Iran pastor had some sort of guarantee of his life seemed to conflict with this report that the German Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador to “demand” the “release” of the Iran pastor. But the American Center for Law and Justice, who have called on Iranian authorities to spare Nadarkani’s life, now insist that he still lives. Jordan Sekulow, reporting from Iran, said that someone circulated “outdated and demonstratively false” photographs “showing” a man matching Nadarkani’s description dying by hanging.
The Iran pastor’s case gained international attention after the Iranians arrested him and charged him with apostasy from Islam. He was born into a Muslim family, but never practiced Islam himself, and came to Christ at the age of 19. The real reason for his arrest might be that he leads one of many “house churches” in Iran.
Iranian authorities earlier this week accused Nadarkani of committing “security crimes.” (At one point they accused him of raping a woman, whom they never identified.) A court has convicted him of apostasy, and another official has signed his death warrant. But the Iranian authorities seem not to have carried that warrant out yet.