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|Youcef Nadarkhani||Iran (Islamic Republic of)||October 2010||June 30, 2011|
|Youcef Nadarkhani, a 34-year-old pastor from Rasht, about 750 miles northwest of Tehran, was arrested in October 2009 after he protested a government policy that required children, including his 8- and 9-year-old sons, to study the Quran in school. Youcef told school officials that the Iranian constitution allows for freedom of religious practice. As a result of his protest, secret police called him before a political tribunal and arrested him for protesting. The charges were later amended to apostasy and evangelism of Muslims. Youcef was tried on Sept. 21–22, 2010 by the 1st Court of the Revolutionary Tribunal and sentenced to death on Nov. 13 for apostasy.
The pastor is imprisoned in Lakan prison, where authorities have used various methods, including medication, to convert him back to Islam.
After Youcef refused to convert to Islam, his wife was arrested, put on trial without an attorney and sentenced to life in prison. She was later released after an attorney appealed her sentence. The Nadarkhanis’ children were cared for by a relative while they were both in prison.
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|I gave thanks for you when I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray the eyes, ears and hearts of those who persecute you may open to Jesus. Philippians 1:29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.|
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