Asia Bibi: Pakistan

pakistan

UPDATE  October 14, 2016
The Supreme Court of Pakistan was scheduled to hear Asia’s case yesterday, October 13, 2016.  However the hearing was delayed when one of the judges recused himself due to, it appears, a conflict of interest.  Hundreds were gathered to protest if she was released. They did not set a new trial date.


UPDATE  January 19, 2016
Asia Bibi, mother of five who has been sentenced to death in Pakistan under the blasphemy law, says she has forgiven her captors.  She was recently quoted as saying

Christmas is the celebration of God’s mercy. I forgive my persecutors, those who have falsely accused me, and I await their forgiveness. . . . Jesus made this happy day for me and has accepted my prayers. . . . But, although I have been in prison for seven years, I do not hate those who did me wrong. . . . I pray that Jesus Christ will grant peace to the whole world.

Please continue to pray for her as she awaits her final appeal to the Supreme Court of Iran.

Source:  ACLJ


UPDATE  August 1, 2015
Last month Asia’s case was accepted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.  They agreed to hear her appeal, but a date has not been set yet.  They have temporarily suspended her death sentence pending appeal.  Please pray as this process moves forward.  They will be looking at failures in due process, such as the original court failed to allow Asia to present her story, and the original report was submitted a week after the alleged incident.  The court reversed a previous sentence because the original report was made 48 hours after the event.  According to Pakistani law, it is supposed to be registered immediately.

Source:  ACLJ

Militants have placed a bounty on Asia’s head, and threaten to kill her if the court doesn’t.

Source:  Rach’s Thoughts


UPDATE December 2, 2014
A legal situation in Pakistan has arisen that may have an impact on Asia’s case.  In October, her appeal was denied.  According to Open Doors:

“The appeals judges now explain they had no choice because of the way Pakistan’s laws are written, and they have turned to lawmakers to create legislation that would empower trial courts to apply a test that would make future blasphemy convictions much more difficult to achieve.  No such test was in place when Noreen was tried.

The High Court’s legal reasoning and proposed legislation intended to close the loophole through which it says Noreen has fallen, was not available on October 16. In Pakistan, blasphemy against Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam, is a crime punishable by death, though a death sentence for blasphemy has never been carried out.

That glitch, Saqi said, involves a legal principle found in Islamic law called tazkiya al shuhood, which requires accusers to meet strict standards of Islamic piety. This precedent came into play when Noreen’s lawyer, Naeem Shakir, embarked on an unconventional legal strategy, attempting to subject his Christian client to Islamic law rather than Pakistan’s secular laws.”

Please continue to pray for Asia (also known as Noreen) as well as the courts and government of Pakistan.

Source:  Open Doors


UPDATE November 3, 2014
Nearly 2,000 Islamic clerics gathered outside of Asia’s court hearing on October 16 in an attempt to pressure the judges against overturning her verdict.  A bounty has been placed on her head of a half million rupees (about $5,000).  Two government officials have been assassinated after speaking up on her behalf.  Her attorneys plan to file another appeal with the Supreme Court, but it will likely result in more years of waiting.  She was originally incarcerated in 2009 and is currently on death row, along with 16 other Christians convicted of “blasphemy.”


UPDATE  October 22, 2014
You can sign a petition requesting that Pakistan free Asia.

Read Asia’s description of the event here.  She has been sentenced to hanging for “speaking against the Prophet” by the Pakistani courts.


UPDATE October 16, 2014
Asia Bibi lost her appeal when a Pakistani court decided today to uphold the death penalty for making “derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed.”  She is the first woman sentenced to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.  Her lawyers plan to take the case to the Supreme Court.  She has been in prison since 2010.

You can read her story in the book Blasphemy.

Please pray for her and her family!

Sources:  BBC News Asia
Reuters

Father, I’m so disappointed in the outcome of this hearing.  We’ve been waiting such a long time and to have the ruling upheld is crushing.  I can’t even begin to imagine what it is like for Asia and her family.  I ask You to pour out Your presence on each of them.  Encourage them, strengthen them, strongly support each of them, and provide for all their needs.  I pray for Asia as she looks ahead to hundreds of more days in prison.  I ask You to raise up advocates for her from within Pakistan as well as the international community.  Protect those who defend her, as we know of two public officials who have already been assassinated for speaking on her behalf.  I pray for the people of Pakistan, Father.  Give them wisdom, courage, and lead them in the way they should go.  Pour out Your love and mercy upon this country, and let Your kingdom come to that beautiful land that You love.


UPDATE  October 16, 2014
Asia’s court hearing set for September 9, 2014, was postponed, making it the fifth postponement.  The request came from her husband, Ashiq Masih.  He asked for the delay because his personal attorney was not there, although Asia’s lawyers were present.  A new hearing was set for today, October 16, 2014.  The judge said this is the final hearing date and no more delays would be permitted.  Please pray for her immediate release.


UPDATE June 23, 2014
asias-family-prayingAsia’s appeal has been delayed for the fifth time, and her hearing has been delayed for the fourth time.  She remains in prison, in solitary confinement “for her own good,” and is given raw materials to cook her own food so she “won’t be poisoned.”  Please continue to pray for Asia as she is in frail health.

Sources:  Open Doors
Wikipedia


July 3, 2013
Asia was moved to a prison 5 hours away from her home on June 6, 2013.  She has been very sick and in a lot of pain.  Her husband has been a big source of encouragement for her, and now he will not be able to visit her as frequently due to the large distance he must travel.  Please continue to pray for strength, endurance, and the presence of the Lord in her captivity.

Father,  Asia has been in prison for over 4 years now.  She has 5 children who need her desperately.  You have heard their prayers.  You have seen their troubles.  Please work in the hearts of her captors, and through Pakistan’s legal system, and secure her release.  Remember her young daughters.  Remember her special needs daughter.  Be a mother to them in her absence, but please Lord, secure her release.  Encourage her with the strength of Your presence.  Support her with Your joy.  Be all in all of her, Lord, so that she might bear with patience the gross injustice that is done to her.  In a new prison she no longer has the support of jailers that care for her.  Develop new friendships for her in her new place.  Show her the joy that is coming to her so that, just as Jesus endured the cross because of the joy that was set before him, she also may endure her imprisonment because of the joy that is set before her.  Strengthen her family.  Thank you for her strongly supportive husband, Father.  Fill him with your peace, and give him the faith he needs to move any mountain in his path.  Bring him all the support he needs to run this race with endurance.  We are nothing without You.  Be everything to Asia and her family, and bring them through this wilderness triumphantly.  Do this for the glory of Your name.  Amen


blasphemyJanuary 7, 2013
Asia’s family has published a book telling of her ordeal.  Proceeds from the book go to her family (who are in hiding) and help with her defense funds.

Blasphemy


December 13, 2012
Ashiq Masih and his 19 year old daughter, Sidra, visited Spain to petition the government there to help free Asia and grant her asylum.  He spoke to junior foreign minister Gonzalo de Benito in Madrid.  The visit was organized by Hazte Oir, a Spanish Roman Catholic group.  According to Ignacio Arsuaga, the foreign minister indicated that, “it is quite prepared to grant asylum as soon as Asia Bibi herself requests it,” and that they are always willing to help in her defense.   Ashiq said, “We are very happy and have great faith that this country will help free my wife.”   Asia is currently in prison, awaiting an appeal of her death sentence for blasphemy.  The family was forced into hiding after receiving numerous death threats.
“She is protected in prison and they are treating her well, but she is having a hard time because she is very far from her family and is suffering psychologically,” Ashiq said. “We live in hiding in Pakistan and we are very afraid. They say we have blasphemed… and that they are going to kill us.” (Daily Times – Pakistan)
Information Source:  Church in Chains

Help free Asia Bibi!


UPDATE  9/3/2012 
More than 150,000 Pakistanis have signed a petition requesting the release of Asia Bibi, in prison and sentenced to death for blasphemy for stating that “Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins”.  Voice of the Martyrs is attempting to collect 1,000,000 signatures to the petition for her release.  You can sign the petition here.  Let all your friends know about A Call for Mercy.

Asia’s daughters and husband went into hiding this summer.  They are praying earnestly for her release.  Stand along side of them in prayer and support for her release, as well as the release of Shamim Bibi, and other political and religious prisoners in Pakistan.


asia-bibi-2Asia Bibi was arrested on June 19, 2009, on blasphemy charges.  The 37 year old mother of 5 was working on the farm of Muhammad Idrees.  Some of the Muslim women were telling her about their faith, and when they finished, she told them of her Christian beliefs.  When she told of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, she said that Jesus is alive, but Muhammad is dead.  The women attacked her, and began to beat her, then she was taken by some men and locked in a room.  The local mosque announced over the loud speaker that her face would be blackened and she would be paraded through the streets of town on a donkey.  Local Christians contacted the police, who took her into custody before this could happen.  (There are only 3 Christian families in Asia’s village of 1,500 families.)

Christians lobbied on behalf of Asia, asking the police not to file charges against her, but they claimed they were under pressure from local Muslims.  Nineteen months later she was convicted of breaking Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law 295–blasphemy against the prophet Muhammad–and was sentenced to death.  So far, no Christian has ever been executed in Pakistan for blasphemy, but some have been killed by angry extremists upon their release.

Asia’s husband, Ashiq Masih, visited her in January (2012) and again in March.  In January she appeared happy, and filled with thanksgiving and joy.  She said, “I am very thankful for this visit.  I am happy and fine.  I am praying every day.  I am strong in my faith.  I know that this is the test of my faith, and I know to make gold, it must be purified in the fire.  I am strong in my faith, and I know that God will release me.  I pray that God forgives the people who blamed me.”

When Ashiq visited her in March, she expressed discouragement regarding her release, but as he was telling her about how her daughters were doing in school, he felt God’s presence and heard Him say, “Don’t be afraid.  I am with you.”


UPDATE 6/23/12
Asia’s family has gone into hiding in fear of their lives.  Human rights workers in the country are afraid to provide updates on her situation, believing that will bring more harm to her and her family.  The country has already seen the murder of two of its high ranking government officials due to their criticism of the blasphemy law and their support of Asia–Salman Taseer, the Governor of the Punjab, and Shahbaz Bhatti, the Federal Minorities Minister.  Asia has come to represent the thousands of people in prison for their religious convictions.  Pray for her, her family, and the country of Pakistan.  She knows the world is working hard for her release.


UPDATE 6/5/12 

  • Sign the petition to free Asia
  • Encourage your senators and representatives to support all congressional legislation regarding Freedom of Religion here and around the world.
  • Let your friends know about Asia, and encourage them to pray.
  • Pray for Asia, her family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Pray for God’s intervention on her behalf, that she will soon be safely released.
  • Pray for the salvation of those who accused her, and who are holding her.
  • Write to Asia:

Asia Bibi
District Jail
Sheikhupura
Punjab
Pakistan
Letter Writing Guidelines:
DON’T mention the source of your information or name any organizations.  Letters from individual people are acceptable, but prisoners may receive harsher treatment and longer sentences if it appears they are connected with an “international organization”.  This is why families sometimes don’t want their loved ones listed by name.  Also, please don’t say anything negative about her country, its laws, or its practices.  Focus the letter on encouraging Asia, strengthening her with quotes from the Bible, and your prayers.

Sources:  Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors.
Photograph is a picture distributed by Asia’s family, and is a Google public domain image.

Dear Lord,
You are Asia’s father and you are there, right now, with her in her prison cell.  I thank you for her joyful spirit, and her faith and trust in you.  I can’t even imagine what she is going through, having been incarcerated for almost 3 years.  Strengthen her, Father.  Support her daughters.   Encourage her husband.  I join together with her in asking that You forgive those that sent her there, and I pray that she will be a shining, golden light to everyone around her.  I pray that not a single day of prison time will pass without a rich blessing for Asia.  I pray that You, the Lord God Almighty, who does as He chooses with the nations of the earth, will intervene on her behalf.  Release her from prison at the most perfect time, reveal Yourself to her fellow prisoners and  her jailors, and let the district jail become a sanctuary for Your Spirit.  Let her light so shine in that dark place, that every one around her will want what she has, will turn to You, and be saved!  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they released her because her light was too bright?  Thank you for the work you are doing in that “forsaken” spot in the world, because you haven’t forsaken it.  In Jesus’ loving name, Amen.

Advertisements

Oscar Rodriguez: United States of America

us

Retired US Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez was invited to recite a traditional flag-folding speech at a retirement ceremony for Master Sergeant Charles Roberson, held at Travis Air Force Base.  He did not write the speech.  It is one that has been given for years at flag-folding events in the US.  The speech ends with these words:

“It is this one nation under God that we call, with honor, the United States of America. God Bless our flag. God bless our troops. God bless America.”

When he began his recitation, several uniformed men grabbed Rodriguez and dragged him out of the room, as he continued to recite the speech.  Oscar Rodriguez was a retired serviceman, an invited guest, reciting a speech at the request of the man being honored.  He was not in uniform, yet the officers in charge felt it was appropriate to deny him his Constitutional rights, and throw him out of the ceremony, finding the use of the word “God” offensive.

Source:  First Liberty

What you can do:

  • Write to your representatives protesting this blatant disrespect and disregard for the laws of the country.
  • Pray for the men and women of the armed forces.
  • Pray for the leaders of this country,  as well as those who interpret and enforce the laws.
  • Watch the video here.

Father, it breaks my heart to see those who are supposed to be protecting our rights in the USA bullying, falsely accusing, and denying those very rights to ordinary citizens.  I see it every day in our leaders and judges who are supposed to be impartial and hold everyone to the same standards.  The powerful do whatever they want without fear of accountability.  The powerless are their scape goats.  Our government is corrupt.  Our leaders are corrupt.  Our celebrities are corrupt.  Our lives are filled with and controlled by corruption.  I ask You, with all my heart, to pour out a Spirit of repentance on the USA.  Bring us to our knees, and teach us to respect and appreciate those who think and believe differently from us.  I’m asking for a true spirit of tolerance–not just for the elites and the things they want, but for every person living here.  Diversity is the great strength of the US, but right now it is our great weakness as it is tearing us into shreds.  This is what happens when we think we can manage things without You.  Take out our stony hearts and give us hearts that care for and respect everyone.  

 

Yang Hua: China

china

Yang Hua is the pastor of the Living Stone Church in Guiyang, China.  He is the third generation in his family to lead a Christian church.  He’s been imprisoned before, and had completed his current prison time where he’d been detained since December 9, 2015.  When his wife arrived to pick him up at his release, she saw four men from the detention center grab him and throw him into an unmarked van.  Apparently, that was the last time he was seen.

Yang Hua founded the Living Stone Church in 2009 along with Pastor Su Tianfu.  There are currently more than 700 members.  The church has been repeatedly pressured by China’s government to join the religious organization sanctioned by the government–the Three Self Movement.  They have been threatened with destruction if they do not.

Source:  Voice of the Martyrs

Please pray for Yang Hua, his wife, family, his church, and the Chinese government.

Father,  It continually amazes me to hear the stories of those who are persecuted because of their faith, race, or gender.  It seems that man’s imagination is as big as the heavens when it comes to ways to hurt those who are different from them.  I ask you to fill Pastor Hua’s life with love, joy, and peace, wherever he is.  I know that your love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness are shining through him, and through all those who are suffering for the sake of Your name.  Protect him from harm, and deliver him from evil.  Provide for the needs of his wife, his children, and his congregation.  Strengthen them.  Use what the government intended for evil for the good of Your kingdom.  Pour out Your Spirit of revelation knowledge throughout all of China.  Open the eyes of the leaders to Your Truth and overcome evil with everlasting good.  Do this for the glory of Your Name!  Amen.

 

Deborah: Nigeria

nigeria

One night, members of Boko Harem broke into Deborah’s house.  They demanded that her husband, a leader in the local church, deny Jesus.  He refused.  They shot him as Deborah watched.  Then they threatened to kill her two daughters, Bintu and Falamta, aged 9 and 11.  When the young girls refused to convert to Islam, Boko Harem soldiers abducted them.  Deborah has spent the last four years searching for her precious children.

Source:  Voice of the Martyrs

What you can do:

  • Pray for Deborah.
  • Pray for Bintu and Falamta.
  • Pray for terrorists or people who are holding Deborah’s daughters.
  • Pray for the people and leaders of Nigeria.
  • Contribute or volunteer with organizations that stand with and support victims of persecution.

Father of All, I can’t even imagine what Deborah has been going through for the past four years.  Her family is in Your hands.  I ask You to comfort her, encourage her, and fill her heart and mind with the hope that comes from You.  Protect here daughters.  Give them wisdom to know what to do in their present situation.  Make Yourself REAL to them, so that they know that You love them, that You surround them, that You go before them and follow behind them.  Keep them next to Your heart and lead them to Your truth.  Strengthen Deborah.  Show yourself to the people who abducted her.  Change them and turn them around.  Give wisdom and guidance to the leaders of Nigeria as they try to cope with Boko Harem.  Show the Nigerian people how to guard against them, and stop their violent pillaging.   Let the people of Nigeria see Your great light, and know your furious love for them.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie, and Mohammedreza Omidi: Iran

iran-pd-sm

Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie, and Mohammedreza Omidi were arrested on May 13, 2016, along with Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, his wife, and his sister.  At that time authorities confiscated Christian material and Bibles.  Nadarkhani, his wife, and his sister, Tina, have been released, but the other three men remain in prison.

Source:  Present Truth Ministries

What you can do:

  • Pray for brothers Yasser, Saheb, and Mohammedreza as they spend their days in prison.
  • Pray for their families.
  • Pray for justice in their trials, and for all people in Iran.
  • Pray for Iran, its leaders, and its people.

Father, I thank You that Pastor Nadarkhani was released, along with his wife and his sister.  I pray for these three men, and all the other people imprisoned in Iranian prisons because of their beliefs.  I ask You to make Your presence known, intimately, to each person who has been unjustly imprisoned.  Let Your light shine through each of Your children during their prison terms.  May they be a rich and constant blessing to everyone around them.  Protect them from pain and the torture that so frequently comes with prison in Iran.  Meet the needs of their families while they are away.  Don’t let them be ashamed, discouraged, or grow weary.  Strengthen their inner man, and fill them with Your Spirit.  Bring glory to Jesus through them.  Amen.

Ebrahim Firouz: Iran

iran-pd-sm

Ebrahim Firouzi, a Christian convert, was arrested on January 11, 2011.  He was convicted of working against the Islamic regime of Iran, organizing evangelistic events, contacting foreigners and anti-Islamic networks, and running a Christian website.  He was sentenced to two years of exile, followed by one year in prison.  Pastor Firouzi was scheduled to be released from prison in January  2015, however he was not.  He was retried in March of 2015, when his sentence was extended for five more years.

Source:  Voice of the Martyrs

What you can do:

  • Pray for Ebrahim, his family, and his friends.
  • Pray for Iran, its leaders, and its people.
  • Pray for the people imprisoned with Ebrahim.
  • Pray for him to be a light in a dark place.

Father, I thank You for the testimony of my brother, Ebrahim.  I pray that Your light will shine brightly through him during all the days of his imprisonment.  I ask You to make him a blessing to everyone he encounters, to protect him from harm, to strengthen and encourage him, and fill his cell with Your presence.  I ask you to provide for the needs of his family and friends.  Show me what You want me to do to support him during these difficult days.  I know that You will redeem every second of this difficult time for him and his family.  Surround them with Your power and love.  Amen.

Yousef Nardakhani: Iran

iran-pd-sm

UPDATE  June 16, 2016
Pastor Nardakhani and his wife, his sister, Tina, and three other Christians were arrested on May 13, 2016.  Authorities raided his house and confiscated Bibles and other Christian material.  Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie, and Mohammedreza Omidi remain in custody.

Source:  Present Truth Ministries


nardakahniDecember 25, 2012  ARRESTED AGAIN
Pastor Nardakhani was arrested again on Christmas day while he was celebrating the holiday at home with his family.  The 34-year-old pastor was originally arrested for protesting a policy that required all children to study the Quran in school.  Youcef claims this is in opposition to the Iranian constitution which allows for religious freedom.  He was held in prison for more than 3 years before he was released in September of 2012.  Officials claim he still has 45 days left of prison time in his original sentence.  (He was actually sentenced to death.  That sentence was temporarily annulled, and then reinstated, as it remains to this day.)  During his previous incarceration, the pastor was kept in Lakan prison, where authorities used many “techniques” including medication, to get him to convert back to Islam.

Youcef’s wife was arrested when her husband failed to recant.  She was put on trial without a lawyer, and sentenced to death.  She was later released when a lawyer appealed her case.  Relatives cared for the couple’s two children during the time both parents were in prison.

Please continue to pray for Youcef and his family as they face this new, unexpected trial.  Little information has been given to them regarding this new situation.

UPDATE
Pastor Nardakhani wrote a letter the day he was released, September 8, 2012, expressing his appreciation for all those who supported him during his incarceration.  You can read the letter here.

September 10, 2012  RELEASED
Pastor Youcef Nardahkani, arrested in September of 2009 and convicted on charges of apostasy (converting to Christianity) and sentenced to death, was released from prison yesterday.  According to CNN, a trial court in Iran acquitted him of apostasy, but convicted him for “evangelizing Muslims.”  He was sentenced to prison, but then was told that his prison time had been completed during the time he’s already served (3 years).  International efforts to secure his release have been going on during this time.  There are approximately 300,000 Christians in Iran, a country that is 98% Muslim.  Nine other Christians are imprisoned in the country because of their faith.  Keep praying for the release of all of them, and that religious tolerance will grow in Iran.  (Information from First Things.)

Since 2001, there have been more than 2,000 Christians brutally murdered in Iran.  Today Pastor Yousef Nardakhani has been in prison for over 2 years, convicted of apostasy.  He was given four opportunities to renounce his faith in Jesus in order to save his life, but his reply has been, “Jesus is my life.  How can I renounce him and save my life?”  Last month the courts signed his execution orders, which means he may be hanged at any time.

The internet has been filled with support for Pastor Nadarkhani, but where have the political powers been?  Many petitions have been sent to the US State Department urging them to intervene, or at least condemn the situation, but as far as I can tell they have not used their power on behalf of this man whose sole crime is being a Christian.  President Obama issued a statement on September 30, 2011:

“The United States condemns the conviction of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. Pastor Nadarkhani has done nothing more than maintain his devout faith, which is a universal right for all people. That the Iranian authorities would try to force him to renounce that faith violates the religious values they claim to defend, crosses all bounds of decency, and breaches Iran’s own international obligations.”

Although Iran constantly commits crimes against humanity, kills its own people, commits war crimes, aggressively attacks its neighbors, vows to “wipe Israel off the face of the earth”, and “won’t rest until the United States of America has been destroyed”, it is actually on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women!  Women are stoned in Iran, yet Iran is on a committee to oversee the status of women in the world?  Are things upside down or what?

Pastor Nardakhani has a wife and two young boys.  Pray for them.  Pray that they will be safe, have a place to live, and that their courage and faith will grow as this most difficult situation continues to develop.  Pray that God may intervene on their behalf, and release Yousef from prison.  Pray that Yousef will know how deep, how wide, how long, and how high the love of God is, and that he will know the power of the resurrection of Jesus, each day in his prison cell.

Several more people were arrested a few weeks ago in Iran, and are currently in prison, facing the same charges:  Fashad and Shahnaz (husband and wife), David, and Naser.  Pray for them, too.

Father, we pray from the bottom of our hearts for Pastor Yousef, his family, and all the Iranians who are imprisoned and/or persecuted today because of their faith in You.  We ask You to intervene on their behalf.  Give them the courage to face whatever comes to them with courage, devotion, and joy.  Father God, Jesus is the Lord of all.  We ask that your Spirit invade the prisons of Iran in a mighty way, like a flooding river, bringing all the fruits of the Spirit to your people there.  We pray for the guards and authorities of the prisons–that they will see the love and joy in Your servants, and want it for themselves.  We pray that their eyes will be opened, that You will rescue them from the domain of darkness, and transfer them into the kingdom of the Son of Your Love.  Let our brothers and sisters know that we are praying for them, and overwhelm them with the joy of Your very powerful Presence.  Make the prisons Your sanctuary!  We pray for the believers in Tehran, Lord.  Give them a place to meet and worship, keep them safe from unrighteous laws, and send Your angels to guard and protect them.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Update, July 6, 2012
On July 4th, Yousef received information that he will be facing a new trial in September on charges related to national security.  There is also a report that a Russian Orthodox priest sent a letter to the Supreme Leader on Nardakhani’s behalf.  He was told the death sentence against the pastor will be dropped.

Update, May 10, 2012
Yousef’s lawyer has just been sentenced to 9 years in prison for violating national security.

Update, April 10, 2012
You can write to Pastor Yousef.  Get the information here at Voice of the Martyrs.

Update, March 29, 2012
Although rumors of his death circulated the internet last week, Pastor Nardakhani is still alive.  Read Joel Rosenberg‘s blog for more information.

You can pray for other Iranian prisoners listed here at Voice of the Martyrs.