By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reportedly said the government needed to halt the growing movement of house churches across Iran.

TEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife)– A well-known Iranian pastor faces execution after two judges agreed to make him “liable to capital punishment,” as part of a crackdown on the growing Protestant church movement in the Islamic nation, BosNewsLife learned Tuesday, July 13.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was detained in June along with wife Fatemeh Pasandideh in the city of Rasht in northwestern Iran because of their Christian activities, Iranian Christians said.

A senior pastor of the Church of Iran movement, which includes house churches across the country, told BosNewsLife that judges had “already signed” an Islamic order that would potentially allow a death sentence for Nadarkhani, pending further investigations. The pastor usually speaks on condition of anonymity to BosNewsLife amid security concerns.

News of the execution overshadowed joy over the release of two Church of Iran Christians, a man and a woman, and the expected release this week on bail of two other members, who the movement only identified as “brothers Mehdi and Afshin.”


They were part of a group of eight Church of Iran members detained June 18, the senior pastor said. One of them, a pastor’s wife identified as Fatemeh Kojouri Tork, remained in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison Tuesday, July 13, while her husband, Behrouz Sadegh Khanjani, was kept in isolation in a security prison in the southwestern city of Shiraz,  the Christian leader said.

“We still do not hear from Reverend Behrouz Khanjani…” Iranian Christians have also expressed concerns about reports of other detentions, including last month’s capture of Pastor Behnam Irani in the city of Karaj, 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) west of Tehran.

Several believers have allegedly been mistreated. “We have learned that information that [security forces] have been using substances to extract confessions from Christians,” the senior pastor said.

Iranian officials have not commented on the cases.


Rights groups have linked the crackdown to concern among authorities about growing churches and the spread of Christianity among Muslims in the country. 

Church sources say the number of Christians in Iran has grown from 500 known believers in 1979 to at least 100,000 today.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reportedly said the government needed to halt the growing movement of house churches across Iran.

Under Iran’s strict interpretation of Islam, “apostasy” — or the formal renunciation of religion– is punishable by death.


  1. Fellows:

    I am reminded of the Apostle Paul, sanctified and set apart. He endured 39 lashings while 40 lashings was the death sentence back then. I wonder if this is how society felt about him too? Cringing at what bad people do to stifle peace for the name of a dark cause. In the words of saint Paul, “but our light affliction is but for a moment and is serving an eternal weight of glory.” Praying for my Brothers and Sisters around the world. Shalom.

  2. HI
    These people are not Christian they are like Jehovah’s Witnesses . they do not accept cross. you can ask the real iranian Christians .this news is very exaggerated ,These are small groups in Rasht.(north of iran)
    brother Stephen you are too young for this job.

    God bless you

  3. Be aware anyone…, God will revenge any innocent people who is murdered…

    These judges are not killing or assassinating only an inocent man, like the jews have also killed or assassinated their own Messiah…, they are killing or assassinating a son of God…, because Jesus is the first son anpointed by the holy spirit. This pastor is a person saved by the God’s grace throughout the blood of the Messiah Jesus, who is alive on heaven…, a person who has been also anointed by the holy spirit of God and became son of God…

    But let me tell a prophecy to this poeple, in the name of Jesus Christ, under the light of the Original Word of God:

    This execution will bring condemnation to all muslins whom agreed or took part into of this assassinate…, and the wrath of God will come upon this people …, and millions of Iranians (including men, woman, chidren and so on) will die under the God’s hand and revenge…

    Because they do not allow the truth can be taught to their people and they kill all people that have been sent by God in the name of the Messiah Jesus…, so, if this servant of God die…, God will take this Iranian People to the Devil’s hand…, and then, you will see what God will do against His enemies who kill inocent people…

    But you don’t have to believe in me…, you will see it with your own eyes…, and please…, take this prophecy to the Iranian people, before it is too late for them…

    Although I have so many Iranian friends…, now I am not able to protect them, in face of this murder and unjustice that is about to be consummated…, if it is the God’s will…

    But don’t worry about the life of any Christian people…, because is God, through the Messiah Jesus, through the Holy Spirito of God, who is taking care of our body, mind and spirit in life and also after death…; We are here to give our life in order to save your life (including the life of the iranian people also, who are killing the Christina people, the real sons of God marked by His holy Spirit)…

    The only thing we can do now…, is to pray for God, in the name of the MEssiah Jesus, to save this Christian…, not only beacuse of his life…, but because of the millions of iranians who will be killed by God in consequence of this fact…, because Jesus said:

    Luke 23:34 {1} And Jesus said, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And parting his garments among them, they cast lots. {1) Some ancient authorities omit And Jesus said, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.}

    All Brazilians are friend of Iranian people, but after this it will change radically…, and with the same weight with that they will act against a Christian, God will act against the Muslims here in BRazil and all over the world, and you don’t have to believe in me…, you will see it happen with your own eyes…

  4. I am very sorry to hear this and shall try to do something to intervene with the authorities to prevent this travesty of justice.

    Dick Rodgers

  5. Does that mean since Ahmadinejad’s (a mad ninja) family and himself are converted Jew, or Isralies [his name is even Hebrew]. His family immigrated from Israel, so he must be an “apostate” for religion renunciation, and subject to death, since he and his family have converted from Judism to Islam.

  6. Dear friends
    very sorry to hear the bad news from Iran.Iran is a friendly nation of INDIA. on behalf of all christians n INDIA i pleade H.E.Ahmed Nijad, the Honourable President of Great Iran Republic to cancel the death sentence of these persecuted Christians, for the Glory of GOD.
    This will foster and uplift the honour and respect of human souls living in the world.
    All are equal before GOD.
    All religions are equal before God.
    Hence, i pray Muslim Leaders to request their respective Governments for the freedom of religious minorities in their lands.

  7. To Hamid! How horrid to suggest they’re worthless because they’re supposed to be like Jehovahs witnesses…

    First, I do not see how it could be more lawful or more just to persecute jehovahs witnesses or just anybody because of creed, even if it were a very small group or a single individual, in Rasht or just anywhere!.

    Second, you wrongly accuse them of not believing in the cross. The creed of that church is on the Internet, it’s nothing like a sect, they firmly believe in the trinity and are just a protestant church.

    I just wonder who could have so much interest in such a tiny “exagerated” group to launch persecution, prosecution and calomny on such a scale.

    And I would like to know what is a “real iranian christian”?

    I know the “real libanese christians” we hear in the media, they’re “happy” dhimmis on Hamas leash who try to be left alone and will repeat what their masters say for fear of beeing punished. Just the same as christians in Hamas Palestine. So, what in such a happy country as Iran, so famous for its freedom, democracy and respect of human being?

    Breaks my heart to write that, because I so love Iran. But when you speak about such events, people always say “what would you expect with Iranian mollahs?” Just like when you spoke about the goulag and the soviet power… And, saddly, not so different…

    God bless YOU all in the name of Jesus Christ.

  8. French to English translation
    With the Holy Spirit, we affirm and confess:
    one God, Creator of heaven and earth (Gen. 1
    Esa 45.18) Spirit (John 4:24), Light (1 John 1:5),
    Love (1 John 4:16) and truth (Jeremiah 10.10), Lord
    (Genesis 21.33), the Almighty (Genesis 17.1), Faithful (Deu
    7.1) and Enduring (JQ 1.7), Infinitely Wise (Ps 147.5),
    Just (Deu 32.4) and Saint. IT is A (Deu 6.4 1 Cor 04.08)
    and Unique (Isaiah 37.16, John 17.3). IT is revealed in
    the Scriptures as Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew
    3:16-17, 28:19). HE is the God of Abraham, Isaac and
    Jacob (Exo 3.6).

    the Lordship of Jesus Christ, only Son of God, the Word
    manifested in the flesh. We believe that He is from St.
    Spirit (Matthew 1:20) and He was born of a virgin, Mary
    (Matthew 1.23, Luke 34). We believe in His atoning death and
    Redemption (Heb 9.28), in His bodily resurrection (Luke
    24.39), his ascension (Acts 1.9-11), on his return
    person for his own (1 Thessalonians 4:17), followed by his visit to
    glory to judge the rebels and establish the reign of
    thousand years. (Rev 1.7).

    The baptism of the Holy Spirit (Matt 3.11; Marc 1.8; Luke 3:16;
    John 1.33; Act 1.5, 2.38) is the new birth (John
    3.5-8). It introduces the Christian in the Eternal Life
    of God and leads into all truth, to
    sanctification in communion with Christ.

    The divine inspiration of Scripture. Whole Bible
    66 or 70, depending on whether one counts the Psalter as 1 or
    5 books) books of the Old Testament and the New
    Testament) is processed and inspired by God and She
    thus constitutes an infallible revelation, the only
    rule of faith and life (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1.20-21).

    forfeiture of humanity: man, what having been
    created pure and consistent with the divine image (Genesis 1:26-27)
    is his own fault (Genesis 3), fallen from grace. In
    Adam (Rom 5.12) all have deviated from the divine path and are
    lost. The men are absolutely incapable of
    save themselves by their works, is dead in their
    faults and sins (1 Cor 15:22) and that sin leads
    to a final destruction, away from the presence of
    God (2 Thess 1.9) who, despite the divine call, not
    not change its path and attitude.

    salvation by grace and unmerited favor of God: we
    believe, in fact, have access to salvation, the
    rehabilitation in our initial position by
    unmerited favor of God, yes, only by the Grace of
    God (Rom 3.24). In Christ, the SON, the Man-God
    regenerated humanity a new beginning to
    achieve in his divine calling (Eph 2:10). For Her
    Bloody sacrifice on the wood of Calvary, His death,
    rehabilitation and His ascension to the right of the Throne
    Divine Majesty, we are reintroduced into the intimacy
    Father, restored in our filial relationship (Col. 1:21).

    that evil comes from a staff to be Satan, angel
    which resulted in a deprived part of the creative
    nascent humanity in its fall. It is rebellious to God
    (Isaiah 14:13) and the instigator of evil (1 John 3 Es. 8
    12), but was defeated by Christ (John 16:33) to
    through the work of the Cross (Col. 2:15). His trial and
    his sentence was pronounced by Christ (John 12:31) and
    Hell fire awaits him (Rev. 20:10).

    the resurrection of the dead. First elected representatives
    resurrected and will be removed in glory
    reign with Christ is the first resurrection (1 Cor
    15.52, 1 Thess 4. 15-18, Apo 20.5-6). Then, after
    one millennium to the resurrection and eternal life
    the other the final judgments (Rev. 20.12-13).

    baptism by immersion of commitment: it is a
    personal response to God’s call to break with
    the values of this world to follow the Lord Jesus.
    Whoever believes in His name receives baptism (Acts 2:38,
    Act 10.48, Roma 6.3 JQ 7.2) for the glory of the Triune God
    After St. (Mat 28:19).

    10. The Holy Eucharist instituted by Christ to commemorate
    His death until He returns. The elements of the
    Lord’s Supper are unleavened bread and wine (Mat 26.26-29).

    11. The call to ecclesial communion. The church is
    consists of all those who accept the call of God
    Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:12) to live in communion
    fraternal life worthy of the Kingdom of God, a life
    animated by the Divine Breath and bearing fruit after God
    (Gal 5:22).

    12. In summary, we believe, confess and affirm
    all that Scripture teaches. Indeed as
    Scripture says: ‘Blessed are those who keep the Words
    prophecy of this book. ”

    We believe that through His Word and His Spirit, God
    works to advance the Church into a
    perfect knowledge of the Word. He continues to
    build his church by five ministries (Eph 4:11) and
    through the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor 12.4-11).
    Whoever continues to ears then listen to
    the Spirit says to the churches. Amen
    Contribute a better translation


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