By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and his wife before his detention on published charges of apostasy.

TEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife)– Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani learns early next week whether he will be executed for refusing to recant his faith in Jesus Christ and return to Islam, as the court needs more time to consult with the country’s leadership, trial observers told BosNewsLife Thursday, October 6.

“We have been informed that the verdict is to be delivered on Monday, October 10,” said Jason DeMars, director of advocacy group Present Truth Ministries (PTM), which assists the pastor.

“There is speculation that the delay is a sign that the judges have decided to consult with key religious and political leaders,” including Iran’s “Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,” he told BosNewsLife.

On Wednesday, October 5, unidentified Iranian officials from Tehran reportedly interviewed the pastor in prison about the behavior of judges and charges against him.

“While it seems like a positive development, some observers are concerned that they could manipulate his words in an attempt to prove their false charges against him,” DeMars explained.


Iran denies that Nadarkhani faces a death sentence for “apostasy”, or abandoning Islam, despite a written court decision monitored by BosNewsLife.

On Saturday, October 1, Deputy Governor of Iran’s Gilan Province, Ali Rezvani, said Nadarhhani is guilty of “security charges” and “running a brothel” but added “his verdict has not been finalized,” Iran’s state-run Press TV network reported.

“This individual is guilty and his crime is not attempting to convert others to Christianity, rather his crimes are of a security nature,” he was quoted as saying.

However Iran’s Supreme Court did not mention security crimes in its recent written verdict seen by BosNewsLife.

In the document, dated June 12, 2011, judges wrote that the pastor “must repent his Christian faith” if proved that he was a practicing Muslim shortly before he converted to Christianity at age 19.


“If it can be proven that he was a practicing Muslim as an adult and has not repented, the execution will be carried out,” the Supreme Court added.

It also cited observations that “Mr. Nadarkhani has confessed that in his heart and in his actions he has denied being Muslim and converted to Christianity and has advertised and encouraged other Muslims to convert to Christianity.”

The court said “because of advertising” and “pastoring a church” he “repeatedly professed his Christian faith and denied the prophet Mohammad and the 12th Imam and denied the entire Koran and [the] truth of the Koran,” deemed a holy book by Muslims.

Judges asked a lower court in Gilan Province, that earlier sentenced him to death, to re-examine the case, but Press TV reported that no decision has yet been made about the death sentence.

“There has been no execution order. No conviction at all has been issued yet and it is up to the court to finally decide the verdict after studying his case,” it quoted Gilan Province Judiciary Chief Mohammad-Javad Heshmati as saying Wednesday, October 5.


Nadarkhani “has been charged with a crime and is in a prison based on an arrest warrant issued against him,” he added.

Trial observers have suggested that Iranian officials are trying to add new charges to execute the pastor following an international outcry about the apostasy charges.

De Mars said Deputy Governor Ali Rezvani has described the pastor as a “Zionist”. The governor, he said, “is a hardliner and has shown that he is an enemy of Christians. According to some, Mr. Rezvani is the individual who pressured the judiciary to bring these charges against brother Youcef.”

There is mounting worldwide pressure on Iran to release Pastor Nadarkhani, who leads a 400-person Church of Iran congregation.


Press TV, viewed as a mouthpiece of the government, said Iran “has firmly refuted Western allegations of violating human rights” insisting that “Nadarkhani has a history of committing violent crimes and that he has never received a death penalty for his religious preference.”

The network condemned what it called “Western media” who “manipulated the case of Nadarkhani, a convicted rapist and extortionist in Gilan Province.”

Press TV said Western media are “waging an anti-Iran publicity campaign by falsely claiming that his criminal conviction is his conversion to Christianity and acting as a ‘priest.'”

The Church of Iran, a major evangelical house church network, has no priests but pastors and elders supervising the congregations.

Iranian Christians and rights activists view Nadarkhani as a symbol of a wider government-crackdown on especially Christian converts in the strict Islamic nation.

Several Christians have been detained and churches raided by security forces in recent months.


  1. May the Lord bless and give all the courage that pastor Youcef and his family needs in this time of trial. My desire is that God as he did with apostle Peter when he was in jail, to set him free to continue doing his work and all the world knows that we have a powerful God that can free us from the death.

  2. My church has our intercessors on it! I’m so proud that I can consider Pastor Youcef and his beautiful wife my “brother and sister” in Christ.

  3. Dear Kiumars,

    As far as we are aware that was ONE copy. But we do know that Iran, for instance, has burned and confiscated Bibles and other Christian literature on a massive scale, raiding churches, detaining Christians. There were no evangelical Christians calling for the execution of Muslims, or those who ‘converted’ to Islam as a religion at that time. I trust you are not suggesting that a pastor should be killed because thousands of miles away a copy of the Koran was burned?

    Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife

  4. Youcef, I am praying for you brother! Your faith is an encouragement beyond measure, and I know it must be to fellow believers around the World. I pray that my faith would be as strong, because I’m convinced that many hearts will be opened to the Gospel through love, as opposed to lashing out. I pray that followers of Christ will show this world the Truth that is Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection! Praise be to the King!

  5. May we in America learn from this Pastor’s example.
    May we humble ourselves and turn from our sin, seek
    the Lord and pray for His forgiveness and mercy.
    Lord, please forgive us and help us to stand with You
    even during times of great trials.
    Please bless and strengthen your servant in Iran. May
    Your will be done. We pray for his release and for
    the safety of him and his family.


  7. May God give me the grace he gave to his servant even at the point of happy is youcef bcos he knows that even his life is taken,our lord jesus christ will crown him with glory.AMEN

  8. Dear God,Please strengthen him with your Holy Spirit,so that he can proclaim your name with no fear,and strengthen his family,…Dear Pastor..we are with u always….

  9. Isaiah 43
    Israel’s Only Savior
    1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
    “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
    2 When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
    and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
    When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
    3 For I am the LORD your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
    I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.
    4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,
    I will give people in exchange for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.
    5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
    I will bring your children from the east
    and gather you from the west.
    6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
    and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
    Bring my sons from afar
    and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
    7 everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.”
    8 Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
    who have ears but are deaf.
    9 All the nations gather together
    and the peoples assemble.
    Which of their gods foretold this
    and proclaimed to us the former things?
    Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,
    so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”
    10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,
    “and my servant whom I have chosen,
    so that you may know and believe me
    and understand that I am he.
    Before me no god was formed,
    nor will there be one after me.
    11 I, even I, am the LORD,
    and apart from me there is no savior.
    12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
    I, and not some foreign god among you.
    You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.
    13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
    No one can deliver out of my hand.
    When I act, who can reverse it?”

  10. Jesus loves the world. The former USSR was a communist state which persecuted Christians but now they have embraced christianity. IRAN IS FOR JESUS and pastor Yousef Nadarkhani ll be the father of Christianity in Iran. Amen

  11. I have a book everyone needs to read. It’s titled “FORT U.S.A. If I Were President” One of the chapters deals with what I would do in the instance which is happening in Iran now. Here’s an excerpt…First, we would treat this Pastor as a Ally. It reads:

    “Should any country invade or threaten the U.S. or any Ally of the U.S. in any way, form, or fashion, a target will be designated in a remote section of said Country. Officials of said Country will be given 72 hours to clear the area of all living creatures. A small Nuclear Package will be exploded in that area as a warning of what will happen to the rest of said country if any officials or citizens of said country insists on messing with allies of the U.S….If this doesn’t work, you don’t want to know what would happen next”

    You can order my book or read accounts of the book. The book is a short read of only 33 pages. You will enjoy it and I feel the contents should be put into practice. Our world would be 100% better off if the contents were (put into practice).

    Obama is dropping the ball. The old movie THE UNTOUCHABLES where Sean Connery says “They kill one of ours…we kill ten of theirs” (you get the message) is essentially what my book says in different words. It has been called “An Important Piece of Journalism” by several reknown literary critics. Please Check it out…Thanks


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