Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was arrested again by Iranian authorities on Christmas Day and forced back into Lakan Prison allegedly to complete his earlier sentence. Originally, Pastor Youcef was sentenced to death by hanging because he had embraced Christianity and protested an Iranian law that would force Islam on his children. After voices around the world shone light on Iran’s mistreatment of Pastor Youcef and called for his release, an Iranian court acquitted him of blasphemy but still sentenced him to three years in prison for evangelizing Muslims. Having already been in prison almost three years, he was released. Iranian authorities have now ruled that he must complete the final days of his sentence and conspicuously chose one of the holiest days on the Christian calendar to re-arrest him.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations
Published: January 4, 2013