Tuesday, November 08, 2011



www.mohabat news.com


In this article you'll read an interview with Abbas Salmanpour, one of the attorneys of Yousef Nadarkhani, conducted by Mohabat News in which he describes Nadarkhani's current situation.

It's now about two years since Yousef Nadarkhani, one of the non-Trinitarian Christians, was arrested. His case has followed a very uneven way up to the present. First he was charged with apostasy and sentenced to death. The leaders of many different countries expressed their objections to this ruling. As a result of the international pressures, the Islamic regime of Iran stepped back from its initial position, annulled his death sentence and sent his case back to the local court in Gilan province for further investigation.

After sending the case back to the local court, the news media supported by the regime, accused Nadarkhani of some different crimes. Also the governor of Gilan said in a speech that Nadarkhani's crime was not apostasy but he had been jailed for several rapes and establishing brothels.

These things are being said now, although a record of Nadarkhani's apostasy verdict issued by the court in Gilan, was published over the internet some months ago. The complex and lengthy process of this case is a puzzle designed by Iran's judicial authorities, which they now appear unable to solve.

It's also said that the referral of Nadarkhani's case to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, has made the resolution of the case more complex. What seems obvious is that a political decision is being developed in which the judicial authorities and Iranian political leaders may share responsibility.

A reporter from the Iranian Christian News Agency, Mohabat News, interviewed one of the attorneys of Yousef Nadarkhani by telephone and asked him about the latest developments on Nadarkhani's case.

You can hear the interview here (In Farsi) :

-Please inform us about the status of Nadarkhani's case at the moment?

- I should say that the case must be referred to the high court again.

- You mean the case will be sent back to the high court?

-Look, if the local court announces the second verdict and if we appeal, the case would be sent to the high court.

- How is Nadarkhani's situation in the prison right now? Is he allowed to visit and/or call his family?

Yes, as far as I know he has no problem in this regard. I mean, I asked him about this and fortunately he is in a good situation in prison. He is not under pressure or other such problems. The related branch of the court allows his family to visit him as much as possible. Fortunately there is no problem in this matter.

- Five of the Marja-e-Taghlids (literally meaning a source of guidance and reference) rejected the accusation of apostasy against Nadarkhani and now his case has been referred to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei. If he confirms the apostasy verdict for Nadarkhani, what would happen to his case?

The disagreement between lawyers and judges in this case is whether Nadarkhani meets the conditions to be called an apostate or not. The Marja-e-Taghlids do not reject an apostasy accusation in principle. Generally, they support such kind of accusation. But the discussion is whether Nadarkhani's activities would make him an apostate or not. If according to the facts of his case they recognize him as an apostate then according to the Islamic principles the apostasy penalty would be announced for him. And if not, he would not be treated as an apostate. The major problem is about this issue.
As you asked about the referral of his case to the office of the Supreme Leader, according to our leadership system, if the Supreme Leader decides on something, basically that decision should be implemented.

- Would the decision of the leader have more credibility than the other five Marja-e-Taghlid?

Since he is the Supreme Leader, according to the constitution, he is in a higher position than the other five. The Marja-e-Taghlids would make their comments but the Supreme Leader has the right to issue a final verdict. Such verdicts are binding. I think and I'm quite sure that the judges would implement this final verdict.

- It is said that in a trip to the province of Gilan, Mr. Eje'ei has rebuked the judges for sending the Nadarkhani case to the office of the Supreme Leader. Is this true?

I'm not sure about the accuracy of what you say here and so I can't comment on it. I can just add a point to your words and it is that if there were any rebukes, which I don't think there were, surely it would not take place in a way that everyone would know about it. I mean to say that this is most probably just a rumor.

-During recent months or even years, a large number of Christians were arrested and imprisoned by the security authorities. Even now some Christian converts are being held in prison. In your opinion, why has the accusation of apostasy only been mentioned in Nadarkhani's case?

What has made this case more sensitive is that it's believed that Nadarkhani has undertaken some actions to spread his beliefs. I mean the accusations that are mentioned in his indictment are of forming a house church and of spreading Christian beliefs to others. It is also claimed that he had been a Muslim and later converted to Christianity. These issues have made the case a bit more sensitive.

Of course my colleagues and I don't believe this. I believe that he won't be convicted of being an apostate. The very fact of being a Christian has not made the Nadarkhani case sensitive. He is not being convicted because of being a Christian. It's not like that. As far as we know, our Christian friends and neighbors continue living in peace and are free to practice their faith inside their churches. The accusations pointed towards Nadarkhani are of gathering in a house church, preaching Christianity to Muslims and deceiving them to leave their Islamic beliefs.

However, we are trying to prove the opposite and to prove that he has not done that. And even if any preaching was done among his fellow Christians, it cannot be seen as preaching against Islam. There is also a disagreement about this among the lawyers and judges. We hope that all these disagreements will come to an end and be resolved in some way. I also hope that with the tact of the judges in this case, they will conclude it in good order so that he can go back to his family and this case will finally come to an end.


Sunday, November 06, 2011

Bible Gospel of John in Farsi


To your research:


Brother Joao Cruzue/Brazil: cruzue@gmail.com


Iranians are thirsty for Jesus Christ


Mohabat News

An interview is conducted in this regard with Mr. Shahram Nikoo, an Iranian Christian and the spokesman and manager of the Iranian Church in Europe.

Q- Do you have any evidence to show that the acceptance of Christianity is growing in Iran?

Yes, the wave of acceptance of Christianity in Iran is increasing on a daily basis. We know this from Christian television networks which are being broadcast through satellite signals and also the feedback people give from inside Iran regarding these programs. It's also obvious from the view rates on our websites. All these factors show that many people in Iran are interested in committing their lives to Jesus Christ.

Q- How do you evangelize these groups of people? Do you do it freely or in a secret way?

We do nothing in secret and everything is completely open. All evangelical television programs are accessible through satellite channels and/or internet. Praise the Lord that today we are living in a world which gives us the opportunity to communicate with people around us. Of course the people themselves are eager to discover the gospel and study it. Some other people also come to the faith through dreams and visions.

Q- Is the internet the only way to support the people who want to know about Christianity or are there also books and other literature available for this purpose?

No, there are no Christian books or literature available in Iran. The only resources available to the people who want to know about Christianity are the internet and satellite television.

Q- Are the websites active in this field being subjected to filtering?

Of course they are being blocked. but there are also ways to overcome the filtering.

Q-Geographically, are there any areas in Iran in which more people convert to Christianity?

There are more people coming to Christ from the religious cities like Qom and Mashhad in comparison to other cities.

Q- Are the people who believe in Christ only from the Shi'ite Muslim background or are there people from other backgrounds as well?

At this time there are people from various religious backgrounds who have converted to Christianity including Baha'is, Sunni Muslims, Zoroastrians and so on.

Q-It's being said that the security authorities of Iran have undertaken contradictory behaviors towards Christians who have been arrested. In a statement recently published by some Human Rights organizations it's explained that when they arrest someone, one of the first things they do is to make a false financial or moral allegation against the arrested person and then tell the individual that if you repent and return to Islam then all your crimes will be pardoned. Please speak about the treatment of arrested Christians at the time of their arrest.

I'm not living inside and I've never faced this issue closely but the reports that I have heard confirm your words. Unfortunately, inappropriate behaviors are being used against Iranian Christians, especially those who have an Islamic background. It's really surprising that the Islamic Republic is pressuring Christian converts to this extent. These people really have nothing to do with politics and they're not trying to change the regime. These people have just changed into different and better people. It's so puzzling why a regime is trying to persecute its own people rather than encouraging them.

We have people who were addicted to drugs before they believed in Jesus and now that they've accepted him as their Savior, their lives have been totally changed. Now they are sharing their faith with other addicts around them and encouraging them to give up drugs. There were situations in which couples were losing their family life and after believing in Jesus they were both living happily together and had started a new life in their Lord.

What's the problem if people who had a ruined life change their lives and share this better life with others?

Q-Generally, what are the main problems that Christian prisoners face after their release?

During the past seven or eight years I've met with some Christians who had been jailed for their faith. The main problem they had was with their landlords. When the landlords realized that they were arrested for being Christians he/she would force them to vacate their house. Also, in their workplace they faced problems with their employers who fired them from their job because of being jailed for their faith. Actually, the Christian prisoners in Iran lose their right to have a house or a job and as a result they have a really difficult life. The attitude of society toward them would change and they'd be considered as criminals among their community.

Q- Do you mean that people reject them or is this from the authorities?
People reject these Christians as a result of fear of the authorities. It's kind of an indirect pressure from the authorities.

Q-What kind of sentences do the judicial authorities issue for Christian prisoners? What is their crime?

Mostly, Christians who are arrested get released after signing a commitment to not evangelize and paying a prescribed amount of bail. But I've heard that these people are subjected to various other pressures for converting to Christianity.