Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was just released in Iran.
A leader in Pastor Youcef’s church has confirmed to the ACLJ that Iranian authorities released Pastor Youcef from prison shortly after 1:30 p.m. near Rasht, Iran.
He had been re-arrested on Christmas Day in Iran, the first Christmas he would have been able to spend with his wife and two young sons after his nearly three-year imprisonment for his Christian faith.
After initially spending 1,062 days behind bars under a death sentence for apostasy (becoming a Christian), he has now been forced to spend an additional 14 days in prison because of his faith even after his apostasy conviction was absolved.
The ACLJ welcomes his release from this unjust and illegal imprisonment. Iran must not be allowed to persecute individuals because of their faith.
Pastor Youcef has become the face of persecution around the world, and his re-arrest on Christmas Day shows Iran’s intent to make an example of Pastor Youcef to intimidate people of minority faiths.
While Pastor Youcef is now once again free, American Pastor Saeed Abedini remains imprisoned for his faith in one of Iran’s most notoriously brutal and abusive prisons.
Pastor Youcef’s release is a direct result of people across the world standing up and demanding his freedom. Iran is watching and responds to immense international pressure.
We must continue to demand that Iran stop abusing and persecuting Christians and those willing to defend human rights.
As we received more details of Pastor Youcef’s release, we will keep you informed.