Iran: Imprisoned pastor is granted 5-day home leave

Thursday, April 14, 2022

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - A pastor in Iran who is serving a six-year prison sentence for ‘acting against national security by ‘promoting Zionist Christianity,’ has been granted a five-day furlough to be with his family, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports. Yousef Nadarkhani was released from Evin prison on 13 April, for reasons that are not clear.

Nadarkhani was arrested in May 2016, following a number of raids by Iranian authorities on Christian homes in Rasht, CSW said. He was released on bail in 2017 rearrested, together with other Christians in raids carried out between 22-25 July 2018.

In a published opinion the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention attested that Nadarkhani’s imprisonment is arbitrary, CSW.

Concerning the pastor’s furlough, CSW Founder President Mervyn Thomas said in a statement: “CSW welcomes news of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani’s temporary release, and we urge the Iranian authorities to go one step further and release this innocent man so that he can enjoy his freedom without fear of harassment or re-arrest. We also continue to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those detained on account of their religion or belief or in relation to the defence of human rights.”

The Islamic Republic of Iran ranks 9th on the US Open Doors Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted. The Islamic regime considers Christianity to be a threat to its authority and power and subsequently works to suppress it.