Editor’s Note: the following is a recent update on the continuing story of Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian citizen imprisoned by his government for converting to Christianity.
Today is Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s son’s birthday. While he didn’t get the present he really wanted, his father’s freedom, he did receive a very special gift. Pastor Youcef’s son was able to visit his father in prison.
This was not only a birthday present for his son, but serves as an early birthday present for Pastor Youcef, who will celebrate his 35th birthday and the two-and a half year mark of his imprisonment next week. Over the course of Pastor Youcef’s illegal imprisonment in Iran, he has only been permitted to see his children a handful of times.
Not only does this mean that Pastor Youcef is still alive, but it is a precious reminder of what we are fighting for – freedom for a loving father, a devoted husband, a caring pastor, and a devout follower of Christ.
The information from our sources in Iran that Pastor Youcef is still alive should also put to rest any lingering rumors of his execution. Last week, we told you about a number of false rumors circulating the Internet that Pastor Youcef had been executed. That post was very successful in stomping out the false rumors, and Snopes (a website dedicated to debunking internet rumors) used the ACLJ’s information to expose these false rumors.
The Tweet for Youcef campaign continues to grow, now reaching more than 1.4 million Twitter accounts each day. Pastor Youcef’s story has now reach 206 countries and territories around the world, including over 91 percent of the United Nations member states.
Our Tweet for Youcef program in Portuguese continues to grow in Brazil, as that nation engages Iran diplomatically for Pastor Youcef’s release. We have even seen people in Iran tweeting about Pastor Youcef, and a number of Iranians have signed our petition for his freedom.
As Pastor Youcef’s birthday approaches, please continue to pray, share his story on Facebook, and Tweet for Youcef.