Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was the spiritual leader of a 400-member Christian congregation, and a network of Christian house churches in the city of Rasht in northwestern Iran.
But in October 2009, Pastor Nadarkhani was arrested for changing his religion, evangelising Muslims, and a number of moral offences that have since been dismissed. His punishment was recently upgraded to a death sentence, and reports indicate that an execution order has been issued and he could be executed at any time.
Wherever the fundamental human rights to freedom of religion and freedom of conscience are denied, responsible citizens have a duty to speak for justice and take appropriate action to defend these basic rights.
The Australian Government must continue to express its opposition to the execution order, and Christians need to pray for Pastor Nadarkhani, and take responsible action themselves to demand that the Iranian Government reverse the execution order and order his immediate release.
Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 11 Mar 2012.