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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 10/20/2010
IRAN
Iranian Protestant pastor, held in prison for months, risks death penalty for apostasy
Youcef Nadarkhani's wife was released a few days ago after four months of detention. The arrest comes as evangelical Christians complain of increased pressure against them, an unprecedented persecution since the advent of the ayatollahs' regime.

Teheran (AsiaNews) - The pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was charged with "apostasy" last month from the 11th Chamber of the Assizes Court of the province of Gilan, northern Iran. His lawyer is going to appeal after finding "serious procedural errors." Nadarkhani was arrested for having questioned Islamic education in schools. "We are a Christian family – he is reported to have said - I want my children to receive a Christian religious education, not Islamic. "

Fatemeh Passandideh, the wife of a famous Iranian Protestant clergyman, was released a few days ago after four months in prison, but her husband is still in jail, and could face a death sentence for apostasy, reports the "Church of Iran”.

The Christian community of the imprisoned pastor has expressed concern about the outcome of the couple’s trial, parents of two young children. The case exploded amid reports of increasing pressure by the authorities towards the "Church of Iran," an umbrella movement of several "underground" Protestant churches in a strict Islamic nation. The "Church of Iran” says it is being subjected to an unprecedented campaign of persecution since the advent of the revolution of 1979. Several members of the movement were arrested in October last year, including the pastor Behrouz Khandjani, who is still in isolation in the "wing 100" in Shiraz. "

"Elam Ministries" a Protestant group specializing in mission to Muslims says it is aware of the case of a young Iranian convert killed a few weeks ago by a relative because of his conversion, leaving a wife and two children. "Middle East Concern, a group of human rights activists said that at least three of the fifteen Christians arrested in July in Mashhad are still in prison, and "under pressure to renounce their faith, but refuse to do so". "Middle East Concern" also refers to the Iranian TV news that nine converts were arrested in Hamedan on charges of proselytism, which potentially carries the risk of a death sentence. "Elam Ministries” claims that in 1979 there were fewer than 500 Christians coming from Islam. "Today the most conservative estimates speak of at least one hundred thousand believers in the country."


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See also
07/06/2011 IRAN
Mystery shrouds fate of Iranian pastor sentenced to death for apostasy
09/08/2012 IRAN
Iranian Protestant pastor, sentenced to death for apostasy, is released
07/21/2011 IRAN
Tehran suspends, but does not revoke pastor’s death sentence for converting
10/01/2011 IRAN
Iranian pastor sentenced to death for "crimes against national security"
03/09/2010 IRAN
Isfahan: Protestant clergyman tortured for “converting Muslims”

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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