Outline Social media driven protest message claims that Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been executed in Iran and asks why church and government authorities have not raised an international outcry about the pastor's death.
At the time of writing, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has not yet been executed. The image supposedly depicting the pastor about to be hanged has been in circulation since at least April 2011 and has no connection with him. A death order was issued for Youcef Nadarkhani in February 2012, but has not yet been carried out. The continued circulation of this false rumour may have a negative impact on efforts to procure his release.
Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been executed in Iran. He is the pastor who has been imprisoned and found guilty by the courts in Iran of being a Christian. Now he’s been executed in spite of international appeals to spare his life. He was hanged today. Where is the outcry from the White House over the murder of this innocent Christian minister? Where is the outcry from the church in America and around the world? The silence is deafening!
According to this rapidly spreading protest message, Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been executed in Iran. The message features a photograph supposedly depicting the pastor on the gallows and about to be hanged. The message decries the perceived lack of action or protest about the execution from US government and church entities.
However, at the time of writing, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has NOT been executed. The claims in the protest message are false. The photograph included in the message does not depict Youcef Nadarkhani. In fact, the same photograph has been in circulation on the Internet in a different context since at least April, 2011 and has no connection with his case. A March 27 Christian Post article notes:
Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is still alive and recent reports of his execution are false, according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which was able to confirm on March 26 that the imprisoned evangelical minister's death sentence for apostasy has not been carried out.
Many followers of Nadarkhani's case grew alarmed after a purported image of the pastor was in wide circulation on the Internet. The image shows the Iranian pastor blindfolded, standing on gallows next to a noose while two armed guards stand behind him
This denial of the execution rumour has been confirmed by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which notes:
The ACLJ has received confirmation that Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is alive in Iran as of today, March 26, 2012.
New false reports about Pastor Youcef’s execution continue to surface – whether these reports originate from a misinformation campaign initiated by the Iranian regime or just uninformed sources is unknown.
It is certainly true that Pastor Youcef has been condemned to death for apostasy and reliable sources have indicated that his execution may have now been ordered. But, despite the claims in the message, both governments and church groups around the world have been actively campaigning for the pastor's release for many months.
Supporters of Pastor Youcef are concerned that the circulating of such false rumours may have a detrimental effect on their efforts to procure his release. If you receive this false rumour, please do not share or repost it. And please let the original poster know that the claims in the message are untrue.