Behnam Irani, an imprisoned Iranian pastor charged with apostasy (conversion to Christianity from Islam) is suffering from severe health problems and is being denied medical care, BosNewsLife reports. While the penalty for apostasy can warrant the death sentence under Iranian law, Pastor Irani may die before a court verdict is issued unless immediate medical treatment is given. Please keep Pastor Irani in your prayers. Pastor Irani is only one among tens of Christians currently jailed in Iran for their faith, including Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who is currently on death row for his conversion to Christianity.
By Stefan J. Bos
8/26/2012 Iran (BosNewsLife) – A jailed Iranian pastor, who may be executed for “apostasy”, already faces death as authorities continue to deny him medical care despite earlier promises, a church official and close friend told Bmay be BosNewsLife.
Pastor Behnam Irani was was still suffering behind bars Sunday, August 26, said Firouz Khandjani, a council member of the pastor’s ‘Church of Iran’, a growing evangelical house church movement.
“He was several times unconscious,” added Khandjani in an interview with BosNewsLife.
News of the worsening health situation came nearly a month after he was told that Iranian doctors wanted to remove part of his intestines.
“Pastor Behnam Irani has a blood infection and he might be sent to a hospital for surgery…[They] may remove part of his intestines, which are [the] source of infection,” said Khandjani at the time.
“However despite earlier promises nothing has been done,” he said.
Christians have linked his health troubles at least partly to reported mistreatment in the Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj city, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the
nation’s capital Tehran.
Iranian officials reportedly told the pastor he is “not going to leave the prison alive”.
He began serving a one-year prison term in 2011 for his Christian activities, but was later told it would be extended by a five-year, previously suspended, sentence for “crimes against national security,” his church and other sources said.
However Khandjani warned there is also “an implicit death penalty in the verdict” of the court.