By Michael Ireland
Special Reporter, ASSIST News Service
LONDON, UK (ANS) -- An Iranian pastor who was convicted of apostasy has expressed his thankfulness to those who prayed for him while in prison.
Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was a special guest speaker at For Such a Time as This, Christian Solidarity Worldwide's National Conference in London on November 10, where he thanked those who had prayed and petitioned on his behalf during his incarceration in Iran for almost three years.
"It is the opportunity for me to share about what the Lord did for me and to thank you because you supported me by your prayers, you supported my family in a very difficult time," he said, according to a media release from the organization obtained by ANS.
Nadarkhani added: "My prayer is I ask the Lord to bless you for what you did for me as a small member of the body of Christ. Today my presence here is the will of God and the result of what your prayers did for me."
Pastor Nadarkhani also spoke at four services at Holy Trinity Brompton on November 11, and will shortly be returning to his family in Rasht, Iran.
CSW explained Pastor Nadarkhani was sentenced to death for apostasy in 2010 but released on September 8, 2012 after a court appearance in which he was acquitted of apostasy but found guilty of evangelizing Muslims. Although he was sentenced to three years imprisonment, he was released as he was deemed to have already served his time.
CSW's Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: "It was a pleasure to welcome Pastor Nadarkhani to our conference and to hear his testimony of faith and perseverance, and of his love for God, for his family and for his nation. His quiet courage, integrity and lack of recrimination cannot fail to have inspired anyone who heard him to deepen their own commitment to their faith."
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organization working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.