Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, a house church leader from the Church of Iran denomination who was acquitted of apostasy in 2012 after being sentenced to death by hanging, was arrested once again, this time along with his wife and a church member, by Iranian authorities on Friday, according to U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
"We are deeply concerned by these developments and await further clarification regarding the reasons for these arrests," CSW's Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, referring to the arrest of the 37-year-old pastor, his wife Tina Pasandide Nadarkhani and fellow church member Yasser Mosayebzadeh.
Pastor Nadarkhani was released from prison in September 2013 following his acquittal of leaving Islam by a court in Rasht in northern Gilan Province. The court, however, sentenced him to three years for evangelizing Muslims, but since he had been in jail for three years, he was released after posting bail.
He was re-arrested on the Christmas Day 2013 on the orders of prison authorities, and released a few days later on Jan. 7, 2014.
The pastor was initially arrested in October 2009 from Rasht for allegedly protesting Islamic instruction in schools for his children, and after he sought to register his church. He was convicted of apostasy in November 2010 and was sentenced to death by hanging. However, the Supreme Court of Iran asked for the retrial of his case by a lower court in Rasht.