Pray for Nasir!

Photo of an Austrian landscape with a rural small community
Reaching Austria
January 10, 2020
An Indian church service.
Training Pastors in India and Nepal
February 10, 2020
A man praying with the sunrise

Christian leader, Nasir, has one last chance to stay in Austria.

For the last four years Nasir* has been a regular attender in our church and for the last year he has led a weekly Bible study for new believers. He is a wonderful example to everyone in the church.

We were shocked when Nasir was denied asylum last year. Iranian converts to Christianity are in danger in their home country. They cannot return and therefore are eligible for asylum under the Geneva Convention. The court did not deny that Christians are in danger, they however found that Nasir is not a Christian. We could not agree with the decision at all and appealed all the way to the Constitution Court of Austria, the equivalent to the Supreme Court. We were encouraged when the court accepted the case to their docket. Unfortunately, the court decided against Nasir.

Nasir has one last chance to remain in Austria. He has filed a second application based on political activities. Nasir had not been active in politics in Iran or for most of his time abroad, but as protesters gathered across Iran to stand against the government, he felt he needed to join them. He attended several protests in Vienna. Later it was estimated by Reuters News that up to 1500 protesters in Iran were killed by government forces. Nasir has requested that these circumstances also be considered before he is deported to Iran.

Tomorrow, Nasir will have a hearing to determine if he is allowed to make a new asylum application. He will have to show that this is a new situation, that he could not have presented this situation at the time of his former hearing, and that it is a relevant asylum claim. If he can show these points, he will be allowed to remain in Austria until the courts can decide on this case. Please pray with us that the officials will listen with an open mind and that Nasir will be allowed to stay.

Nasir has been in a refugee center for the last several days, and he is not allowed to go home or to go to our church, as it is more than 12.5 miles from the center. But he is positive and has peace. He told me, "I have a lot of time here to read my Bible."

*Names have been changed for security reasons.