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King James Bible for every school in England: Copies sent around the country to mark 400 years since it was published 

Bibles set to arrive at schools as early as next week

By SARAH HARRIS

Every state primary and secondary school in England is to receive a copy of the King James Bible.

Around 24,000 Bibles are being distributed to schools this week by the Department for Education to mark last year’s 400th anniversary of its publication.

Education Secretary Michael Gove, who describes the Bible as the most ‘important book written in the English language’, has insisted that every child should have the chance to appreciate its literary riches.

 
Schools across the UK will be receiving the King James to celebrate its 400 year anniversary Schools across the UK will be receiving the King James to celebrate its 400 year anniversary

The project has gone ahead thanks to £370,000 from charities and philanthropists after Mr Gove was forced to deny earlier this year that funding was a problem.

David Cameron reportedly told Mr Gove that, while he supported the idea, it should avoid using taxpayers’ money amid objections from non-religious groups.

 The project is backed by religious leaders across the faiths, academics, historians and cultural figures, including Lord Melvyn Bragg.

The first Bibles will arrive this week and all schools are expected to have them by the end of the month.

Mr Gove said yesterday: ‘The King James Bible has had a profound impact on our culture.

‘Every school pupil should have the opportunity to learn about  this book and the impact it has had on our history, language, literature and democracy.’

The third official translation of the Bible into English, also known as the Authorised Version, was commissioned by the Protestant King James I in 1604 and published in 1611.

It became the Church of England’s official version and was spread worldwide by the British Empire. It also brought phrases such as ‘salt of the earth’ and ‘land of Nod’ to the English language.

The Right Reverend John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford and chairman of the Church of England Board of Education, said: ‘This is a fitting way of marking the seminal contribution this version of the Bible has made to our culture.

‘It symbolically places the King James Bible at the heart of the educational process which it inspired.’

Maulana Shahid Raza, chairman of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board, said: ‘I hope it enables children of all faiths to discover the heritage and cultural legacy of their country and helps them to grow up in a peaceful, cohesive and tolerant society.’

Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor of the history of the Church at St Cross College, Oxford University, said the King James Bible ‘represents the culmination of a century of Biblical translation in the first golden age of modern English literature’.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2144983/King-James-Bible-school-England.html#ixzz1v4Bvb8ua

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IRAN: CSW sources confirm that Pastor Nadarkhani is still alive amidst false execution rumours 07/03/2012

 

Despite rumours circulating that Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was executed last weekend, sources inside Iran confirmed on Saturday that he was still alive. CSW continues to call for prayer and public action to spread the word about his case.

False rumours of execution

Disinformation and false rumours that Pastor Nadarkhani’s execution had already taken place began to circulate last weekend. CSW’s sources were able to verify on Saturday 3 March that he was receiving a visit from his wife at the time these rumours were spreading worldwide.

Why was Pastor Nadarkhani arrested and given the death sentence?

Pastor Nadarkhani was arrested in October 2009, soon after questioning the Muslim monopoly of religious instruction for children in Iran, which he felt was unconstitutional.

In September 2010, he was tried and found guilty of apostasy (abandoning Islam) and received verbal notification of a death sentence, despite the fact that death for apostasy is not codified in the Iranian Penal Code. The written verdict, which arrived in November 2010, confirmed the death sentence. An appeal was heard by the Supreme Court in June 2011, and verbal notification of a lifting of the death sentence was given.

However, the written verdict, which arrived in July, upheld the death sentence, but made provision for its removed if Pastor Nadarkhani recanted his faith. The Supreme Court also asked the court in Rasht to re-examine whether or not he had practised Islam as an adult prior to becoming a Christian. During the subsequent trial, the pastor was found guilty of apostasy due to his Muslim ancestry and given three opportunities to recant, but refused on each occasion.

Pastor Nadarkhani and his family have been waiting for a final verdict on his case since autumn 2011.

International statements condemning his sentence continued to pour in

Pastor Nadarkhani’s case has received widespread international coverage. In since autumn 2011, statements condemning the death sentence poured in from governments and institutions around the world. Renewed statements calling for his release have been made in the last two weeks amidst renewed fears of his imminent execution. CSW continues to lobby for his unconditional release.

Find out more at www.csw.org.uk/nadarkhani

 

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The Huffington Post | By

 

Youcef Nadarkhani 

 

An official from Iran has refuted claims of plans to execute imprisoned pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who has been imprisoned for almost three years on accusations of apostasy, a crime where one disaffiliates themselves from a religion.

The refutation came after human rights investigator Ahmed Shaheed delivered a report to the U.N., which, in addition to citing Iran’s “striking pattern of violations of fundamental human rights guaranteed under international law” and the country’s “maltreatment of prisoners, dissidents, minorities and women,” called for the release of Nadarkhani, FOX News reports.

Iran called Shaheed’s 36-page report, which first circulated last week, “false,” “fabricated,” “biased” and manipulated by “certain Western countries and their cronies on the council,” The New York Times reports.

Iran’s insistence that Nadarkhani will not be executed is only the latest development in an ongoing legal nightmare, during which a litany of additional accusations, including rape and extortion, have been made against the Christian pastor by the Iranian government.

In September of last year, the Iranian Supreme Court upheld Naderkhani’s initial conviction of apostasy after he allegedly refused to recant his Christian faith.

Then, in February, the American Center for Law and Justice received reports that Nadarkhani had been sentenced to death for the 2010 charges — a ruling the White House quickly condemned in a statement.

“This action is yet another shocking breach of Iran’s international obligations, its own constitution, and stated religious values,” the White House statement read. “The United States stands in solidarity with Pastor Nadarkhani, his family, and all those who seek to practice their religion without fear of persecution — a fundamental and universal human right.”

Leonard Leo, chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, told the Religion News Service last year that Iran’s court proceedings can’t be trusted.

“The court continues to demand that he recant his faith or otherwise be executed,” Leo told RNS. “The most recent court proceedings are not only a sham, but are contrary to Iranian law and international human rights standards.”

Despite the reported execution ruling last fall, Iranian envoy Mohammad Javad Larijani told the Human Rights Council that such punishment is not permitted in Iran.

“In the last 33 years after [the Islamic] revolution, no single person has been put to death or executed or pursued for changing his religion from Islam,” he told the council, according to FOX News. “Hundreds of people are changing from other religions to Islam. Why we should be so sensitive about a few people to change their religion from Islam?”

Photo courtesy of Youcef Nadarkhani’s Facebook page.

Youcef Nadarkhani, Imprisoned Pastor, Won’t Be Executed, Iran Claims

From the Huffington Post | By

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Iran: Pastor Nadarkhani speaks to wife as lawyers seek confirmation of execution order 24/02/2012

CSW’s contacts report that Pastor Nadarkhani was in contact with his wife this week, although his lawyers are still seeking written confirmation of a report that the order for his execution has been issued. CSW continues to call for urgent prayer and action on his behalf.

Pastor Nadarkhani’s lawyers still awaiting confirmation of execution order

CSW has learned that Pastor Nadarkhani spoke to his wife as recently as yesterday, although his lawyers and the Church of Iran leadership are still seeking clarification and written confirmation of a report that the order for execution has been issued.

Mr Sadegh Larijani, Head of the Iranian Judiciary could stop execution

The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has not made a decision on Pastor Nadarkhani’s death sentence for apostasy, despite two appeals for him to so from the lower court in Rasht, which originally heard Nadarkhani’s case. He and Mr Sadegh Larijani, the Head of the Iranian Judiciary, are the only people with the authority to stop the execution, but without their intervention the authorities are obliged to carry out the Supreme Court ruling, which stated that Pastor Nadarkhani could be executed if he did not recant.

Pastor Nadarkhani has been offered freedom in exchange for renouncing his faith on at least four occasions, but has consistently refused to do so.

CSW continues calls for Pastor Nadarkhani’s release

According to Iranian law, once the execution order is officially confirmed, Pastor Nadarkhani’s lawyers would have a final opportunity to stop the execution if notified in time. However, it is not uncommon for the Iranian authorities to execute a prisoner without notification. In 1990, Pastor Hossein Soodmand was executed without notification.

CSW’s Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston said, “In sentencing Pastor Nadarkhani to death for apostasy, Iran has so far flouted its own law and the principles of the international covenants to which it is signatory. We therefore have no confidence that the Iranian authorities will follow due process and notify his family and legal team if a decision to execute him has indeed been taken. We urge the international community to press the Iranian authorities for the release of Pastor Nadarkhani and to urge them to follow their own laws with regards to guaranteeing freedom of religion for Christians and other minorities in Iran.”

I want to…

Pray

Learning of the imminent threat of execution, CSW is mobilising worldwide prayer on behalf of Pastor Nadarkhani –you can join CSW’s facebook group in support of Pastor Nadarkhani and receive the latest prayer and action updates.

Download prayer resources

Protest

Your voice could help to save Pastor Nadarkhani’s life: Email Iran’s Chief Justice Mr Sadegh Larijani today!

Download CSW’s lobbying guide.

Provide

Make a donation to support CSW’s work in Iran and around the world.

Find out more

Visit the Iran country page

Latest news – Christian Solidarity Worldwide

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Ali Khamenei has been the supreme leader of Ir...

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Iran: Pastor Nadarkhani speaks to wife as lawyers seek confirmation of execution order 24/02/2012

 

CSW’s contacts report that Pastor Nadarkhani was in contact with his wife this week, although his lawyers are still seeking written confirmation of a report that the order for his execution has been issued. CSW continues to call for urgent prayer and action on his behalf.

Pastor Nadarkhani’s lawyers still awaiting confirmation of execution order

CSW has learned that Pastor Nadarkhani spoke to his wife as recently as yesterday, although his lawyers and the Church of Iran leadership are still seeking clarification and written confirmation of a report that the order for execution has been issued.

Mr Sadegh Larijani, Head of the Iranian Judiciary could stop execution

The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has not made a decision on Pastor Nadarkhani’s death sentence for apostasy, despite two appeals for him to so from the lower court in Rasht, which originally heard Nadarkhani’s case. He and Mr Sadegh Larijani, the Head of the Iranian Judiciary, are the only people with the authority to stop the execution, but without their intervention the authorities are obliged to carry out the Supreme Court ruling, which stated that Pastor Nadarkhani could be executed if he did not recant.

Pastor Nadarkhani has been offered freedom in exchange for renouncing his faith on at least four occasions, but has consistently refused to do so.

CSW continues calls for Pastor Nadarkhani’s release

According to Iranian law, once the execution order is officially confirmed, Pastor Nadarkhani’s lawyers would have a final opportunity to stop the execution if notified in time. However, it is not uncommon for the Iranian authorities to execute a prisoner without notification. In 1990, Pastor Hossein Soodmand was executed without notification.

CSW’s Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston said, “In sentencing Pastor Nadarkhani to death for apostasy, Iran has so far flouted its own law and the principles of the international covenants to which it is signatory. We therefore have no confidence that the Iranian authorities will follow due process and notify his family and legal team if a decision to execute him has indeed been taken. We urge the international community to press the Iranian authorities for the release of Pastor Nadarkhani and to urge them to follow their own laws with regards to guaranteeing freedom of religion for Christians and other minorities in Iran.”

I want to…

Pray

Learning of the imminent threat of execution, CSW is mobilising worldwide prayer on behalf of Pastor Nadarkhani –you can join CSW’s facebook group in support of Pastor Nadarkhani and receive the latest prayer and action updates.

Download prayer resources

Protest

Your voice could help to save Pastor Nadarkhani’s life: Email Iran’s Chief Justice Mr Sadegh Larijani today!

Download CSW’s lobbying guide.

Provide

Make a donation to support CSW’s work in Iran and around the world.

Find out more

Visit the Iran country page

Latest news – Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Read Full Post »

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