Have you heard about Yousef Nadarkhani? He’s a Christian pastor in Iran who is facing state-approved murder for the “crime” of apostasy.
Apostasy is turning away from a belief, either to another faith or to atheism. It’s a crime punishable by death in some (all?) countries with Islamic legal systems. In civilized places, it’s a free choice people exercise daily.
As it happens, Yousef Nadarkhani isn’t even an apostate. He never was a Muslim. But Iran set its barbarism knob to “11” back in 1979. Their so-called judges say, that’s okay, because Nadarkhani is of Muslim ancestry. Even though he never was a Muslim, some of his ancestors were, and his “apostasy” consists of turning away from the faith of his ancestors. (Seems to me there was a fellow in Mecca in the 600’s who did that, PBUH.)
What can be done now? First, we can pray for Nadarkhani and his congregation. Pray for all Christians suffering under the heels of repressive governments, and pray that their oppressors develop a conscience.
Second, we can publicize his case. Jesus said “All who do evil hate the light” (John 3:20). The Iranian clerics judging Nadarkhani think they can perpetrate this evil in the dark, with nobody seeing. They’re wrong.