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Posts Tagged ‘yousef nadarkhani’

Youcef Nadarkhani – trial date

July 9th, 2012 No comments

Iran has set a trial date for Youcef Nadarkhani, the Christian pastor I’ve written about previously here. He has spent more than a thousand days in prison on bogus charges of apostasy. Apostasy is, amazingly, a victimless crime subject to capital punishment. But that’s beside the point, because he’s not guilty. Imagine withstanding three years in an Iranian prison, and never caving in and signing a confession or recanting his faith. Keep praying for Youcef.

Youcef Nadarkhani Update

May 4th, 2012 No comments

I’ve written before about Youcef Nadarkhani, the Iranian Christian whose life is in jeopardy because of a (apparently fictitious) charge of apostasy. In Iran, it is a capital crime for a Muslim to have a change of heart about their faith. (Really!) Which in any event is not the case with Nadarkhani, who was never a Muslim.

Anyway, Nadarkhani is still in prison, with an execution order hanging over him. But now his lawyer is being persecuted as well. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, the lawyer, who has represented several dissidents, has been sentenced to nine years in jail:

“I have been convicted of acting against the national security, spreading propaganda against the regime and keeping banned books at home,” Dadkhah told the Guardian from Tehran.

The next time someone tells how bad Christians were during the Crusades or Inquisition, fine. Tell them you’re sorry. Then ask them how they feel about religions that are still doing those things today.

Yousef Nadarkhani update – keep praying

October 1st, 2011 No comments

The pressure is getting to Iran’s clerics, so they’ve started lying about what they’re doing:

“His crime is not, as some claim, converting others to Christianity,” said Gholomali Rezvani, deputy governor of Iran’s Gilan province, where the persecuted pastor was sentenced to death by hanging. “He is guilty of security-related crimes.”

Those crimes, claimed Rezvani, in remarks reported by Fars news agency (the Iranian government’s unofficial mouthpiece), include rape and extortion. “No one is executed in Iran for their choice of religion,” he insisted.

The Iranian provincial governor’s explanation of Pastor Nadarkhani’s death sentence does not square with court records of the trial, conviction and appeal of the leader of 400 Christian house churches – whom Rezvani disparagingly described as a “Zionist” criminal.

“Does not square” is a very mild way of stating the obvious: the provincial governor is lying. What a great political system they have there, that the governor has no compunctions about lying in describing the charges against someone.

The clerics may yet kill Pastor Nadarkhani, but the fact that they’vee changing their stories, and are now providing a different rationale is a sign that the pressure is getting to them. Remember what Jesus said: all that do evil hate the light (John 3:20).

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Pray for Yousef Nadarkhani

September 30th, 2011 No comments

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.

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