Iranian Christian may be executed this weekend

Youcef Nadarkhani, sentenced to death for converting from Islam to Christianity in Iran, has once again refused to deny Christ, and so he may be hanged as early as today.

Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who is facing the death penalty, again refused to convert to Islam to save his life.

Nadarkhani was arrested in 2009 for the crime of apostasy because he allegedly abandoned Islam for Christianity. As a pastor, Iranian clerics believe that Nadarkhani was preaching in order to convert Muslims.

Before his last hearing Wednesday, Nadarkhani had been given three previous chances to repent, and all three times he has refused. After his final refusal Wednesday, no verdict has been announced, but many expect that he could be put to death as soon as Friday.

via Iranian Pastor Sentenced to Death: Nadarkhani Refuses to Convert – International Business Times.

 

Youcef Nadarkhani

Read his letter to his flock.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    If The Guardian or the New York Times don’t think it’s important, it’s not news.

  • SKPeterson

    If The Guardian or the New York Times don’t think it’s important, it’s not news.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    God be with him and his flock, and may all of us have that kind of Spirit-empowered resolve should we ever face martyrdom!

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    God be with him and his flock, and may all of us have that kind of Spirit-empowered resolve should we ever face martyrdom!

  • thirddayfreak

    Amen, J. Dean! Heaven is a better place than this earth. None the less, I’m praying for his protection.

  • thirddayfreak

    Amen, J. Dean! Heaven is a better place than this earth. None the less, I’m praying for his protection.

  • Helen F
  • Helen F
  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SK (@1), while it’s true (and lamentable) that the New York Times does not appeared to have covered this story whatsoever, The Guardian did at least write an editorial condemning Iran’s actions.

    In contrast, the Washington Post appears to have covered the story quite a bit. Couldn’t tell you why that difference exists.

    I am praying for him and his family, that God would continue to work good through men’s evil.

    That said, I was a little saddened by the pastor’s letter. It focused an awful lot on man’s actions, with not too much mention of what God has done for us through Jesus.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SK (@1), while it’s true (and lamentable) that the New York Times does not appeared to have covered this story whatsoever, The Guardian did at least write an editorial condemning Iran’s actions.

    In contrast, the Washington Post appears to have covered the story quite a bit. Couldn’t tell you why that difference exists.

    I am praying for him and his family, that God would continue to work good through men’s evil.

    That said, I was a little saddened by the pastor’s letter. It focused an awful lot on man’s actions, with not too much mention of what God has done for us through Jesus.

  • Abby

    “The message of THE CROSS is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved IT IS THE POWER OF GOD.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

    God’s ways are truly upside-down. If God were to ask me to, I hope and pray I will die for His Name.

  • Abby

    “The message of THE CROSS is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved IT IS THE POWER OF GOD.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

    God’s ways are truly upside-down. If God were to ask me to, I hope and pray I will die for His Name.

  • SKPeterson

    Good find on the opinion column, Todd. I did a search on the Guardian’s site and nothing came up (I used ‘Iran’ and ‘christian’ as the search terms), and I didn’t see the opinion columns; they did have plenty about Iranian homosexuals though. WaPo has been good – which leaves me stumped on the NYT. This would be a great story on religious oppression and it would be good to clarify the state of religious affairs in the country without falling into the convenient “Iran is bad, here’s the proof” trope. Christians, Sunni’s, Bahai’s, Jews and Zoroastrians have all faced persecution in Iran.

    I would have thought the “paper of record” might have bothered.

  • SKPeterson

    Good find on the opinion column, Todd. I did a search on the Guardian’s site and nothing came up (I used ‘Iran’ and ‘christian’ as the search terms), and I didn’t see the opinion columns; they did have plenty about Iranian homosexuals though. WaPo has been good – which leaves me stumped on the NYT. This would be a great story on religious oppression and it would be good to clarify the state of religious affairs in the country without falling into the convenient “Iran is bad, here’s the proof” trope. Christians, Sunni’s, Bahai’s, Jews and Zoroastrians have all faced persecution in Iran.

    I would have thought the “paper of record” might have bothered.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    muslims are “out-raged ” all of the time-

    isn’t it time for Christians to be ‘out-raged’ that our brothers and sisters are being murdered by the “religion of peace”

    Car0l-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    muslims are “out-raged ” all of the time-

    isn’t it time for Christians to be ‘out-raged’ that our brothers and sisters are being murdered by the “religion of peace”

    Car0l-CS

  • Sloaneranger

    How interesting that Obama was a Muslim who we are told is now a Christian and yet the Islamists have not gone after him.
    Hmmmmm? Very, very strange!

  • Sloaneranger

    How interesting that Obama was a Muslim who we are told is now a Christian and yet the Islamists have not gone after him.
    Hmmmmm? Very, very strange!

  • helen

    Christians are getting killed by the churchful in Indonesia, India, and several countries in Africa.
    I doubt the media are as interested in one more about to be dead Christian as they are in finding one more excuse to hammer Iran (our next war site, if we don’t come to our senses).

    If we are so concerned about Christians, why not a little outrage for those in Iraq? Or Israel?

  • helen

    Christians are getting killed by the churchful in Indonesia, India, and several countries in Africa.
    I doubt the media are as interested in one more about to be dead Christian as they are in finding one more excuse to hammer Iran (our next war site, if we don’t come to our senses).

    If we are so concerned about Christians, why not a little outrage for those in Iraq? Or Israel?

  • helen

    My list of countries is not exhaustive!

  • helen

    My list of countries is not exhaustive!

  • Abby
  • Abby
  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Sloaneranger (@9), I’m sorry, do you honestly believe that “Obama was a Muslim”, or are you just getting a really good WiFi signal under that rock?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Sloaneranger (@9), I’m sorry, do you honestly believe that “Obama was a Muslim”, or are you just getting a really good WiFi signal under that rock?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Helen (@10), there are qualities that distinguish this particular instance of a Christian being killed in a foreign country from the others you allude to. Nadarkhani is (apparently) being targeted solely for his faith, but perhaps most importantly, he is being targeted by Iran’s judicial system, not by a roving mob. I could be wrong, but I believe that makes his case somewhat unique, at least in recent history. (Feel free to point out other such examples, if you know of any.)

    Also, for what it’s worth (likely not much at all), Iran is now claiming that Pastor Nadarkhani is being tried on charges of rape and extortion, not apostasy. But the article goes on to note that:

    In a translated Iranian Supreme Court brief from 2010, however, the charge of apostasy is the only charge leveled against Nadarkhani.

    So this would seem to be a pathetic last-minute attempt by Iran to justify their actions. Of course, the whole thing was already a pathetic perversion of justice because Nadarkhani apparently was never a Muslim to begin with, and thus could not have committed apostasy. However, he is being held accountable for the faith of his ancestors. Not that any of that would justify his being executed for his beliefs, but it does make it all the more lamentable.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Helen (@10), there are qualities that distinguish this particular instance of a Christian being killed in a foreign country from the others you allude to. Nadarkhani is (apparently) being targeted solely for his faith, but perhaps most importantly, he is being targeted by Iran’s judicial system, not by a roving mob. I could be wrong, but I believe that makes his case somewhat unique, at least in recent history. (Feel free to point out other such examples, if you know of any.)

    Also, for what it’s worth (likely not much at all), Iran is now claiming that Pastor Nadarkhani is being tried on charges of rape and extortion, not apostasy. But the article goes on to note that:

    In a translated Iranian Supreme Court brief from 2010, however, the charge of apostasy is the only charge leveled against Nadarkhani.

    So this would seem to be a pathetic last-minute attempt by Iran to justify their actions. Of course, the whole thing was already a pathetic perversion of justice because Nadarkhani apparently was never a Muslim to begin with, and thus could not have committed apostasy. However, he is being held accountable for the faith of his ancestors. Not that any of that would justify his being executed for his beliefs, but it does make it all the more lamentable.

  • helen

    All the many others, where the local authorities refuse to prosecute “the roving mobs” are as dead (or more so, since enough noise may get this one expelled from the country instead).

    But one of my Pastoral friends would say, “Heaven’s better!” And he is right, of course.

  • helen

    All the many others, where the local authorities refuse to prosecute “the roving mobs” are as dead (or more so, since enough noise may get this one expelled from the country instead).

    But one of my Pastoral friends would say, “Heaven’s better!” And he is right, of course.

  • Abby
  • Abby

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