Execution of Iranian pastor on hold, for now

Iranian officials say that the execution of the Iranian pastor who has refused to recant his faith in Christ is not imminent.  But now that they are accusing him of other heinous crimes–ones never mentioned in his actual trial and that are not even consistent from spokesman to spokesman–makes me think that his life is still in serious jeopardy:

It appears that Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani will avoid the hangman in Iran for the time being.

Nadarkhani, once the leader of a 400-person congregation in Rasht, was previously convicted of apostasy — the crime of abandoning Islam and converting to Christianity — but Iran now claims that the death penalty reports that circulated around the world last week were unsubstantiated.

“Youssef Nadar-Khani [sic] has been charged with a crime and is in a prison based on an arrest warrant issued against him,” Gilan Province Judiciary Chief Mohammad-Javad Heshmati said on Wednesday, according to Iran state news agency Press TV.

“There has been no execution order. No conviction at all has been issued yet and it is up to the court to finally decide the verdict after studying his case,” he added.

Since news of Nadarkhani’s looming execution spread, Iran has been loudly decrying the pastor as “a convicted rapist and extortionist,” and the Fars News Agency said over the weekend that Nadarkhani was to be executed for Zionism and threats to national security.

via Youcef Nadarkhani Update: Iranian Pastor Safe From Execution, For Now – International Business Times.

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.

  • ElementofGod

    I believe a prayer for Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and the state of our world may be better suited here than my own comment. If you agree, you may pray for bother Youcef as well.

    Hence:

    Walther’s Prayer for Faith in the Word,

    “O Lord, our God, how blessed are we! Not only have You given us Your Word, which offers and imparts to us all the fruits of the redemption of Your dear Son Jesus Christ, but You have also opened our eyes, so that we may know Your Grace and in firm confidence receive it. Though the world, the Law, our heart, and our conscience condemn us, what do we care? Your Word declares us free of all guilt. O keep us in such faith unto our end and grant that all the members of our congregation may appreciate the great treasure which they possess. Help them and us to triumph over all attacks of the devil, the world, and our flesh and finally to depart this life in peace and to be received into Your eternal kingdom. Hear us for the sake of our risen and victorious Champion, Jesus Christ. Amen.”

    Engelbrecht, Edward, comp. and ed. The Lord Will Answer: A Daily Prayer Catechism Drawn from Holy Scripture, the Church Fathers, and Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation. St. Louis: Concordia, 2004, p.317.

    A repentant catholic christian who has been justified thru faith by God’s Grace

  • ElementofGod

    I believe a prayer for Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and the state of our world may be better suited here than my own comment. If you agree, you may pray for bother Youcef as well.

    Hence:

    Walther’s Prayer for Faith in the Word,

    “O Lord, our God, how blessed are we! Not only have You given us Your Word, which offers and imparts to us all the fruits of the redemption of Your dear Son Jesus Christ, but You have also opened our eyes, so that we may know Your Grace and in firm confidence receive it. Though the world, the Law, our heart, and our conscience condemn us, what do we care? Your Word declares us free of all guilt. O keep us in such faith unto our end and grant that all the members of our congregation may appreciate the great treasure which they possess. Help them and us to triumph over all attacks of the devil, the world, and our flesh and finally to depart this life in peace and to be received into Your eternal kingdom. Hear us for the sake of our risen and victorious Champion, Jesus Christ. Amen.”

    Engelbrecht, Edward, comp. and ed. The Lord Will Answer: A Daily Prayer Catechism Drawn from Holy Scripture, the Church Fathers, and Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation. St. Louis: Concordia, 2004, p.317.

    A repentant catholic christian who has been justified thru faith by God’s Grace

  • DonS

    World pressure and prayer seems to be working to restrain the evil regime, so far. Keep praying for courage for this brave man of God.

  • DonS

    World pressure and prayer seems to be working to restrain the evil regime, so far. Keep praying for courage for this brave man of God.

  • Helen K.

    Thank you ElementofGod @1..

    May we all be blessed and strengthend by Walther’s wise prayer. I pray daily for Pastor Youcef.

  • Helen K.

    Thank you ElementofGod @1..

    May we all be blessed and strengthend by Walther’s wise prayer. I pray daily for Pastor Youcef.

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