I am a Christian, and therefore I care deeply when fellow believers stand up for their faith in Jesus. I care all the more when they are persecuted for doing so. This is a story that I saw yesterday.
Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is facing execution after refusing to renounce his faith during court hearings held this week.
In July, the Supreme Court instructed the Revolutionary Tribunal of Gilan Province to review his case to verify whether he was previously a practising Muslim. At the recent hearings, the court in Rasht ruled that Pastor Youcef was not a practising Muslim before becoming a Christian. However, he remains guilty of apostasy because of his Muslim ancestry.
According to sources, when Pastor Youcef was asked to repent in court, he said:
“Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?”
When judges told him to return to “the religion of your ancestors, Islam,” Pastor Youcef responded, “I cannot.”
Nadarkhani has used up all his chances in the court. “We hear some rumors that he could be executed literally this week – that he’s had now three days which is called for in Islamic law to reconsider his decision, and he could be executed at any time,” reports Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs USA.
Check out this news report for more information about Youcef’s case.
URGENT PRAYER NEEDED
Please share this story with your friends and family and ask them to pray for Youcef Nadarkhani and his family.
- Please pray that Youcef will be faithful even to death so that he will receive the crown of life (Revelation 2:10).
- Pray that Christians around the world will take swift and decisive action on Youcef’s behalf.
- Pray that all charges against him will be dropped.
- Pray for all Christians in Iran, that they will keep their eyes on Jesus and not be fearful. Pray that persecution will only increase their passion for Christ and their willingness to share their faith.