32-year-old Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is the pastor of a 400-member church. He was convicted of apostasy and has been sentenced to death for allegedly renouncing his Muslim faith. He was arrested in 2009 after protesting Islamic education for his sons.
Nadarkhani's case went to the Supreme Court, but the court sent the case back to a lower court with instructions for further investigation as to whether or not Nadarkhani had ever actually been a Muslim.
In the lower courts, Nadarkhani was given three days to turn from Christ and accept Islam -- a move the courts claim is necessary since Pastor Youcef has Muslim ancestry. Nadarkhani refused to reject the faith.
Sources say when Pastor Yousef was asked by the judges to repent, 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 Yousef responded, "I cannot."Read more at Mission Network News.
What would you say?
First of all, can you imagine living in Iran as a Christian? More than that, can you imagine standing up for your beliefs and refusing to allow your sons to be educated in the ways of Islam? Pastor Nadarkhani has been in prison since 2009 and last week was told that he would die for his faith.
I was heartbroken when I read about this. - for him, his wife, family and fellow Christians in Iran. I also felt convicted because I cannot even imagine being in his shoes.
We are not all called to be martyrs, but we are all called to suffer for Christ.
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
1 Peter 4:12-13
An update came out about Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. He is going to be retried. I am not sure if this is just a chance for him to renounce his faith in Christ and to claim Islam as his religion or if his life will be spared.
Pray with me that God will be glorified and people will come to a saving faith in Jesus because of Pastor Nadarkhani's testimony.
Read more at Mission network news.