PUBLIC OUTCRY SOUGHT TO SAVE IRANIAN PASTOR / Christian sentenced to death but Islamic republic feeling international pressure (WND-WORLD NET DAILY) by MICHAEL CARL 02/24/12)
WND} WORLD NET DAILY
WND} WORLD NET DAILY Articles-Index-Top
Those in the free world who are supporting a Christian pastor
condemned to death by Iranian authorities say the need is urgent for
people to speak out on behalf of Youcef Nadarkhani.
The death order for Nadarkhani has been signed on charges that he
left Islam for Christianity, but spokesman Gene Kapp of the American
Center for Law and Justice today confirmed the pastor’s sentence has
not been carried out.
“Our attorneys received confirmation that Pastor Youcef was still
alive,” Kapp said.
But he said the situation is precarious for the pastor arrested in
2009 and charged with blasphemy for “leaving Islam.” International
Christian Concern’s Middle East analyst Aidan Clay says death could
come at any time.
“There is fear that Nadarkhani could be executed in secret any day.
However, sometimes these cases are drawn out and Nadarkhani could
languish in prison for months or even years,” Clay said.
However, one factor that could work against Nadarkhani is the
Iranians’ desire to avoid pressure and publicity.
“Iranian officials want to avoid as much international press and
condemnation as possible, meaning that Nadarkhani’s execution may
occur sooner rather than later before the international community can
apply additional pressure,” Clay said.
Clay added that the publicity could be keeping Nadarkhani alive.
“One reason that Nadarkhani is still alive is due to aggressive
international pressure on Iran to release him. If not for the work of
the ACLJ and other organizations, it’s possible that Nadarkhani’s
execution would already have been carried out,” Clay said.
“Remember that in December, the Iranian judiciary decided to delay
Nadarkhani’s final verdict for a year,” Clay added.
However, Clay said that the push for sanctions against Iran could be
making the situation rough for the pastor.
“Crippling U.S. sanctions on the Iranian government have likely not
helped Nadarkhani’s case. There is some fear that the court
unexpectedly issued an execution order partly as an act of
retaliation and defiance toward the U.S.,” Clay said.
However, Clay said now is not the time to back off.
“Now is the time to remain faithful in prayer and to spread awareness
of Nadarkhani’s plight. As seen throughout Nadarkhani’s imprisonment,
the louder the international community has spoken up, the better his
situation has been,” Clay said.
“Social media like Twitter and Facebook have helped. Please join the
ACLJ’s Twitter campaign at: http://aclj.org/Nadarkhani. We must
defend and stand beside Nadarkhani until he is either released or
executed by being
ardent in prayer and to fighting against this injustice,” Clay said.
Nadarkhani’s case is again gaining international attention at the
same time that Iranian officials have told churches they can no
longer hold worship services using Iran’s official language.
Barnabas Aid reports that the Iranian government is trying to prevent
Iranian Muslims from hearing the Gospel in Farsi.
“The pastors of Emmanuel Protestant Church and St Peter Evangelical
Church were issued with the order by the Ministry of Intelligence and
Security earlier this month and announced it to their congregations
on 10 February,” the Barnabas Aid report said.
The order means that no churches in Iran can use the official
language on Friday.
“It means that there are now no Christian services in Farsi, the
language of the Muslim majority in Iran, in any officially registered
church in the capital on Fridays,” the Barnabas Aid report said.
“The order was not applied to Sundays, but Friday is the main weekend
day in Iran, and it is difficult for people to attend church on any
other day because of work commitments,” the report said.
Pastor Nadakhani was arrested and convicted of apostasy in 2009 for
allegedly leaving Islam, a charge he denied by saying that he was
never a Muslim.
But WND previously has reported that Colorado journalist Jack Minor’s
research revealed that Nadarkhani’s Christian background isn’t
enough, according to some Iranian Shia clerics.
Minor pointed out that Islam teaches that everyone on earth is born a
“On page 28, in the introduction of a copy of the Quran, printed by
Ansariyan Publications in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the
translator, M.H. Shakir in the section ‘Islam and Muslims’
states, ‘In fact, every child that is born is a Muslim. It is the
parents who make him a Jew, Christian or Hindu,’” Minor said.
“Based on this teaching, even if Nadarkhani had never visited a
mosque a day in his life he is still considered a Muslim. Therefore,
when he accepted Christ as his savior and became a Christian he left
the Muslim faith whether he knew it or not,” Minor reported. (© 2012
WorldNetDaily.com, Inc. 02/24/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY