To Kill a Christian Pastor

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The latest news about the Christian pastor held in Iran for converting from Islam to Christianity is another example of Iran’s barbaric and vicious treatment of its religious minorities.

Iranian officials are at the moment trying to convince jailed 34-year-old pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani, who converted to Christianity at age 19, to return to Islam.  Nadarkhani is currently being held in prison in Rasht, awaiting Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s decision on whether he should be executed for converting to Christianity.

In trying to convince Nadarkhani to come back to Islam, Iran’s secret service officials approached the pastor at his prison site and presented him with a book on Islamic literature, telling him they would be back to discuss the material and hear his opinion.

The “we’ll be bac,” scenario is a common tool of the regime, used in cases such as this to either influence the individual or further implicate him. Specifically to Nadarkhani’s situation, the government is trying to persuade him to abandon Christianity and come back to Islam or to have evidence against him as a blasphemer against Islam — should he reject the material he has been given or speak out against it.

I have a digital copy of the book given to the pastor, a 300-page compilation entitled “Beshaarat-eh Ahdein,” meaning “Message of the Two Eras,” referring to the New and Old Testaments. Through various narratives, the book claims Christianity is a fabrication and attempts to establish the superiority of Islam.

Sources close to the pastor and his wife have reported that the pastor has been advised by family members, members of the church and lawyers to remain silent, out of fear that the Iranian government may try to use his statements against him, a strategy of entrapment.

Till now, Nadarkhani’s case has been drawn out and delayed amid heavy and targeted international attention to his case. Iran’s judiciary has been caught in a bind, fearing the ultimate decision will have far-reaching political implications.

If Nadarkhani is released, the judiciary risks appearing disrespectful of the tenets of Shariah law. But if he is executed, Iran will face increasing criticism from the international community, which continues to petition for the pastor’s release.

A few weeks ago, a letter on behalf of the judiciary was sent to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the nation’s highest authority in interpreting Shariah Law, asking him to make the final decision.

It is unusual for the supreme leader to be asked to weigh in on a case, but officials said this case is rare in nature and requires Khamenei’s stamp of approval in order to issue an execution.

Nadarkhani came under the regime’s radar in 2006 when he applied for his church to be registered with the state. According to sources, he was arrested at that time and then soon released.

In 2009, Nadarkhani went to local officials to complain about Islamic indoctrination in his school district, arguing that his children should not be forced to learn about Islam.

He was subsequently arrested and has been held since.

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  • Geneww

    Where is our State Department? Where is the 'peace lovers' of the UN and our news media?
    God still is in control and answers prayer. Pray for all Judeo-Christians in Muslim dominated communities and countries. They understand 'trails and tribulation' yet find strength to stand firm.

  • voted against carter

    ' TAQIYYA '
    Do your own research about it if you don't know what this means.

    i s l a m IS EVIL. PERIOD.

    i s l a m strives for world domination.

    The q u r a n commands m u s l i m s to exercise jihad.

    The q u e r n commands muslims to establish s h a r i a h law.

    The q u e r n commands m u s l i m s to impose i s l a m on the entire world.

    i s l a m is NOT a religion, it IS a totalitarian ideology.

    i s l a m IS and has remained a death cult from its beginnings.

    i s l a m wants to dominate all aspects of life, from the cradle to the grave.

    s h a r i a h law is a law that controls every detail of life in a i s l a m i c society.

    From civic- and family law to criminal law.

    It determines how one should eat, dress and even use the toilet.

    Oppression of women is good, drinking alcohol is bad.

    The core of the q u r a n is the call to j i h a d.

    J i h a d means a lot of things and is a r a b i c for battle.

    i s l a m means submission, there cannot be any mistake about its goal.

    i s l a m and freedom, i s l a m and democracy are not compatible.

    They are opposite values.

    m o h a m e d 's "wife" was six years old.

    That makes m o h a m e d a P E D O P H I L E!!!

    And you want to base a "R e l i g i o n" on this a z s -holes rantings?

    Are you INSANE?

    • StephenD

      Dude, change the record will ya? ENOUGH of your "copy and paste" posts. You become a noise maker instead of a positive influence.

      • mongoose

        If these are only cut and paste points ——

        which of them are untrue

        • StephenD

          Mongoose, I didn't say any were untrue. What does that have to do with it? I recall as a child hearing of the Apostle Paul who admonished a woman going before them shouting to the crowds to "listen to these men of G_d." Why would he have done so? Because they end up making a mockery of what he was attempting to accomplish. Be honest, as soon as you see this SAME POST in another article you scroll past it. It has become a distraction. That doesn't mean it is untrue. Neither was what the woman said before Paul untrue.

      • kathryn

        I enjoyed the list – a great pocket reminder of what people are dealing with in other parts of the world. And pray it will not be "coming to your neighborhood soon".

  • StephenD

    “In 2009, Nadarkhani went to local officials to complain about Islamic indoctrination in his school district, arguing that his children should not be forced to learn about Islam.”
    How long before this stuff is prevalent in the US?

    Oh wait…never mind. I forgot we already have textbooks in Texas and Speakers on Campuses, not to mention new TV shows whitewashing Islam in America.

  • Anne White

    Christians must pray that he will be protected from the fire of temptation and delivered from the evil of men whose minds are enslaved to darkness.

  • Theophile

    Lest we forget, this war on God's word has been going on for some time:
    Even in the US, liberty has become god, umm.. liberty from seeing God's commandments, or hearing God's "intolerant" positions on human behavior, and sin…. that is.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Christians and all non-Muslims are not just violently oppressed and systematically persecuted in Iran. They are violently oppressed and systematically persecuted in all Islamic countries, including the two we are stupidly propping up.

  • Amused

    Where's the POPE ? Where's Amnesty International ? Where's the Christian body in the U.S. ?
    What if we jailed Christians for converting to islam ?

  • tanstaafl

    The only way evil can succeed is through the silence of the righteous.

  • Michael

    I home America bombs Iran to kingdom Kong they deserve it for treating people like this.