Thursday, September 29, 2011

Standing Firm

My heart is heavy yet full of admiration for this man, his precious wife, and their sweet little boys. What an incredible testimony of faith and standing firm in Christ. How much we take for granted here in the USA! We can be so smug in our declarations of faith and what it means to be a follower of Christ but most of us haven't a clue. May God have mercy on our complacency.

From Fox News:

An Iranian pastor who has refused to renounce his Christian faith faces execution as early as Wednesday after his sentence was upheld by an Iranian court.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who maintains he has never been a Muslim as an adult, has Islamic ancestry and therefore must recant his faith in Jesus Christ, the 11th branch of Iran's Gilan Provincial Court ruled. Iran's Supreme Court had ordered the trial court to determine whether Nadarkhani had been a Muslim prior to converting to Christianity.

The judges, according to the American Center for Law & Justice, demanded that Nadarkhani, 34, recant his Christian faith before submission of evidence. Though the judgment runs against current Iranian and international laws and is not codified in Iranian penal code, the judge stated that the court must uphold the decision of the 27th Branch of the Supreme Court in Qom.

When asked to repent, Nadarkhani stated: "Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?"

"To the religion of your ancestors, Islam," the judge replied, according to the American Center for Law & Justice.

"I cannot," Nadarkhani said.


"Blessed are those who are persecuted
because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you,
persecute you, and falsely say
all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
Rejoice and be glad, because
great is your reward in heaven,
for in the same way they persecuted
the prophets who were before you."

Matthew 5:10-12


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Crystal Mary said...

Oh this is horrible. I have prayed and lighted him up to God. I actually heard about it this morning on Christina Radio here in Australia..
"May He be released and able to serve the Lord again in freedom. May God bless him and his family with the peace that goes beyond all earthly understanding..and may this be a silent witness to the muslims. Amen."

Crystal Mary said...

My spelling so sorry. I lifted him up to God... and Heard about him on Christian Radio this morning. xxxx

Cindy said...

That is heartbreaking but I'm also inspired by him standing firm even when faced with death for his faith in Christ. I'll be adding my prayers for him as well. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

We do have it so easy here in the U.S. I don't want to have to face this kind of thing but on the other hand, I also don't want to take our religious freedom for granted.

Joyce said...

It is heartbreaking but inspiring at the same time. I always find myself thinking how I would respond. Would I be as strong in my convictions? It is hard not to take so many things for granted here in the US. I will be praying for this man and his family. I hope his story gets more wide spread attention...sometimes the media spotlight on something like this can help.

Kathy ... better known as Nana said...

I always wonder, when reading stories like this, how I would respond in a situation like that. We are blessed not to face that kind of persecution, but I wonder if that's not part of the reason why so many of us have such lukewarm faith. I'm praying for him and his family.