Iran Pondering Over Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s Execution

 

By BosNewsLife Middle East Service with BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos 

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in front of his congregations before being detained in 2009.


TEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife)-- Iran's government is trying to play down credible reports that jailed Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani's execution is imminent for refusing to recant his faith in Christ, amid mounting international concern BosNewsLife monitored Monday, February 27.

"Iran’s Supreme Court has not yet handed down its final verdict in the case of the pastor Yousef Nadarkhani in order to allow authorities to further investigate the file and reach the best decision," said Press TV, viewed as a mouthpiece network of the Islamic government.

The lower court, which was to "re-examine" the case, "has yet to complete its probe" claimed Press Tv, citing unnamed sources. It added that "the case has not been sent back to the Supreme Court for a final verdict." Those statements, announced over the weekend, came just days after Nadarkhani's Church of Iran told BosNewsLife that an execution order has been issued as the pastor refused to recant his faith in Christ.

Press TV described Nadarkhani as an "Iranian born Muslim who has converted to Christianity" and who "made headlines in the Western media which claimed he has been sentenced to death for apostasy" or abandoning Islam. The television network suggested it understood the possible sentence as he wasn't "authorized" to perform "religious" services.

"Nevertheless, he has not even named the church where it is claimed he has received a degree authorizing him to perform religious duties and ceremonies in Christianity." Evangelical Christians have argued it's first of all Christ Himself who calls believers to do what He wants them to do, regardless whether that is recognized by earthly institutions granting degrees. Church members fear Nadarkhani, a 34-year-old father of two, could still be hanged at any time.

"NOBODY KEEPS LAW"

"Nobody keeps the law," said Firouz Khandjani, a Church of Iran council member in an earlier interview with BosNewsLife. Press TV said "Western media outlets’ obsession with handwringing about Nadarkhani’s case aims to mount pressure against Iran" because of the "4th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy" scheduled to take place on March 13 this year.

There is Western concern that Tehran will use Nadarkhani as a bargain chip in broader political negotiations at a time when Iran endures crippling sanctions over its controversial nuclear program.

Rights groups claim the number of executions in Iran has increased in recent weeks, and at least two inmates were known to have been hanged in the same prison where Pastor Nadarkhani is being held.

Dozens of human rights groups along with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 89 members of Congress, and leaders from the European Union, France, Great Britain, Mexico and Germany have condemned Iran for detaining Nadarkhani and have called for his immediate release.

However on Monday, February 27, Nadarkhani's wife, Fatema Pasindedih, and his two sons, Daniel, 9, and Yoel, 7, were still awaiting further news on his fate. The pastor has been detained since 2009 when he was captured in Rasht to register his house church.

APOSTASY CHARGES MENTIONED

The regional Gilan Court sentenced Nadarkhani to death in November 2010 on charges of "apostasy", or abandoning Islam. His appeal against that ruling was seen as being rejected in 2011.

The Supreme Court said "he can be executed" but added it would first ask a "re-examination" by the same court that already sentenced him to death. Iran's Church of Iran is one of the largest evangelical house church movements in the country, with Pastor Nadarkhani's congregation alone having hundreds of members.


1 thought on “Iran Pondering Over Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s Execution

  1. Praying that God’s favor and Mercy will prevail and will go forth as a testimony to the entire world that our God is greater than any justice system. No man can decide another man’s fate and the will of God can and will only go forth if God so chooses to allow it to for his glory. Praying the leaders of Iran would seek the face of God and ask for forgiveness for the wrong doing in this case and repent for what they are doing. Whether this is a religious matter or not they have to know at the end of the day this isn’t right and to execute someone for there faith is completely wrong and ridiculous. It’s sad that there are people all over the world dying for there faith in Jesus Christ every day. My prayers go out to these courageous men and women of such strong faith. They are modern day martyrs of the faith today and deserve to be recognized as true men and women of God who at all cost will not recant there faith and trust in the one true God. I love the passion and zeal they have for God and will not disgrace the name of Jesus no matter the cost. There place in kingdom will be special and they will forever be remembered for humility and sacrifice to lose there live to gain eternity in heaven. In America we don’t realized how blessed we are as Christians to not face the same persecution. I know one day we may face the same thing. During this time our prayers as Christians should be felt around the world for men of God like pastor Yousef who stand for the gospel and are unashamed of Jesus Christ and proclaiming it to the entire world. God bless this man and his family I pray we can make a difference in this case and it will forever impact the rulings and judgments like this going on all over. I pray and expect rulers to take a second thought before letting something like this happen again. I know this will be something that will forever be recognized and remembered. God is smiling down on his faithful servant saying well done my good and faithful servant you may walk upright with your head held high.

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