Yousef Nadarkhani is a Christian pastor in Iran, and he has been charged by Iranian authorities with apostasy and evangelizing Muslims. Pastor Nadarkhani was sentenced to death, though some reports have claimed that this sentence has been annulled. Mark Kelly of Baptist Press reports that this is not the case:
“Christians in Iran have challenged news reports that the death penalty for pastor Yousef Nadarkhani has been annulled, saying that in reality the country’s supreme court appears to have added a precondition requiring him to renounce his faith or face execution.”
Read the rest of this story here and pray.
An Iranian believer in our church told us several months ago that he was concerned for his friend “Pastor Yousef” who was facing the death penalty. I don’t know yet whether this is the same pastor. You can read my fellow church member’s story at BP also: http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=34928
Yeah, the reports that Iran is becoming more tolerant are greatly overestimated.
How humbling! While for many people their faith costs them life, we enjoy our spiritual freedom to the point of neglecting it. I cherish the story of my grandfather, Yakiv Dukhonchenko, who, under Soviet Union, was sentences to decades in prison in Siberia for being a leader in the Baptist Union in Ukraine. When he was in a near-death condition, God provided a miraculous way out. Every time I read stories like this one, I thank God for the freedom we have now.