Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Iran Pastor On Death Row Urges Faith In Christ

I commend my Iranian brother-in-Christ's boldness in the midst of persecution and that he didn't deny his faith when given the chance to do so. I also thank God that He is trying to encourage all the brethren, even from his jail cell like the apostle Paul would do.

8/8/2011 Iran (Worthy News) – An evangelical pastor who faces execution in Iran for refusing to abandon his Christian faith has urged fellow believers to remain faithful to Jesus Christ and the “Word of God” despite persecution, according to a letter obtained by Worthy News.

Youcef Nadarkhani, 33, whose first name is also spelled as Yousef, was told last month by Iran’s Supreme Court that he can be executed if he does not recant his Christian faith and returns to Islam. But in a letter written behind bars earlier this year, Nadarkhani makes clear the Bible tells Christians to expect persecution and that he remains hopeful whatever the outcome of his trial in this strict Islamic nation.

The “Word of God tells us to expect to suffer hardship and dishonor for the sake of His Name. Our Christian confession is not acceptable if we ignore this statement, if we do not manifest the patience of the Lord in our sufferings,” he wrote.

“Anybody ignoring it will be ashamed in that day [when facing God]. Let us remember that sometimes the leap of faith leads us towards some impasses. Just as the Word led the sons of Israel leaving Egypt toward the impasse of the Red sea. These impasses are midway between promises of God and their fulfillment and they challenge our faith,” the pastor added.

House Church
Pastor Nadarkhani of the Church of Iran, a major house church network, was detained in Rasht in October 2009, while trying to register his home church. He was sentenced to death by hanging for being an apostate to Islam in November 2010.

His appeal against the sentence was however rejected on June 27, 2011, and send back to the same lower court that already sentenced him to death, according to several trial observers.
Iranian Christians also say the pastor has been tortured.

Yet, in his written remarks, resembling letters written by jailed Apostle Paul from the Bible, Nadarkhani calls upon Iranian believers and other Christians to accept persecution “as a part of their spiritual course.”
Jesus’ Suffering

The pastor referred to the Biblical account of Jesus’ suffering at the cross at Calvary before His resurrection from death on the third day so everyone who believes in Him has eternal life . “The Son [of God] was challenged at Calvary in the hardest way, as it is written in the Scriptures,” he explained.

Nadarkhani cited Hebrews 5:7-8. “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered(Read More).”

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