Friday 7 October 2011

Iran to execute Christian Pastor

Please pray for Iranian pastor Yusuf Nadarkhani, who is facing a death sentence for the "crime" of apostasy.

The UK director of Aid to the Church in Need is appealing for prayer and action to spare the life of an Iranian pastor who faces execution for refusing to renounce his Christian faith.

Neville Kyrke-Smith called for Christians to “speak up and pray out loud” as a decision is awaited following the retrial of Yusuf Nadarkhani.

Mr Nadarkhani, 35, who is married with two children, was sentenced to death in September 2010 when he was found guilty of apostasy.

An appeal was subsequently lodged and, despite upholding the original sentence, the Supreme Court agreed that the case be re-opened.

A verdict is expected imminently after last week’s four-day trial.

Mr Kyrke-Smith said: “There needs to be a voice for the silent and suffering Church – and for over 60 years Aid to the Church in Need has spoken out when others have feared to do so.

“Now is the time to speak up and pray out loud for Christians placed in a stranglehold by oppression.

“The decision to execute Pastor Nadarkhani is not justifiable in the name of any religion, it is a totalitarian act – one man’s life being ended to dissuade others from opposing the political regime.

“All who love God – whatever their faith – must join in prayer that this decision be overturned.

“The Catholic community must not be struck dumb as such suffering goes on.”

Please read his story at Aid to the Church in Need HERE.

1 comment:

Genty said...

The best we can do is pray.

In response to an e-petition, I sent a respectful personal message to the Iranian Embassy in London appealing for mercy. Here's the reply:

"Dear Sir, Madame
Please find below the announcement by the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in London, with regards to Mr Nadarkhani.

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in London renounces the published news regarding the death penalty for Mr. Yousof Nadarkhani and announces that the Court of Appeal in the Islamic Republic of Iran has not issued any verdict on his case.
Accordingly, the allegations to the issue of the death penalty for the above mentioned, are unsubstantiated."

I've read that new charges meriting the death penalty and unconnected with Christian allegiance have since been cited. The leading defence lawyer is now in jail, I believe.

I wish, so wish, that Sunday bidding prayers which so often mention peace and justice would include specific reference to our beleaguered brethren in Muslim countries, including those in the cradle of Christianity itself.

I never hear the name of Asia Bibi the Christian mother incarcerated in Pakistan since 2009 under sentence of death for alleged blasphemy, cooked up by malicious neighbours.

It says something about the state of Catholicism in the west that protest groups concern themselves with women's ordination, the abolition of celibacy and the recognition of gay rights when Christians elsewhere are being intimidated, hounded from their homes and their countries, and being murdered.