Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is a Christian pastor AND Iranian citizen. He is facing execution for his belief in Jesus Christ under Iran’s Sharia law. In order to avoid the death penalty he was asked three times to recant his fate. Three times he replied, “I cannot.” He was arrested for preaching the gospel to Muslims.
There are two issues to address here.
First, this man is a hero and an inspiration to all Christians. He is a modern day Stephen. How many Christians would stand up in the face of the death penalty like this? He could have denied Christ with his mouth but still believed in his heart and be released. But, as the apostle Peter eventually realized, that is not true Christianity. I encourage everyone to quickly pray to our God, the God of Isaac, Abraham and Jacob, the God that sent his Son Jesus Christ to Earth to die for our sins, for the release of this man and for his family.
Second, I am proud of our Congress and our President for calling for the release of this man. All Americans, even Ron Paul can agree that it should be America’s role to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves when it only takes a speech rather than boots on the ground. Likewise, Speaker Boehner has courageously called for his unconditional release. Representative Randy Forbes (R-VA) of Virginia also called for his released among dozens of other representatives.
Whether he lives or dies, I hope Youcef Nadarkhani causes us all, myself included, to double down our efforts as a Christian in this world.