Sunday, October 02, 2011

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani

Pastor Youcef Nadarkani is an Iranian Evangelical Christian pastor. He has also been sentenced to death. The two preceeding sentences are not unrelated, since it appears that he has been sentenced to death for being an Evangelical Christian. Some four times he has been pressured to recant his Christianity; each time he has refused to do so.

We know of his appalling case thanks to Christian Solidarity Worldwide - see its briefing on Pastor Nadarkhani here - which is campaigning for Pastor Nadarkhani's life and freedom of conscience.

We also know about Pastor Nadarkani thanks to leading Catholic blogger, Caroline Farrow, who has been unsparing in her efforts to raise awareness of this awful story. Read her superb post here and if you haven't already done so, please email and phone the Iranian embassy expressing your grave concern for Nadarkhani. Caroline has helpfully provided a template letter for your guidance.

The world knows about Pastor Nadarkhani thanks to campaigning lawyer and New Statesman writer, David Allen Green. Green, an Atheist whose commitment to human rights descends from the Enlightenment tradition has been tenancious in following the Nadarkhani story. When he writes, governments sit up and take notice. The Foreign Office released a statement not long after Green blogged about Nadarkani, as did the US State Department and so too did the Iranian Embassy in London.

Perhaps stung by the growing international clamour for Nadarkhani's life and liberty, the official Iranian news agency has recently been putting it about that Pastor Nadarkhani has been sentenced to death for rape and extortion and even more chillingly, claimed that he is a Zionist.

The New Statesman's Mehdi Hassan's eloquent denunciation of the death sentence levelled upon Pastor Nadarkhani as not only unIslamic but anti-Islamic was a perfect exposition of the humane heart of the Islamic faith and one which which Moslems all over the world will echo.

Meanwhile, in the very quarters that Nadarkhani should expect the strongest support, that is to say among Western Christian leaders, there has been unsconscionable silence, as both Archbishop Cranmer and Damian Thompson have noted with understandable disgust. 


Anonymous Matthias said...

sIR i support the Barnabas Fund which also fights for the rights of persecuted Christians. In the New Year I will be sending flowers to the Iranian ambassador to australia with the following message
"dear ambassador. Please take these flowers home to your loved one. For Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani cannot take flowers to his wife.As Christians we are commanded to love our enemies to do good to those who persecute us.These flowers are given in that spirit"

12/24/2011 2:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Youcef Nadarkani is a Oneness Pentecostal which is a cult that denies the Trinity, he is not a true Christian. He is not really a Pastor either, and has no credentials.

8/28/2012 3:49 AM  

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