Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has done a very dangerous thing. He has converted from Islam to Christ. This is dangerous because he lives in Iran where such a thing violates the law of the land. He has recieved a death sentence which has been delayed in the hope that he would recant his faith.
Matt Smethurst reports:
Nadarkhani is now approaching 900 days separated from his wife, his two sons, and his church. Nevertheless, God’s sustaining grace has enabled him to endure. In a poignant, Scripture-soaked letter to his congregation dated June 2, 2010, the imprisoned pastor, echoing the apostle Peter, wrote: “Therefore [the true believer] does not need to wonder for the fiery trial that has been set on for him as though it were something unusual, but it pleases him to participate in Christ’s suffering. Because the believer knows he will rejoice in [Christ’s] glory.”
Trevin Wax published the entirety of his faith-filled letter to his congregation. This is a great encouragement to them and to us to be faithful even when the Lord and his gospel are hated by the world around us. Jesus spoke of this reality and told his disciples not to be surprised when they experienced it. “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you….If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:18, 20).
Pray for God’s grace to this pastor, his family, and his church. Also, some believe that Pastor Nadarkhani’s sentence has been delayed due to international pressure. For more information and an easy way to let Iranian officials know your perspective on this go here.