this ACLJ article A Christian pastor by the name of Youcef Nadarkhani may be executed Wednesday or shortly there after. His crime? He confesses Christ Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
"When asked to 'repent' by the Judges, Youcef stated, 'Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?' The judges replied, 'To the religion of your ancestors, Islam.' To which he replied, 'I cannot.'" (ibid.)
Pr. Nadarkhani will be given two additional chances to renounce his faith in Christ and confess Mohammed is the true prophet of God. If he doesn't, he will likely be executed immediately as an apostate according to the government of Iran.
As an American citizen the idea that I could be executed for the confession of my faith by the state is utterly foreign to me. I really can't grasp what it means to live under the fear of a theocratic government having the power to force me to choose between my faith or death. It's simply "unAmerican" for government to infringe upon another's right to practice their own religion.
American Christians are attacked on all sides by an insidious persecutor. We are beset upon by a moralistic, deistic, therapeutic ethos which also happens to forcefully propound "religious tolerance" in an effort to silence Christians (or anyone else with an exclusive truth claim for that matter) who would dare confess the truth of Jesus Christ. Make no mistake about it, we Christians in the western world are heavily under attack. The truth is under attack. We just don't have the executioner's axe physically held over our heads.
Religious leaders caught up in this universal spirit of the age fall all over themselves in taking opportunity to show their unity in the doctrine of religious multiculturalism. What used to be simply a call for tolerance of each other's beliefs is now a silent killer. Rather than physically executing a Christian for confessing the truth, we now have a politically correct apparatus through multiculturalism in which to "kill" the message that there can be only one truth found in Christ. Claiming to have "the Truth" is a message held by hyper-radicals like Islamofascist terrorist groups, by today's "standards." "Live and let live" is the message of the day and sadly too many American Christians are buying into it. Don't believe me? Just do a web search on "interfaith community" and you will get over 6 million results. It is extremely popular today for religious leaders of all faiths to publicly join hands together in "working for a better world." The "social gospel" transcends all "faith traditions." The following is highly unpopular with the priests and priestesses of the multicultural religion of today,
|Interfaith service in Pomfret, CT|
"14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“ I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, 18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” —1 Corinthians 6:14-18
My prayers go out to Pr. Youcef Nadarkhani and his family. I don't want to romanticize his predicament and neither do I want to belittle it with some sort of comparison to what we Christians in America are facing. However, I think there is much to be said about being able to see your enemy's face and with the strength of God confess the truth of Christ Jesus. All too often, here in America, we don't get to see the "face" of the enemy until it is too late and the evil work of the devil has been thoroughly accomplished in our midst.