Iran: Christian convert to be executed

Pray, please, for our brother Christian Youcef, sentenced to be executed in Iran for converting to Christianity from the religion of peace.

Iran to execute Christian pastor for renouncing Islam
December 10, 2010

Youcef Nadarkhani, a 32-year-old Protestant pastor who became a Christian at the age of 19, has been sentenced to death for renouncing Islam. Nadarkhani maintains that he did not practice any faith before his conversion to Christianity.

The “draconian language in the verdict makes it very clear that the Iranian authorities mean business,” said Leonard Leo, chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. “He could be executed at any time. And for what? For being a Christian.”

“We call upon the Obama administration and the international community to use every means available, to raise this issue and demand the unconditional release of Mr. Nadarkhani.”

Nadarkhani’s attorney has appealed the verdict to the nation’s supreme court.

Sts. Nunilo and Alodia, pray for us, pray for Youcef.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. RichR says:

    Islam is a religion of peace?

  2. Liz says:

    Does anyone know where to get an image or holy card of Sts. Nunilo and Alodia? I will pray for this man. I can’t imagine.

  3. rakesvines says:

    I have prayed that he will remain faithful until the very end.

    The hagiographies and martyrologies of the Christian churches will increase by tomes as a result of this persecutions – making the number of Middle and Far Eastern martyrs surpass those from the West in the past 2 millenia. And as Tertullian noted, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”

    Then again, when does it become a moral imperative for the other Christians to rise in defense of their brethren. While we pray for the dead, don’t we have a responsibility to defend the living? I doubt if we can excuse ourselves by saying, “Their governments were supposed to protect them – not my problem.”

  4. TJerome says:

    How tragic. I will pray for him. I wonder if the New York Slimes will issue a thundering condemnation regarding this latest from the “Religion of Peace.”

  5. Bryan Boyle says:

    @TJerome: *crickets*

    Probably the same thundering condemnation we’ll hear from the Teleprompter in Chief.

    Can always pray for miracles, though. All around.

  6. flyfree432 says:

    Let’s not forget about the saints who saw martyrdom as an honor. Yes, pray he will be spared execution, but if he is executed don’t forget to pray for his intercession as well! May this convert be under the watchful care of the angels and saints during this trial in his life. May God’s will be done.

  7. LouiseA says:

    Pray for his conversion to Catholicism before he dies. I do not think a Protestant who dies for his false religion is a “martyr” in the true Catholic sense of the word, even if he is sincere and ignorant of his error. May God have mercy upon him.

  8. cyejbv says:

    We are praying for him to persevere in his faith, and for the comfort and peace of the Holy spirit to sustain him; asking others to pray for him as well. I hope all of y’all are doing the same. We need to persevere in prayer and raising awareness… I mean, is there even one story to be found about this in the mainstream media? Rhetorical question, because even if there is, it is probably reported with the same type of apathy as was, say, the story about Mary Stachowicz. Anyway, I don’t know if this is a paraphrased quote or not, but my priest remarked the other day that while people know to confess the sins they commit, they often don’t consider the good they neglect to do.
    May we not neglect to pray for our brother Youcef.

  9. Tom Ryan says:

    How doubly sad he converted to Protestantism.

    Lord, give him at the very least another chance.

  10. rakesvines says:

    At least, he is worshipping the Heavenly Father and calls Jesus, Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit. That is a big deal because it is shunning a false god, an idol – Allah contrived to prop into power the false prophet Mohammed. I think the Church needs to back out of acknowledging Islam as having the same Abrahamic god because, this so called diety is not one of truth and love. Cfr. expositions of former Muslims

  11. Fr Levi says:

    Fr Z,
    I don’t suppose you have an email address, or some other way, we can use to put express our concern to the relevant authorities (State Dept, Iranian Government, whatever) to express our concern for this man?

  12. gambletrainman says:

    I can’t remember whether it was one of the St Theresas, or St Rose of Lima, but I heard that one of these young saints, on her death bed, said she was envious of our generation, as it would produce more martyrs than ever before. Look at all those who have died already just because they were Christians (Catholics in particular) this year alone. Although it’s sad to lose someone in the physical sense, especially through violence, we can have much peace in the fact that these people may already be in the presence of Our Lord (Don’t forget, God does not judge according to our standards, rather to His own, as He can see the heart and thoughts of everyone—we can only go by what we see).

  13. Jack Hughes says:

    Another excellent Martyr to whom we might ask his intercession is St. Abo, the Perfumer of Bagdad who himself was a former muslim

  14. edm says:

    If he is a protestant then he is a Christian. If he is a Christian, then he is not a member of a false religion. He may not be “in communion with Rome” but he is not professing a false religion.

  15. Tom Ryan says:

    Islam is also a Christian heresy, albeit one that sprung up outside of Christendom. When secularists say that it is in need of a Reformation like the West had, I want to pull my hair out. For what!
    Belloc called Islam a proto-Calvinism.
    Sola Scriptura = Sola Koranica
    Predestination..Got it
    Divorce-just say “I divorce you thrice”
    Celibacy- bye-bye

    And then there’s the teetotaling… Heresies aren’t any fun.

    Giving up on Catholicism for Islam or Methodism can be a one way ticket to Hell. The truly sad thing is that once upon a time, non-Christians and pagans were more likely to first convert to the True Church than a false church. We come later if at all.

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