Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pastor Nadarkhani refuses to renounce Christ

Following yesterday's report, Pastor Nadarkhani was brought before Iran's Supreme Court for the third time and asked to recant his faith in Christ. For the third time, he refused. His lawyer presented the final defence and we are presently awaiting further news. Sources indicate that the judges could take up to a week to issue their decision on the implementation of the death sentence. However, they reserve the right to effect execution within a shorter period of time should they so desire. There is a real concern that the death sentence could be implemented without any official announcement at all.

His Grace contacted the Foreign Office, Lambeth Palace and the Holy See about this case. William Hague responded within the hour, with the following statement:
“I deplore reports that Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian Church leader, could be executed imminently after refusing an order by the Supreme Court of Iran to recant his faith. This demonstrates the Iranian regime’s continued unwillingness to abide by its constitutional and international obligations to respect religious freedom. I pay tribute to the courage shown by Pastor Nadarkhani who has no case to answer and call on the Iranian authorities to overturn his sentence.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury broke his silence to express 'deep concern' at the sentence faced by Pastor Nadarkhani, and at the persecution of all religious minorities in Iran. But despite seeking to intervene directly in the case of murderer Troy Davis, and despite being opposed in principle to the death penalty, the Holy See has not uttered a word. Iran views Evangelical Protestants as 'corrupt and deviant'. Does His Holiness agree?

50 Comments:

Blogger DanJ0 said...

I have to say that it is beyond me that he doesn't simply recant in public and continue being Christian in private ... before aiming for asylum somewhere else. Here, for instance.

It's outrageous that the death penalty exists anywhere and it's considerably more outrageous that it's being used over mere belief and the harmless manifesting of that belief.

I'm not sure the reaction to executions in Iran and USA can be compared though. USA may well be swayed by adverse opinion in the West and the terms of reference allow arguments to be made. Iran is a theocracy and who can argue against god?

29 September 2011 06:32  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

By the way, the Times has picked the story up and put it in pole position online.

29 September 2011 06:35  
Blogger non mouse said...

Brilliant as ever, Your Grace.

29 September 2011 07:13  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Just like all the other religions then:

Kill the different believers
Kill the unbelieverss
Kill the heretics

29 September 2011 08:00  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

Appalling as it is, unfortunately one more case of many:
http://barenakedislam.wordpress.com/category/persecution-of-christians/
I wonder if Your Grace's protest will be met by the usual cry in this country of 'Islamophobia!'

29 September 2011 08:01  
Blogger Balthazar said...

Nothing *public* from the Vatican. It is not unusual for them to try working behind the scenes when they think more may be accomplished that way. Particularly with Iran, which has a delegation at the Vatican (one of its main negotiation channels with the west).

29 September 2011 08:34  
Blogger tangentreality said...

DanJ0: It doesn't surprise me in the slightest that he doesn't recant publicly and then continue as a Christian in private. Because most Christians hold their beliefs seriously, solemnly and sincerely, and to publicly denounce them would be the height of hypocrisy. It would be Judas kissing Christ to indicate him to the Romans. His beliefs are such that he is prepared to die rather than denounce them. It is courage in the face of tyranny and oppression.

29 September 2011 09:14  
Blogger IanCad said...

DanJo @ 06:32
You wrote--

"I have to say that it is beyond me that he doesn't simply recant in public and continue being Christian in private ..."

Therein lies the uniqeness of the Christian Faith. Namely; Truth.

Deception is the common currency of all false religions.

"Bilal wept before Mahomet crying "Master, they have beaten me and I have denied you" Mahomet asked "But what do you believe in your heart?" "Oh Master I still believe" roared Bilal.

Paraphrase from William Bolitho's essay "Mahomet"

BTW, there are many in the USA who would support a theocracy.

29 September 2011 09:56  
Blogger IanCad said...

Careless me!
I should have added--
"Then deny and believe in your heart" Mahomet soothed.

29 September 2011 09:59  
Blogger at frame said...

To be fair, Spanish Roman Catholics are campaigning and petitioning for the freedom Pastor Youcef Nadarkhanim.

29 September 2011 10:00  
Blogger Invictus_88 said...

To be fair, how can the west dispute this? Islamic belief tends to feel that death is appropriate for apostates, Islamic belief holds that all are Muslim (hence 'revert' rather than 'convert' for those joining their group), and Iran remains an Islamic country.

It's going to be pretty difficult for a western politician to act against this, because it's so much a bigger issue that to make a stand here would be like pulling a single hair from a cat.

Overall almost fruitless, and practically ppretty dangerous.

29 September 2011 10:21  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

DanJ0 said... "I have to say that it is beyond me that he doesn't simply recant in public and continue being Christian in private"

I think that reveals quite a lot about you, and about your perception of what a Christian's relationship with Christ is. And therein lies your complete inability to comprehend much of what is often said or felt within this particular blogs communicants.

It also reveals an extremely naive view of the 'security' forces in such countries. You believe that as long as he says, "I recant ..." that'll be it?

G. Tingey said... [Things I can't even be bothered to dignify by repeating].

You really are such an ignorant arse. Are you, in fact, our old 'friend' Graham Davis by another name?

29 September 2011 10:47  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

IT WOULD APPEAR THE MUSLIMS ARE NOT HAPPY


* They are not happy in Gaza.
* They are not happy in the West Bank.
* They are not happy in Jerusalem.
* They are not happy in Israel.
* They are not happy in Egypt.
* They are not happy in Libya.
* They are not happy in Algeria.
* They are not happy in Tunis.
* They are not happy in Morocco.
* They are not happy in Yemen.
* They are not happy in Iraq.
* They are not happy in Afghanistan.
* They are not happy in Syria.
* They are not happy in Lebanon.
* They are not happy in Sudan.
* They are not happy in Jordan.
* They are not happy in Iran.

Where are the Muslims happy?

They are happy in England.
They are happy in France.
They are happy in Italy.
They are happy in Germany.
They are happy in Sweden.
They are happy in Holland.
They are happy in Denmark.
They are happy in Belgium.
They are happy in Norway.
They are happy in the U.S.
They are happy in Canada.
They are happy in Romania.
They are happy in Hungary.
They are happy in Australia.
They are happy in New Zealand.

They are happy in any other country (especially Christian) in the world that is NOT under Islamic
rule.

And who do they blame?

* Not Islam.
* Not their leadership.
* Not themselves.


But the countries in which they are now happy to live.
So much for mutual reciprocated respect across religion !

One way traffic, old fella, One way traffic!

E S Blofeld

29 September 2011 11:01  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Good work, Cranmer, but try to tone down on the patented English crank stuff; it makes you look like, well, an English crank. Standing up for Yousef Nadarkhani does not require you to lay into Troy Davis, and quite frankly, strong and unstinting moral positions from Anglicanism is a little unsettling.

29 September 2011 11:44  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

DanJo

I don't think recanting Jesus will be enough - he would also have to subscribe to Allah as well. Similarly the Iranian State isn't above forcing homosexuals into heterosexuality.

It seems to be more than a little bit illogical to argue for a more secular state in the UK while at the same time just accepting the behaviour of a theocracy which ssems to model itself on where we were in the Middle Ages. I find it somewhat difficult to discriminate bewteen all those whom the Iranian state choses to pick on whether they be Christians, democrats, atheists, Bahais etc.etc.

29 September 2011 11:46  
Blogger Alison said...

Your Grace

Difficult to conclude he is doing nothing. It might hinder the Pastor’s case to be openly vocal by aggravating the highly sensitive mullahs further. In a New Year’s day address, Pope Benedict XVI called for an interfaith meeting to urge for peace and an end to religious violence and at WYD he announced plans to hold an October summit similar to that of his predecessor, the late Pope John Paul, the purpose of which would be to “solemnly renew the effort of those with faith of all religions to live their faith as a service for the cause of peace.” In his January 1st address, Benedict reflected on religious persecution throughout the world. “At present, Christians are the religious group which suffers most from persecution on account of its faith,” . I seriously doubt that work is not being done behind the scenes daily and tirelessly on this issue but I worry that being publicly vocal with regards to Islam would be unhelpful. It's not as though he hasn't come unstuck here before with regard to Islam.

Can I refer Mr Tingey above to the ongoing persecution of Christians in the non-religious gulags of North Korea. One of few survivors testified recently that “In North Korea ..the No. 1 enemy is God. Kim II Sung hated God most”.

(Londonistar)

29 September 2011 12:24  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Rebel Saint @ 10.46, it is tempting to belive the G Tingey is G Davis undercover, but there are significant differences.

Firstly G Tingey uses capitals frequently, G Davis never did.

Secondly G Davis was capable of developing an argument, G Tingey has yet to do so.

Thirdly, G Davis had a sense of humour.

29 September 2011 12:26  
Blogger Preacher said...

I add my prayers & my protests to those of all my bretheren.
It should be noted that the heroic actions of Pastor Nadarkhani should focus our attention on several factors.
1/ It is the intransigent teachings of Islam that has caused this confrontation.

2/ Islam is scared of the truth of the gospel being preached, thus its hatred & persecution of the evangelical branch of the church.
In Christian countries Islam is as free to evangelise as any faith, why? because the faith of Jesus Christ will withstand any attack from falsehood.

3/Pastor Nadarkhani has shown by his heroic stand that he is a true disciple of the Lord, his example should put many of us to shame. We may face arrest or prosecution if we stand for our Lord, but not many in the West will face martyrdom.

4/ It is not Muslims themselves who are our enemies, but the evil pernicious teaching of the Islamic faith. We should be taking the word of freedom to Muslims just as Pastor Nadarkhani has done, with the result that 200 people have now shrugged this off yoke of tyranny.

5/ We should be petitioning the Lord to send the Holy Spirit in a powerful revival that will turn the hearts of mankind back to Him. We must preach the full gospel again, not leaving out the parts that may offend the lost, i.e repentance, judgement & Hell.The Cross of Christ IS offensive to the lost, it is meant to be, it reveals the evil thoughts & desires of mans heart, which is offensive to God. Jesus was only speaking the truth when He said "I am the Way the truth & the Life, No man comes to the father but through me".

6/ Many of our Churches are being attacked by teachings that dilute the gospel & Pastors & ministers should be aware that being man pleasers dilutes the word of truth until there is nothing of power left, then they wonder why people are no longer embracing Christ & being saved. Ministers, send the wolves in sheeps clothing out of your fellowships, remember "A little leaven leavens the whole Lump".

29 September 2011 12:35  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Preacher said..29 September 2011 12:35

A most excellent insightful post, you man, as we have come to expect from you.

Ernst

29 September 2011 12:44  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

I have to say that it is beyond me that he doesn't simply recant in public and continue being Christian in private

That is because you think there is nothing to possess but your own life. You do not comprehend "He who loses his life for my sake will find it" because you deny that man could find anything after death. You mistake faithfulness for irrationality and fanaticism. If you understood these things, you would know why this man will never recant.

carl

29 September 2011 12:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

TBNGU:"It seems to be more than a little bit illogical to argue for a more secular state in the UK while at the same time just accepting the behaviour of a theocracy which ssems to model itself on where we were in the Middle Ages."
I haven't done that. I have condemned the death penalty everywhere.

29 September 2011 13:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl Jacobs: "You do not comprehend "He who loses his life for my sake will find it" because you deny that man could find anything after death. You mistake faithfulness for irrationality and fanaticism."

I deny it for suicide mass murderers who do it for Islam too. In this particular case, I see little benefit in martyrdom. In fact, I think it's hideous given that he has a young family. Very brave though.

29 September 2011 13:12  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

You would compare this man to a suicide bomber? He doesn't want to die, and he isn't trying to kill anyone. He was simply hauled before a judge and given the choice of 'Recant or die.' He will not deny God at the cost of His own life. Can you really not see the difference?

carl

29 September 2011 13:21  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Rebel: "I think that reveals quite a lot about you, and about your perception of what a Christian's relationship with Christ is. And therein lies your complete inability to comprehend much of what is often said or felt within this particular blogs communicants."

It reveals I am an atheist, which will no doubt be a terrible shock to people here. As for the second paragraph, I judge on behaviour and the chances of a fair chunk of the people here doing the same as this man is about zero I reckon.

He's clearly a very brave man and very committed to his beliefs. I doubt he's causing any harm either although there might be some there, echoing some here in other contexts, who think he's undermining public morality, or leading people astray, or damaging social structure, simply by getting on with his life. I obviously have no truck with that.

"It also reveals an extremely naive view of the 'security' forces in such countries. You believe that as long as he says, "I recant ..." that'll be it?"

That reveals you to be a complete berk I'm afraid. I'm pretty well travelled and I have occasionally worked in places where I was assigned an armed guard in order to move around or go on site. Those sort of places don't usually have British-style policing and I recognise that very well.

The other thing that springs to mind from your comment is what on earth is the point of making a fuss about this poor man if what you say is true. Do you really think that "that will be it" as far as the security forces are concerned if he avoids the punishment after an outcry?

29 September 2011 13:37  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Ian Cad
Wrong
christianity is no different to any of the others.
They are all cruel blackmailing lies.
I suggest you read some history.

However, the "Iranian" government choosing to kill someone for a delusion is a vile criminal act.

29 September 2011 13:37  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Who Graham Davis?

I do actually have a sense of humour, but it is very hard to display it when confronted with such delusions as afflict the religious (Having been almost-Evangellically-brainwahed, and escaping narrowly).

Nonetehless, please note my objections to the cruel stupidty of the guvmint/courts in the suffering country of Persia.

As for developing argunent, I have a longish essay on this subject, and the futility of a/any religion based on a complete absesnce of any material, testable evidence. But I doubt "his grace" would let it in to this blog.

29 September 2011 13:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "You would compare this man to a suicide bomber?"

No I would not. I'm a liberal, I see this man as harmless on the face of it. I see suicide mass murderers as evil and extremely dangerous. I won't punish Muslims here in the UK for their harmless beliefs or Christians in Iran for theirs. Freedom of expression and belief is quite fundamental for a liberal.

"Can you really not see the difference?"

I can see that you don't see the argument. I cannot comprehend suicide mass murderers doing what they do either. If one believes something religious so much that one is willing to die for it then how does one belief become irrationality and fanaticism and one does not? Those things are in the context of the belief with respect to the world in front of everyone else. You have to step into the belief. Do you think the suicide mass murderers don't see themselves as faithful?

29 September 2011 13:57  
Blogger IanCad said...

G Tingey
Wrong
christianity is no different to any of the others.


Oh no, we have a living saviour who has shown us the right way.
We may stumble and fall but he is there to sustain us.
All other religions worship dead false gods who are in the grave. If they ever existed at all.
It is a mantra among atheists that all religions are equal.

29 September 2011 14:11  
Blogger Preacher said...

I do not wish to draw attention away from the important subject of todays blog by indulging in debates of denominations, or any other belief. But sense that many who are posting here are suffering anger, hate & intense spiritual pain from old wounds that haven't been allowed to heal.

The strong & certain faith displayed by Pastor Nadarkhani who knows the truth of the gospel & is prepared to sacrifice his life for it should I feel be mute testimony to the truth of Jesus's words & the truth they display.

It makes me feel sad these people in such discomfort, but perhaps the Lord is still drawing them to the truth & that's why they keep coming, hoping to find the solace & healing they crave from God.
If this rings true for you, feel free to keep writing & visiting until you find the peace that you seek.

29 September 2011 14:55  
Blogger Oswin said...

G. Tingey:

You were ''brainwashed'' to do what, exactly? Were you held captive by Seventh Day Adventists; or some rabid, fundamentalist splinter-group of the Plymouth Brethren perhaps?

Get over yourself for your own, ours, and for God's sake. I've read every post of yours, and it amazes me that you've managed to survive at all, such are your tales of woe.

29 September 2011 15:04  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ DanJ0 (13:57)—I won’t punish Muslims here in the UK for their harmless beliefs

Neither can we punish them for their harmful beliefs; all we can do is cross our fingers that not too many Muslims act on those harmful beliefs. In fact, Muslims do seem to restrain themselves when they are a minority but, as evidenced by the plight of non-Muslims in Muslim countries, it’s a different story when Allah’s barmy army rules the roost.

29 September 2011 15:25  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

That G Thingey Chappie mumbled, gritted teeth etc 29 September 2011 13:42

"As for developing argunent, I have a longish essay on this subject, and the futility of a/any religion based on a complete absesnce of any material, testable evidence.(*Chuckle* Why you old evangelical atheist you.) But I doubt "his grace" would let it in to this blog."

Try http://richarddawkins.net/ as he is always looking for new disciples and I reckon you would bond immediately.

ps

Do try and improve your spelling prior to contacting him, old sport as he is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford and was the University of Oxford's Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008, did you know.
Unless of course he takes any old scallywag.

Ernsty, my old angry fella

29 September 2011 16:03  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

I can see that you don't see the argument.

No I see it quite clearly.

If one believes something religious so much that one is willing to die for it then how does one belief become irrationality and fanaticism and one does not?

I do not see a suicide bomber as irrational. I see him as very rational but terribly deceived. You are the one who implied irrationality. You said you could not comprehend why the man would not simply pretend to recant. I understand exactly why he will not recant. He gives testimony to the Truth by his refusal. He says "Oh King, we know that our God has the power to deliver us from the mouth of the lion, but even if He does not, we will still not worship your idol." He stakes his life on the Living God. The atheist looks on and says "Brave fool. You lose everything for an illusion." The man responds "Seven time the fool are you, for I gain what you despise."

The only way that you could not comprehend a man dying for what he believed is if you personally possess nothing for which you would die. Thus would atheism make cowards of us all.

carl

29 September 2011 18:52  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "The only way that you could not comprehend a man dying for what he believed is if you personally possess nothing for which you would die. Thus would atheism make cowards of us all."

A load of crap of course. Fathers, mothers, lovers, and so on are often willing to sacrifice themselves that others may live. Even strangers sometimes. That includes me, who expects to die and for that to be that. The difference is that benefits of the sacrifice are nominally apparent to everyone. You have sneakily had to shift your argument from a belief in life after death to cover altruism as well to make your point about atheists. Well, that's come to nothing and you're a fool for it.

"You are the one who implied irrationality."

You're the one who inferred it and put it into text, rather than my implying it, and I answered your point.

My original comment was really about expediency rather than belief. Saying "I recant" is not the same as actually believing in Allah, just as saying one self-identifies as a Christian is not the same as believing that Jesus is god who became a man and is one's personal saviour. I'm sure his god knows exactly what he believes in if it exists at all.

There may be an unavoidable theological obligation to refuse to recant publicly in words. If so then he must do what he must do as a Christian as you all must whatever the consequences. By the same token, such a belief effectively makes a martyr's death something to welcome, even celebrate, I'd have thought. But perhaps I don't understand it as some have said.

29 September 2011 19:28  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I should perhaps also draw a distinction between expediency in quietly being a Christian in a vicious Islamic theocracy, and expediency in standing up to an oppressor and refusing to stand down even when threatened with death. There's a potential benefit which is visible in the real world for the second one of those.

29 September 2011 19:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It's on the BBC now:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15116650

29 September 2011 20:23  
Blogger Dan Stork Banks said...

Hi YG,

I have created a Facebook group in support of Pastor Youcef as I could not see an active one. Would you and your supporters like to join? I think if it can get a 1000 or more members I will send the result to the Iranian embassy (and probably a few influential churchmen). Maybe give it a tweet?

http://en-gb.facebook.com/groups/100263290083872/

Thanks

29 September 2011 20:32  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

While I feel he should have the freedom to choose his own faith, to stick to his guns and leave his children fatherless seems little better than the Jehovah's Witness who lets a child die for want of a blood transfusion.

29 September 2011 22:30  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

In Gethsemane Jesus' full humanity was revealed as He struggled with His coming brutal death.

May God rescue Yousef and, if not, may He give him the courage to follow his conscience in his desperate plight.

Amongst all the guff streaming from DanJ0 he asked one pertinent question:

Who amongst us would have the courage of this this man? Not only to die for Christ but to leave his wife and children without a husband and father.

Let us pray that the quiet efforts I am sure are taking place behind the senes, away from the glare of publicity, prove fruitful.

May God Bless Yousef and prevent this crime against him and humanity.

29 September 2011 23:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Amongst all the guff streaming from DanJ0 he asked one pertinent question:"

Self-awareness, Dodo, self=awarness.

30 September 2011 06:05  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

ESP+t
Prof Dawkins has seen it ....

And I'm afraid my typos are my own - proof-reading one's own writing is always a pain.

30 September 2011 08:34  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

DanJ0 said ...

"Self-awareness, Dodo, self=awarness."

Yes indeed; stop talking to yourself and do something about this.

30 September 2011 08:49  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

G Tingley said 30 September 2011 08:34

"ESP+t
Prof Dawkins has seen it ....Ohh dear, will it now be the basis for another definitive 'God does not exist and I have proved it' essay or just another money making adventure/racket at the expense of the 'Sola 3D' bound illiterates, who stick to him like limpets on a rocky shore?
The Epistle to the Irreligious By Citizen Thingey, perhaps? How very quaint but somehow so obviously opaque!

And I'm afraid my typos are my own - proof-reading one's own writing is always a pain."

Well then, you give credence to the term More Haste Less Speed. Patience in your case would most definitely be a virtue and show others you care about that of which you write. A liitle less angry old git would be ideal but we wait in hope?

Ernst, you angry old geezer.

30 September 2011 09:38  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Ooops

"liitle" should say little.

Damn, blast and "rassafrassarickarackets" as muttley would say.

You have bleed'n well got Ernst at it, you old fool.

E S Blofeld

30 September 2011 09:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I'm waiting for him to trip over his elongated shoes on the way to the comedy car and for the doors, boot, and bonnet to fly off as he drives his way out of the circus ring.

30 September 2011 17:07  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Why bother with your narrow-minded spite on me, when you have a potential murder-victim to assist?
Oh, you're religious beilievers, of course, silly me.

Please note my equal condemnation of the vile guvmint of "Iran" though.
It still stinks, and I'm in full agreement with you about that.
Where we disagree is the underlying cause for this.
A separate argument entriely.

30 September 2011 18:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Just a suggestion G. Tingey, but could you do something about your appalling spelling and abbrvs, old man. You’re not Mr Popular on this site as it is,without enraging the rest of us...

30 September 2011 18:47  
Blogger len said...

OoIG,

G Tingey has every right to make his views known with or without correct spelling and punctuation.

Not saying that I agree with him but this blog is not exclusive for those with a' classical education'.

2 October 2011 09:12  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. Standards are what we want, Standards

2 October 2011 20:38  
Blogger len said...

OoIG,

Standards are good!.
But your remarks might have intimidated someone who might otherwise have contributed.Spell checkers are good but I haven`t quite figured mine out yet!.

3 October 2011 18:23  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older