Today I wanted to give you a quick update about Pastor Youcef. Both the Christian Broadcasting Network and The Jerusalem Post are carrying stories today about Pastor Youcef. Please keep him in your prayers, as he still remains in prison and awaiting a decision from, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Pastor Youcef has been given a book to read titled 'Message of the Two Eras' and is again being asked to recant his faith in Jesus and turn to Islam. It was reported previously that Pastor Youcef was given this book and did not deny Christ.
David Parsons, spokesman for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday the new development is “very troubling.”
There need to be “three attempts to make him convert to Islam before they can kill him,” Parsons said. He cited Shari’a Islamic law as the basis for the threeattempts rule.
Iran “is going through the motions” and “trying to do it in a very public way for the Muslim world and maybe, in their mind, thinking they can placate the West. It is outrageous,” said Parsons, who is a contributing editor to The Jerusalem Post Christian Edition.
The case “should be an eye-opener for world leaders,” he said. “They should know what Islam teaches in terms of ‘inferior religions’ like Judaism and Christianity.”
Fox News wrote that it secured “a digital copy of the book given to Nadarkhani, a 300-page compilation entitled Beshaarat-eh Ahdein, meaning ‘Message of the Two Eras,’ referring to the New and Old Testaments. Through various narratives, the book claims Christianity is a fabrication and attempts to establish the superiority of Islam.”
CBN News relates in their article titled Pastor's Death Sentence Highlights Christians' Plight, a little bit of history from the last 32 years concerning Islam and Christianity, and then gives the following about Pastor Youcef.
Pastor Youcef leads one of the country's fastest growing house churches, which is now 400 members.
He was arrested in October 2009 and was eventually charged with leaving the Islamic faith, even though he claims that he was never a Muslim.
After he was sentenced to death, Christians prayed and others in the international community demanded the pastor's release.
The Iranian government responded saying the world had it wrong, that Nadarkhani was charged with rape and extortion, not apostasy.
His case is now in the hands of the Ayatollah. Meanwhile, the Special Rapporteur at the U.N. accused Iran of violating human rights, and demanded the release of Nadarkhani and several other prisoners.
No Safe Place
Open Doors President Carl Moeller said even if the Ayatollah frees Nadarkhani and the pastor returns home to his wife and two boys, he will not be out of danger.
"Unfortunately he is not out of danger at all," Moeller explained. "In fact what we have seen in numerous cases over the last 30 years in Iran is that someone may be judicially acquitted or released on a technicality, but then their lives are deeply also under threat."
Please continue your prayers for Pastor Youcef and his family. Please share this story in your social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. Thank you.