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Christian pastor faces execution in Iran for refusing to renounce his faith


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Christian pastor faces execution in Iran for refusing to renounce his faith

'Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?'

His supporters say father of two has been given three days to recant before being hanged

'Tribute to courage' from William Hague

A man who converted from Islam to Christianity is facing the death penalty in Iran for refusing to return to his former religion.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, 34, of the Church of Iran, faces hanging after refusing a court order to renounce his Christian faith.

Jason DeMars, of advocacy group Present Truth Ministries, said: 'This law dictates what should be done with apostates, depending on what type of apostasy has been committed.

'My sources tell me that the court has been told to give the "apostate" three days to recant, then execute him.'

Mr DeMar added that section 6.225 of Iran's controversial legislation says that if a person's parents were Muslims at the time they were trying to conceive a child, and that converts to another religion and renounces Islam, he or she would be a national apostate.

full article...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2043306/Christian-pastor-faces-execution-Iran-refusing-renounce-faith.html

Any one know of someone who has became a JW in one of the extreme Muslim countires?

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OOps Sian - Great minds think alike - I started a similar thread, but on the apostasy issue, (perhaps they could merge?) and yes I do know someone who converted - very scary for them they can't go back home and they have to be careful here too. Sentinel in France helps such ones and others who may be threatened with honour killing there. There are arrangements here to change a person's identity and move them on if they convert too.

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This doesn't seem to be as big a deal here in the states.

We just had relayed to us an experience from a pioneer in our Hall. He started witnessing to a Muslim man who said he liked what he was hearing, but would never convert (born a Muslim, die one ;)). After months of studying, he got baptized. Now his whole family here in Vegas is studying and wanting get baptized (he didn't say the total #, but it is at least 3 - dad, mom & daughter).

He kept going, saying the man was going to go back to Iraq where he is from with a whole case load of Bible Teach books for all his family there. The pioneer discouraged him from taking the books, but he still wanted to head back. That is where the story is now. I'll post more next week when I get a chance to ask more questions.

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In Britain, if anyone has to go to work in a Muslim country for a short time, they are encouraged to write to Bethel for advice. Many Muslim Countries will let you take a small amount of literature in your own language implying that it is for your own use, but you should not take literature in the language of the country. The reason being that it implies you are either going to proselytize with it yourself or give it to others to proselytise with. This is illegal in Muslim countries and would get you arrested and endanger the lives of brothers trying to work in secret in that country, so the Bethel letters we have had read to us strongly urge us to enquire of Bethel for the correct procedure so as to not endanger our careful work or the brothers in these countries.Sometimes we even get letters about certain Muslim countries around the Mediterranean that brothers may wish to go on holiday.That they should keep all personal literature in English in their cases - not even on show in the bedroom in case it implies we are trying to get cleaners to read it!

Here is a recent newspaper article about a body found 60 miles from us that was an honour killing. It's sadly not uncommon here for those who will not conform or go 'apostate' according to their definition:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2042575/Iftikhar-Farzana-Ahmed-court-honour-killing-daughter-Shafilea.html

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We have a large Arab population in Michigan and at my last DC I briefly spoke with a couple from Iraq. They strongly felt that the conditions in that part of the world are so extreme and violent that the people there won't ever receive a thorough witness, at least not in this system. If you did somehow learn about the truth there and wanted to live by it, you would either have to leave or be killed, that simple.

I do know that the work goes on underground in many of these Muslim countries to an extent. For example, in Egypt (at least under the former regime), the authorities allowed our brothers there to witness to members of the Coptic Orthodox Church, which is Chistendom's remnant church there from before the Muslim invasion long ago. But if our brothers witnessed to and converted a Muslim, the consequences were much more dangerous and severe.

As far as Iran goes, the interesting thing about that is that in the centuries following the apostles, Persia (Iran) was the headquarters of a booming Christian church, called the Nestorian or Church of the East. One scholar stated that by 300 CE (or maybe even 400, can't quite recall now), more professed Christians lived east of Damascus than west. But even to a greater extent than in Egypt, the Muslim takeover of the area virtually wiped out the church there entirely.

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