(ACLJ/MNN) — For the first time in nearly a year, Christian Pastor Youcef
Nadarkhani has written an open letter to "all those who are concerned" with his
his arrest in 2009, Nadarkhani's face became the centerpiece for the persecuted Church
throughout Iran. The case stems back to
his protest of the mandatory teaching of Islam at his children's
schools. Initial charges were later
changed to apostasy and attempting to evangelize Muslims.
Although international pressure for Nadarkhani's release grew, the courts
issued an execution order in February 2012, but they have not carried it out. Last
week, his defense lawyer was convicted of acting against national security and
faces nine years behind bars.
spite of the increasing trouble, Nadarkhani has maintained his faith. His letter thanks people for their concern
and asks for continued prayer. He gives
an update on his physical condition and encourages believers to hold strong in
follows is Pastor Youcef's letter, in its entirety, as translated by Jason DeMars of Present Truth Ministries. Present Truth Ministries and the American Center
for Law and Justice have been working together on Pastor Youcef's case from the
Greetings from your servant and younger brother in Christ, Youcef
To: All those who are concerned and worried about my current
First, I would like to inform all of my beloved brothers and
sisters that I am in perfect health in the flesh and spirit. And I try to have
a little different approach from others to these days, and consider it as the
day of exam and trial of my faith. And in these days which are hard in order to
prove your loyalty and sincerity to God, I am trying to do the best in my power
to stay right with what I have learned from God's commandments.
I need to remind my beloveds, though my trial due has been so
long, and as in the flesh I wish these days to end, yet I have surrendered
myself to God's will.
I am neither a political person nor do I know about political
complicity. But I know that while there are many things in common between
different cultures, there are also differences between these cultures around
the world which can result in criticism, which most of the times response to
this criticisms will be harsh and as a result will lengthen our problems.
From time to time, I am informed about the news which is spreading
in the media about my current situation–for instance, being supported by
various churches and famous politicians who have asked for my release or
campaigns and human rights activities which are going on against the charges
which are applied to me. I do believe that these kinds of activities can be very
helpful in order to reach freedom, and respecting the human rights in a right
way can bring forth great results in this.
I want to appreciate all those who are trying to reach to this goal.
But at the other hand, I'd like to announce my disgust at insulting words or
activities which make stress and trouble, which unfortunately are done with the
justification (excuse) of defending human rights and freedom, for the final
result is so clear and obvious for me. Insulting the belief of other nations or
people, whether they be a majority or minority, is not accepted and is an
unworthy deed, specifically for those who have this teaching to love and
respect others more than themselves and treat them the same as you want to be
Then, burning and insulting is not a reverent behavior for a
Christian, but it's worthy to be in obedience to the word of God and humble
ourselves to glorify God.
I try to be humble and obedient to those who are in power,
obedience to those in authority which God has granted to the officials of my
country, and pray for them to rule the country according to the will of God and
be successful in doing this. For I know this in this way I have obeyed God's Word. I try to obey along with those whom I see in a common situation with me.
They never had any complaint, but just let the power of God be manifested in
their lives. And though sometimes we read that they have used this right to
defend themselves, for they had this right, I am not an exception as well and
have used all possibilities and so forth and am waiting for the final result.
So I ask all the beloved ones to pray for me as the holy Word has
said. At the end I hope this be prepared as soon as possible, as the
authorities of my country will do with free will according to their law and
commandments which are answerable to.
May God's Grace and Mercy be upon you now and forever. Amen.