Youcef Nadarkhani

Youcef Nadarkhani, married, and the father of 2 little curly-haired boys.  He is a Christian living in Iran.  As a pastor, he led services and Bible studies. He baptized new converts. 

For this, he was sentenced a couple of weeks ago to death by hanging.  Youcef was given 2 chances in court to refute his faith. He refused both times.

There has been a world outcry, including protests from the White House, and the Iranian courts have backed off slightly, saying that his case is still under review and that there are new charges.  The Iranian government now accuses him of rape, Zionism, and extortion.  They say that he will receive the death penalty for those crimes.  The supreme religious leader of Iran will decide his case personally. 

It is jarring to think that martyrdom still exists, even knowing that throughout the Middle East and Egypt, Christians are being killed. Youcef’s case has put a face on it–an individual singled out by his government to be killed for his beliefs.  It seems like something from the Roman Empire, not from 2011, to see a person executed simply for being a Christian, while the world watches. 

I marvel at the courage Pastor Youcef displays.  His actions these past few weeks are an inspiration.  Would my faith be so strong?  I like to think that my love for the Lord is unshakable, yet I am grateful to live in a country where I won’t have to be put to that sort of test.  Please remember Youcef in your prayers. His steadfast faith and courage are an example to us all.


About reinkat

I am an iconographer, and have been studying Russian/Greek icons since 1995. I'm married with 3 children. I love hiking, camping, animals, my family and church--and icons.
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5 Responses to Youcef Nadarkhani

  1. MJ says:

    There are a lot of martyrs in places we hear of and many we don’t. Certainly the Coptic Christians come to mind. May God give Youcef and his family the courage to endure. We will keep him in our prayers. MJ

  2. Teresa says:

    Unfortunately, my understanding is that there are more martyrs for the faith today that ever before — in China, in the Middle East, in Indonesia, etc. although we do not hear of it much in our press. I have friend, Tony Clark, who has traveled extensively in China (and he recently did a series for EWTN) — the stories he told me made my hair stand on end. It is sad, but very true. Also that is why so many Christians (i.e. Catholics) are leaving Iraq since their lives are threatened too — unfortunatly many refugees went to Syria and now that country’s government is unstable. It calls for much prayer and vigilance on our part.

    • reinkat says:

      Thank you for your comment and additional insights. There is something particularly chilling to me about the deliberate singling out of an individual for torture and punishment by a government, because of his/her faith, as opposed to a fired-up mob attacking and killing as part of a riot. Both are martyrdom to be sure, but the coldness and ruthlessness of what is happening to Youcef is very frightening. Where can we learn about what is happening in China?

  3. SR says:


    This is a good post, and I as you would like to think my love for the Lord and the Church is unshakeable. I guess we will never truly know until we are confronted with it.

    You know Reinkat even though we do live in a country where we are free at this point and time to worship God, I am seeing a movement in this country, USA, that is scaring me to death. I am very afraid for my children and grandchildern.

    There is a movement I guess could be referred to as “True Gospel Teachers” that are some of the most hateful people I have ever ran across. They are mean and they get their teachings from Jesus and the tax collectors Scripture. I was even told by one of them one time, “Jesus took a whip and beat them, where was the love in that?” My reply was, “The love went to the Cross.”

    I have read some of their blogs and things, and heard some of them on T.V. and disagreeing with them is not even an option. People are flocking to them by the thousands. So we need to keep this country in much prayer, as I pray daily they are stopped. God Bless, SR

    • reinkat says:

      Thank you, SR, I understand your comment better after reading your conversion post. We do indeed need to keep this country in prayer. From my locality and experience, I see more threat from the secular world–and those who identify themselves unequivocally as “pagans’. They are so very actively hostile, and they are supported by the media in every area. I have not had an acquaintance (Thank you, Lord) with the True Gospel Teachers that you mention, at least not yet. There are many who are out to tear down our church, and our faith, and that of the Protestant churches as well.

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