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Sunday, 10 July 2011

Persecution

It was cold this morning, really cold, even the tough guys were wearing coats and scarves to church. In front of me though sat an Indian teenager dressed in shirt sleeves, no coat or anything. The rest of his family were all covered up to their ears. I had to ask him, "aren't you cold?". No he wasn't cold and he seemed quite comfortable. I was frozen and my hands and feet were like ice, still are like ice. Some people just don't seem to feel the cold, my brother wears shorts winter and summer, when he wears long pants then you know it's cold.


The cold is not what I wanted to talk about, but I had to mention it and get it off my chest. 


There are less than fifty countries in the World where any form of religious freedom exists. These freedoms  are being restricted more and more, with Christianity bearing the brunt of these restictions. Even in the so called, or maybe what used to be Christian West, these freedoms are being restricted. In these countries though, you can still go to church, convert to another religion without penalties or persecution and believe as your conscience leads you. In Islamic countries religious freedom does not exist.


In our church bulletin this morning was a piece about a Christian pastor in Iran who has been sentenced to death for apostasy.


Pastor Yousef, who is a pastor in the Full Gospel Church of Iran, was arrested on the 12 October, 2009 and charged with apostasy. On the 21 & 22 September, 2010 he was found guilty and sentenced to death. He appealed to the supreme court ,which rejected his appeal and confirmed the death sentence on 22 June 2011. Pastor Yousef has a wife and two children.


Pastor Yousef's execution has been delayed to give him time to "repent" of his Christian faith.


Pray for Pastor Yousef. Link to Middle East Concern for more on this.
http://www.meconcern.org/cgi-bin/giga.cgi?cmd=cause_dir_news_item&news_id=97308&cause_id=1489

4 comments:

Jo said...

Oh no, Phil, I'll definitely pray for Pastor Yousef. Blessings and love Jo

Joyful said...

Those of us who (still) have religious freedom what that really means. Thanks for bringing up the plight of Pastor Yousef. I will say a prayer for him.

Philip Robinson said...

We take a lot for granted. But Christianity has always blossomed under (or should I say after) persecution. I was in Malawi some years back with a church group and it surprised me to find the real feeling of threat they experienced there from their Muslim fellow citizens.

Gorges Smythe said...

Ah, Islam, the religion of peace! Yes, I'll pray for the pastor.