International pressure is growing on Iran to overturn a death sentence imposed on a Christian pastor for apostasy.
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, a member of a Protestant evangelical church in the Islamic republic, faces death by hanging for refusing to abandon his Christian faith.
The 34-year-old pastor of the Church of Iran was born a Muslim but became a Christian after his 19th birthday.
Under Iran’s version of sharia law that makes him an apostate — Muslims cannot renounce the faith into which they were born.
According to an unofficial translation, the court’s judgment said, “He has frequently denied the prophethood of the great prophet of Islam and the rule of the sacred religion of Islam. And he has proven his apostasy by organizing evangelistic meetings and inviting others to Christianity, establishing a house church, baptizing people, expressing his faith to others and denying Islamic values.”
Well you know what they can do with the ‘prophethood’ of their false prophet.
A history professor once postulated that the most pivotal battle shaping America’s destiny was not Yorktown or Gettysburg, but Quebec in 1759. There General Wolfe demolished French claims to Canada, which confirmed that America would develop decisively within the Anglo-protestant mold.
The latest Economic Freedom of the World rankings (for 2009) highlight the good fortune that resulted from Wolfe’s win. Many commentators will rightly deplore America’s precipitous descent over the past decade – down to tenth, yet another startling detail leaps from the page. Eight of the ten freest lands were once owned by Britain.
The nations enjoying limited government, property rights, sound currency, free trade, ease of regulation, low taxes and restrained public spending include: Hong Kong, followed by Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Chile, United Kingdom, Mauritius and the United States.
The study reveals a potent correlation linking freedom to economic progress. Nations following market principles propel past their government laden counterparts. They earn more, grow faster and “the poorest people in the most economically free countries are nearly twice as rich as the average people in the least free countries.”
By Charles Krauthammer:
While diplomatically inconvenient for the Western powers, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s attempt to get the United Nations to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state has elicited widespread sympathy. After all, what choice did he have? According to the accepted narrative, Middle East peace is made impossible by a hard-line Likud-led Israel that refuses to accept a Palestinian state and continues to build settlements.
It is remarkable how this gross inversion of the truth has become conventional wisdom. In fact, Benjamin Netanyahu brought his Likud-led coalition to open recognition of a Palestinian state, thereby creating Israel’s first national consensus for a two-state solution. He is also the only prime minister to agree to a settlement freeze — 10 months — something no Labor or Kadima government has ever done.
by Chriss W. Street:
The concept that seventeen independent rich and poor European countries could come together in a monetary union and perpetuate the “euro” currency has always been a fraud. The real story behind the formation of the euro was the “Grand Bargain”. The governments of the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain) receive colossal bribes in the form of the ability to borrow unlimited amounts of money at the same low interest rates the Germans pay; for agreeing to buy enormous amounts of German goods. The PIGS generously performed their side of the bargain. It is the Germans that after running-up vast surpluses are now economically destroying the PIGS by terminating the bargain.
By Daniel Hannan:
Not necessarily. The prosperity of the eurozone plainly is in our interests: it absorbs around 40 per cent of our exports, and comprises countries which are our friends and allies. But the survival of the euro and the prosperity of its constituent nations are two very different things.
True, the break-up of the euro would involve costs. But it’s becoming obvious that the costs involved in holding it together are much higher.
Although EU leaders are being coy about the details, the outlines of their rescue package are emerging. Essentially, they plan to borrow unprecedented sums of money – two trillion euros, rather than the 440 billion previously agreed – in order to fund yet another bailout. Zerohedge explains the scheme here.
Two trillion euros is a literally inconceivable sum. You can perhaps get some sense by imagining what the notes would look like – see here. In truth, though, we have gone completely off the scale in terms of government debt.
The Persecution & Prayer Alert
The Voice of the Martyrs, Canada
Thursday, September 29, 2011
“You never know how much you really believe anything
until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to
— C.S. Lewis
Sign up now to receive our free Monthly Newsletter at
In this week’s edition: reports from Iran, Nigeria, West Bank and Laos
1. Update: Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani refuses to recant, faces
(Source: Compass Direct, Present Truth Ministries, Christian
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian pastor sentenced to death for
apostasy in September 2010, refused to recant his faith during four
court hearings held on September 25-28. He now faces an imminent
verdict of the death sentence, which is expected to be issued within
seven days. “They probably won’t kill him today, but they can do it
whenever they want,” a source said. “Sometimes in Iran they call the
family and deliver the body with the verdict.”
In July, the Supreme Court instructed the Revolutionary Tribunal of
Gilan Province to review Youcef’s case to verify whether he was
previously a practicing Muslim (for more information, go to
). At the recent hearings, the court in Rasht ruled that Pastor Youcef
was not a practicing Muslim before becoming a Christian but that he
remains guilty of apostasy because of his Muslim ancestry.
Please pray for continued strength and grace for Pastor Youcef. Pray
that all charges against him will be dropped. Pray that Pastor Youcef
will rely on the Lord to give him the words to say when he stands
before accusing authorities (Matthew 10:19). Pray that Iranian
authorities will act justly in this case.
A source in Iran has shared that it is critical for foreign
governments to negotiate and engage in diplomacy with Iranian
authorities about Nadarkhani’s case, adding that Youcef’s predicament
could be more hopeful if they intervened. Please raise a voice on
Pastor Youcef’s behalf by writing Canada’s Minister of Foreign
Affairs, your local MP, and the Iranian embassy. For addresses and a
sample letter you can use, go to http://www.tinyurl.com/nadarkhani
To learn more about the suffering Church in Iran, go to
2. Scores of Christians killed in Plateau state, Nigeria
(Source: Compass Direct)
Dozens of Christians have been killed by Muslim extremists in
Nigeria’s Plateau state in recent weeks. On September 4, eight members
of a Christian family were shot and butchered with machetes in Tatu
village. The next day, seven Christians were killed in the village of
Zakalio. Another four Christians were murdered on September 5 after
Muslims attacked the Christian communities of Dabwak Kuru and Farin
Lamba. On September 8, extremists attacked Tsohon Foron village and
killed 10 Christians. The following evening, Muslim attackers killed
14 believers, including a pregnant woman, in the village of Vwang
Kogot. The Muslims, aided by men in Nigerian army military uniforms,
then raided the village. A pastor in the area said, “No help or relief
from the government has been received by our people…. We’ve just
been living with the horror of not knowing what will happen next.”
Pray that those who lost friends and family members will be filled
with the joy that comes from knowing that they will see them again at
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18). Pray
that the perpetrators of these attacks will repent and come to faith
in Christ. Pray for peace in Nigeria.
To post a prayer for suffering Christians in Nigeria, please visit our
Persecuted Church Prayer Wall at http://www.persecution.net/prayerwall
. For more on persecution in Nigeria, please visit
3. Lives touched through VBS program in the West Bank
Pastor Stephen Khoury, a VOM partner, successfully completed a summer
VBS program in the Bethlehem suburb of Shepherd’s Field, despite
opposition from neighbours and local authorities. On the first day of
the VBS, Stephen was accosted by a neighbourhood woman and her two
sons, but the Holy Spirit enabled Stephen to respond wisely and to
calm the woman. Over the course of the five-day event, the leaders’
car tires were slashed and the building and grounds of the youth
centre were vandalized. But Stephen and the other Christian workers
were encouraged. “We had more than 78 kids come, and more than 25 kids
from different religions received Christ,” Stephen said. “Lives were
changed forever.” As a result of their VBS success, a new outreach
meeting will be held each Friday at the centre.
Pray for those conducting outreach through the Shepherd’s Field
centre. Pray that they will not falter in sharing the message of
Christ. Pray that the kids who accepted the gospel will grow in their
faith each day. Pray that many more in the West Bank will hear the
Good News and turn to Jesus.
Go to http://www.persecution.net/palestine.htm
for more on the suffering Church in the West Bank.
4. Orphans under pressure in Laos
Eleven orphans in northern Laos are currently facing pressure from the
principal of their orphanage to stop attending church. If they do not
obey, the children may have to leave the orphanage.
After attending a local church and becoming a Christian, one of the
orphans shared the gospel with his peers. Soon, 10 other orphans
turned to Christ and began regularly attending church. When the
principal heard of the conversions, he told the children multiple
times to stop attending church. After pressuring the children with no
results, the principal called the group to his office on August 19. He
told them they must stop attending church or face the consequences.
Seven of the orphans promised they would stop attending church, but
none of them have renounced their faith. The remaining four orphans
continue to attend church and refuse to bend under the pressure.
Please pray that God will protect these orphans, who depend entirely
on government support. Pray that their example of steadfast faith will
soften the hearts of those around them. Pray that these orphans will
be upheld in prayer by the Christian community in Laos and around the
To learn more about the trials Christians face in Laos, please visit
5. Coming up: Women’s conference in Edmonton
Christian women are suffering for their witness in nations hostile to
Christ. Some are incarcerated in prison cells, without their basic
needs being met. Others are forced to labour under great duress.
Release Women, a ministry of The Voice of the Martyrs, seeks to
connect women in Canada with persecuted women worldwide.
Our upcoming “Holding to the Hope” conference, based on Hebrews
10:23-24, will include a time of worship, prayer and letter writing.
Guest speakers include Emma Dipper, the Release Women Coordinator for
our sister mission in the UK, and Takoosh Hovsepian, an Iranian woman
whose husband, Haik, was murdered for his Christian activities.
Event details are as follows:
October 15, 2011
9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Northgate Baptist Church
13208-95 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T5E 3Y4
Please make plans to join us! All women, from teenagers to senior
adults, are invited. Kindly RSVP with your name and the number
attending by phoning our office or emailing us at
. There will be sandwiches available for a free will offering with
proceeds to go towards a RW project.
For more information, please visit
The Persecution & Prayer Alert is a ministry of The Voice of the
Martyrs, Canada. (Mailing address: P.O. Box 608, Streetsville,
Ontario, L5M 2C1)
Tel. (905) 670.9721. Website: http://www.persecution.net
by Macer Hall:
CHILDREN could be forced to attend compulsory lessons in “European citizenship” under draconian plans drawn up by Euro-MPs in Brussels, it emerged last night.
In a move likened to Nazi indoctrination, the European Parliament wants pupils as young as five to be taught about EU “benefits” and encouraged to behave as “good Europeans”.
MEPs also want a network of specialist “European schools” across the EU to “encourage the emergence of European citizenship from a very young age”.
And they are demanding that lessons on the history and institutions of the EU are included in the national curriculum. The extraordinary diktat from Brussels was condemned as a propaganda drive designed to brainwash youngsters into supporting an EU superstate.
“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
by Taylor Dinerman:
It appears that members of the current administration have put the reliability and safety of the GPS signal at risk to support an ambitious commercial communications project largely owned by one of the President’s major campaign contributors. The LightSquared proposal for a $7- $8 billion mobile broadband system is, according to the Coalition to save GPS who are quoted in the June 20 2011 edition of Space News saying that “all testing done so far shows that LightSquared cannot operate as planned without devastating GPS.”
The American government’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which controls frequency use in the US, has, it seems, come under pressure from the White House to approve LightSquared’s application to use frequencies that may interfere with the GPS signal. If the Administration tried to tamper with the testimony of US Air Force Space Command’s commander General Shelton to facilitate the LightSquared project, it would show an unimaginable level of recklessness.
by Stephen Brown:
The Turkish-Israeli dispute over natural resources under the eastern Mediterranean’s seabed may soon enter a new and much more dangerous phase.
Last week, it appeared Turkey was going to make good on its threats to stop a joint Israeli-Greek Cypriot venture to explore for natural gas in Greek Cypriot waters and at the same time, militarily challenge Israel’s presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. But as the Texas-based Noble Energy company moved a rig from Israeli waters into position off of Greek Cyprus’ south-eastern coast to begin drilling, Turkish naval vessels and warplanes limited their actions to shadowing the transfer operation, keeping outside of Greek Cypriot waters and airspace. Turkey now appears resigned, at least for the moment, to halting the project through the offices of the United Nations (UN).
But the Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood at the UN carries an even greater risk of igniting a Turkish-Israeli military confrontation. While the political consequences to Israel of a separate Palestinian state have been much discussed, a lesser known economic factor that is attracting Turkey’s attention also threatens Israeli security and regional peace and stability. Like in Greek Cyprus, that factor is natural gas.
by Rich Trzupek:
One month after passing an initial environmental review, the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project crossed another significant hurdle, as a series of State Department hearings in states affected by the project drew to a close. Like any recent project involving any sort of fossil fuel use, the Keystone XL pipeline drew the usual crowd of protesters and fear-mongers. Yet, recognizing the importance of the project in both economic terms and in terms of energy independence, Keystone XL has garnered a surprising amount of public support as well.
The pipeline, running from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast, would have the capacity to bring an additional 700,000 barrels of crude oil pumped out of Canadian tar sands. The United States imports roughly 10 million barrels of crude per day, so completion of Keystone XL has the potential to displace a fair amount of the crude that we currently import from overseas. In a world where China and India are gobbling up as much crude supply as they can through long-term contracts, it obviously makes sense to ensure our own energy security through projects like this. Yet, the environmental Left has been doing everything it can to muddy the waters of a decision that should be crystal clear when it comes to this new pipeline.
by Ryan Mauro:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s news company is teaming up with Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal to launch “Alarab” next year, a 24/7 news network that is sure to reflect Alwaleed’s anti-Israel viewpoint.
Bloomberg will provide Alarab with five hours of financial-related programming. The focus of the network is to cover the Arab Spring with an emphasis on free speech and press. The manager of the network, Jamal Khashoggi, says it is “going to be to the left of Al-Arabiya and to the right of Al-Jazeera.” With an estimated networth of $19.6 billion, Prince Alwaleed will be in a position to influence the region like never before.
Alwaleed is the Saudi prince that sought to make a $10 million donation to New York City after the 9/11 attacks, only to have his check returned to him by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The mayor was offended at Alwaleed’s response to the disaster. He said, “At times like this one, we must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack. I believe the government of the United States of America should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause… Our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of Israelis while the world turns the other cheek,” he said.
by Kim Zigfeld:
Putin had just announced a massive new military spending program one analysts predicted could bankrupt Russia the same way a similar program destroyed the USSR. He has consistently and continuously ratcheted up his crackdown on democracy and his aggressive moves towards Russia’s neighbors.
But none of it mattered to Washington. In a shocking display of cowardice worthy of Neville Chamberlain, Barack Obama almost immediately announced he’d carry on business as usual with Russia. Given the choice between: admitting his policy has failed and trying to correct it, preserving American values and moral leadership; or maintaining the fraud that Russia is a reliable partner regardless of the cost, Obama has immediately chosen the latter course. His Russia policy has led the United States to absolute disaster and debacle.
Dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky issued a stinging denunciation of America’s abandonment of moral leadership from behind the bars of his Siberian jail cell. But Obama ignored it, just as he has ignored all the other cries of Russia’s liberals, those willing to fight for American values inside Russia. He has been willing, even happy, to sell them down the river in order to put forth the pretense of a “reset” policy with Russia that was based on a relationship with Medvedev, now clearly shown to be a helpless stooge.
By: Kim Moreland:
Abraham Kuyper just might be spinning in his grave. Kuyper, a statesman, theologian, educator, and journalist, at the opening celebration of the Free University in Amsterdam on October 20, 1880, declared that Christ is Lord over all of creation, or in his own words, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine’!” Kuyper used his influence to help reform the church, state, and education. The speech is titled “Sphere Sovereignty,” and the book in which you can find it is Abraham Kuyper: A Centennial Reader, ed. James D. Bratt (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1998): 461-462.
Sadly, just over 130 years later, there is a growing de-Christianization happening in a number of churches in the Netherlands. According the a study conducted at the Free University, one in six pastors of the Protestant Church of the Netherlands and a number of other denominations are either atheist or agnostic.