Normally, execution is reserved for Muslims who convert to Christianity. But Pastor Yousef had no faith at all when he made the decision to follow Christ at the age of 19. Little did he expect that his choice could cost him the ultimate price — even his life.
In October 2009, Yousef was arrested by local authorities for “turning his back on Islam” and “converting Muslims to Christianity.”
By then, the 32-year-old married father of two was pastoring a group of house churches in Iran. Last year, Pastor Yousef was given four opportunities to recant his faith in Christ on September 25, 26, 27 and 28. Each time, he refused to deny Jesus. In one exchange he said:
“Repent, what should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?”
He was instructed again to return to Islam, because his parents and grandparents were Muslim. But Yousef simply answered: “I cannot.”
Christians around the world have been praying for Pastor Yousef’s life to be spared and for his family’s safety. If you were one of them, THANK YOU.
For reasons only God can understand, our brother was convicted and his appeals have been unsuccessful. By the time you receive this, he may already have been hanged.
Tragically, Pastor Yousef is one of many martyrs who have stood their ground for Jesus in the face of the death penalty in more than a dozen Muslim nations. The exact number may never be known. But we will see them in heaven!
Together with God, we can safely reach Muslims.
Our brave workers are quietly working to connect with spiritually hungry people in countries like this. It is so dangerous that we can’t name the countries or tell you some of the names who have at last come to understand God’s loving nature.
But we CAN tell you that this work is bearing great fruit, without endangering more lives. In fact, to keep pace with the demand to learn about Jesus in a culturally appropriate way, we need more than 6,200 Bibles!
Please pray for our teams who are dedicated to this work despite the arduous conditions. Also pray for those who are risking their lives to share God’s grace in one of the toughest harvest fields in the world today.