Fox News reports:
“Today our sources in Iran reported that Pastor Youcef was acquitted of apostasy and released from prison. After languishing in prison for almost three years, he has been reunited with his family,” Jordan Sekulow, executive director of ACLJ said in a statement to FoxNews.com.1
The imprisonment of Youcef Nadarkhani certainly was an abomination, and his refusal to recant and claim Islam is commendable. His release is to be celebrated. Several months ago, however, some news outlets reported that Nadarkhani actually is a pastor of a non-Trinitarian group. If this is true, and the Iranian pastor denies the Trinity, then he actually denies the very God of the Bible, and thus continues to need the prayers of believers.
In December 2011, Mohabat News reported:
He [Nadarkhani] was arrested on 12th October 2009, in the city of Rasht in the northern part of Iran, where he had been the pastor of the underground church there. He is reported to be the evangelical pastor of “the Church of Iran”. However, what might come as a shock to many evangelical believers is that Pastor Nadarkhani is actually one of the leaders in a growing cult in Iran, which is linked with the Oneness Pentecostalism (Jesus Only) cult, which is non-Trinitarian, believes in baptismal regeneration, and is very closely linked and supported by the United Pentecostal Churches outside of Iran. They -with less than 200 members inside Iran- greatly admire and follow the teachings of an American preacher, William M. Branham, who claimed to be the last of God’s prophets on earth, that the doctrine of the Trinity is from the devil, and only those who are baptised in Jesus’ name are saved.2
The same news service carries a video wherein Nadarkharni makes the statement, “Well, we do not believe in [the] Trinity based on our faith, because [the] Bible talks of one God.”
While we are exceedingly thankful that the Lord has delivered Youcef Nadarkharni from execution, if the reports above are true, then this man continues to need the prayers of faithful Christians. The many who loyally have been praying for this man throughout his imprisonment need now shift their prayers, asking God to bring Nadarkhani to an understanding of, and belief in, the true Trinitarian God of the Bible.
- Fox News, “Christian pastor jailed in Iran for 3 years is freed, watchdog group says,” http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/09/08/christian-pastor-jailed-in-iran-for-3-years-is-freed-watchdog-group-says/, accessed 8 September 2012. ↩
- Mohabat News, “Is Nadarkhani an Evangelical Christian?” http://www.mohabatnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3467:is-nadarkhani-an-evangelical-chrsitian-special-report-on-non-trinitatian-cult-inside-iran-&catid=36:iranian-christians&Itemid=279, accessed 8 September 2012. ↩