November 1, 2014

It’s The Thought That Counts

J. Christopher Stevens

J. Christopher Stevens

Court convictions for insulting Islam are becoming common throughout the world.  Even in the U.S.A., a person insulting our nation’s Christian heritage seems to receive less backlash than someone who offends the Islam religion.  So when the Islamist ruled Egyptian government sentenced Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud, known as Abu Islam, to 11 years in prison for burning the Bible, I paused. 

Abu Islam, who runs his own religious television channel, led a demonstration in September last year against the now famous anti-Islam video that went viral on the internet.  It was this video that the U.S. government (I believe it was former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton) originally blamed for the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four people including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, and wounded 10 others.  However, a U.S. State Department investigation found that the role of the video was overestimated by Ms. Clinton and it was determined to be a premeditated attack by Islamist militants.  Abu Islam’s son was sentenced to eight years in jail for the same offence.

As I came to the end of the article I realized the law is quite different in Egypt than here in the U.S.  When a person is convicted of a crime here in America, the term to be served begins.  Then the defendant has the opportunity to appeal through the court system.  It appears in Egypt, both Abu Islam and his son will remain at liberty pending their appeal which means neither of them are serving time.  I guess it’s the thought that counts.



3 Years In Prison

Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani

Back on March 16, 2012 I wrote a blog entitled Religious Freedom.   I blogged about Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran being jailed for speaking out about the mandatory Koran classes being required in his child’s school.  Here is a refresher about his case:

“Nadarkhani has been jailed since being arrested on Oct. 13, 2009, after he went to his son’s school to complain about them starting mandatory Koran classes. He was then charged with apostasy from Islam. He was found guilty by the Iranian Supreme Court and sentenced to death in 2010 and has been imprisoned ever since.”

It now appears that the Pastor will be facing new charges since he refuses to recant his faith in Christ and his complaint about the Koran.  No one truly understands what these new charges will do for his case. In the meantime, please forward this blog to your prayer warriors and pray for this man and his family as he continues to stand for the truth in Christ.

Religious Freedom

I share this true story because the pastor is a living example of what happens when religious freedom does not exist.  It is these real life examples of solid faith in Jesus Christ that motivated me  to write the fictional novel, Donovan’s Law.  The law Donovan lived by was to STAND FIRM FOR WHAT YOU KNOW TO BE THE TRUTH IN JESUS CHRIST.  The man in the story below understands the cost for that kind of committment:

Pastor Youef Nadarkhani has been in prison in Iran for the past three years and has been sentenced to death by Iran’s highest court last fall.  Why?  Initially the Iran officials accused him of rape and extortion.  However, this past Monday, the United Nations Human Rights Council met in Geneva to discuss Iran’s abuse on human rights and named Pastor Nadarkhani as a victim of false accusations.

When Mohammad Javad Larijani stepped forward to defend the accusations of false imprisonment and sentencing, he stated that preaching to the youth without their parents’ permission, converting his home into a church, and offending Islam were the charges placed against the pastor. How did he offend Islam?  He converted from the Islamic religion to Christianity.

It appears that the original sentencing came when Nadarkhani voiced a concern about his son being forced to participate in a class about the teachings of Islam.  He was arrested and found guilty in a lower court for apostasy (abandoning one’s religion).  Youef was offered the chance to deny Christianity and return to Islam.  The fact that he remains in prison three years later tells us which choice he made.  Would you be able to do the same?