Originally published in Christian Today
The moving last words of a man executed in prison in Iran a few days ago were of his profound faith in Jesus Christ.
The brother of Alireza Asadi, one of 12 people executed near Tehran at the end of August, has posted his last words on Facebook.
Asadi said the “best experience” he had was of meeting Jesus.
The post was circulated widely by Pastor Saeed Abedini, a naturalised US citizen who converted from Islam to Christianity in 2000 and became prominent in Iran’s house church movement. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2013 in Iran and released in January this year.
Alireza Asadi, speaking to his brother Mohsen, one day before his execution, said all was going well.
He made clear his faith in life after death.
He said: “And Mohsen, I truly believe that there is a new season starting for me. And this new season is much, much more pleasant that the worldly life. This is what I truly believe.”
“Even when I didn’t repent I knew there is something. But now I believe surely about this new season and its existence. I can finally be in peace. I don’t have any stress or bad feelings and everything goes well with me.”
He said he was still not completely sure he would be executed.
He was with a group of about 10 people including four of his friends.
“We were crying from laughing a lot.”
He said he had been talking to them of God and would continue to do so.
“For many of you it was a question if I am a Christian or not. But now I say that I am a Christian. And now I have one or two days till I will die. And I hope it will never happen to you guys. During these moments you forgive all the bad that has happen to you. But the most I want tell you is the best experience that I had. And that was meeting Jesus. And I don’t want to force you guys, But please start to get to know Him. If you just read two sentences from the Bible, you will never leave it again.”
His brother asked him how his faith had developed.
Asadi said: “When I ended up here in prison I realized that God is the true God. I wanted God to show himself to me.”
He said Jesus was there when he needed Him.
“I needed peace, He was there. I lost many friends, but I know that I could find my comfort in Him. And when I commanded the devil to leave, I saw that the evil didn’t dare to come near me anymore. I felt and saw that the name of Christ is the name above all names. And that the enemy doesn’t have any authority over me anymore.”
He said the majority of those facing the death penalty were using drugs.
“But only because of Him (Jesus Christ) I stayed on the right track. Instead of drugs I am exercising every day.”
NCRI reported that the 12 individuals were executed in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj, north-west of Tehran on 27 August.
UN expert and special rapporteur on Iran human rights, Ahmed Shaheed, had called repeatedly for the executions to be halted.
He had said: “It is regrettable that the government continues to proceed with executions for crimes that do not meet the threshold of the ‘most serious crimes’ as required by international law, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is State party.
It is also troubling that courts continue to issue death sentences in trials that not only breach international fair trial standards but even domestic due process guarantees.”
He renewed a call for Iran to institute a moratorium on executions and to restrict use of the death penalty for the “most serious crimes”, or murder. Nine of the 12 executed were named as Alireza Madadpour, Bahman Rezai, Arman Bahrami, Alireza Asadi, Mohsen Eslami, Hosein Bayrami, Mehdi Rostami, Amir and Alireza Sarkhah.