Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard has apparently issued a "fatwa" or a religious decree on the heads of a St. Louis man and his pastor, marking them for death, KTVI in St. Louis reports.
A letter with a death threat inside was sent to Ali Bahkti and his pastor Mike Salazar. The envelope appears to be from Tehran, Iran and is reportedly signed by a member of the Revolutionary Guard.
"It's a death threat very simply" Salazar said.
Bakhti echoed his pastor, "Religious decree to kill... It's something to be taken very seriously."
And they are taking it seriously.
That's because they know exactly who they are dealing with. Bahkti actually served in the Revolutionary Guard when he was only a teenager. He was even assigned a suicide mission to blow up an Israeli disco.
But before he completed his final mission, Bahkti converted to Christianity and moved to the U.S. in search of a better life. That is when he met Pastor Salazar and the two have been spreading the Gospel together ever since.
Bahkti and Salazar recognize that Islam is a religion that can convert a Muslim into a terrorist, they told KTVI. "Our message isn't to offend Muslims," Salazar said.
Even though the two men now live under the constant fear of death, they say they will not stop preaching Christianity.
"I'm doing it for the kingdom of God," Bakhti said.
"Even if you die doing it," his pastor added.
Salazar has passed the letter on to the F.B.I. However, the agency wouldn't confirm to KTVI whether they are investigating the incident.