Ex-Muslim turned Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani sentenced to death in Iran | International | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.


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Ex-Muslim turned Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani sentenced to death in Iran

gavelgold060911BY BOB HOLT

A Christian pastor who was arrested in 2009 for renouncing the Islam faith can now be executed at any time without warning, according to an Iranian court.

Youcef Nadarkhani, 34, was found guilty of apostasy by an Iranian lower court two years ago and now has been sentenced to death by hanging.

Fears have been expressed that the execution would be in retaliation to international pressure being put on Iran for its nuclear agenda. Jordan Sekulow, executive director of The American Center for Law and Justice, called the sentence “defiance” by Iran. Sekulow said to Fox News, “The world needs to stand up and say that a man cannot be put to death because of his faith.”

International legal director of the American Center for Law and Justice Tiffany Barrans told The Daily Caller, “The Iranian Supreme Court upheld that the proper sentence for an apostate that refuses to recant is death.” Nadarkhani has been in jail for 863 days.

Nadarkhani’s supporters say his arrest came after he questioned Muslim religious instruction of Iranian children, according to Mail Online. Although he had not practiced the Muslim religion as an adult, the court ruled that Nadarkhani had to return to the faith because he was born into a Muslim family.

Death sentences in Iran have been carried out immediately or have taken years to complete. Reportedly at least six Protestant pastors have been assassinated in recent years in Iran.

According to CatholicHerald.co.uk, Iranian media said back in October that Nadarkhani, a father of two, has been sentenced for rape and extortion. President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams have all denounced the death sentence.

The ACLJ and other human rights organizations have mounted global campaigns against the Iranian government, and experts say Nadarkhani’s international support has kept him alive to this point.

Comments (8)
8 Tuesday, 28 February 2012 17:20
Here are two good suggestions on specific things we can do to speak out on Nadarkhani's behalf:


Also, in response to comment #7, I'm glad not traveling to Iran or North Korea works for you, but Nadarkhani is a native Iranian. He didn't go there and end up on trial: He was born there! Your advice is hugely irrelevant to the millions of people who live in Iran, North Korea, China and many other countries, who are being persecuted for their faith.
7 Monday, 27 February 2012 16:37
Really? Again?
Stay away from Iran, North Korea, etc. I am tired of hearing about people going to these countries and being put on trial. I have never been put on tried or arrested by North Koreans or Iranians....Do you know why? I STAY AWAY FROM THESE PLACES!
6 Monday, 27 February 2012 15:10
I pray for his release. To kill him is wrong and evil.
Muslims, be peaceful like you claim to be.
5 Monday, 27 February 2012 12:15
David Schell
These are the consequences of a religion that insists upon eternal punishment for those who do not subscribe to it: Heretics must die, lest they cause others to disbelieve and likewise burn forever. Let's not forget that Christians used to do the same thing, for the same reasons.
4 Monday, 27 February 2012 06:18
In our United States, a Christian nation, no one need ever fear being put to death for their religion. Thank God for America. We should all pray throughout the day, that Pastor Nadarkhani will be released.
3 Monday, 27 February 2012 01:37
denny Batte
Islam is a religion of ignorance that overlooks Gods love & his 10 commandments.One of the 10th command is don't kill.
Prophet Isha who is Jesus Christ taught us from his words the 2 greatest Commands of God:Love God with all yr heart,soul,mind & yr strength.The 2nd one:Love yr neightbour as yr self.
And now you Moslems judge from what he said.check it out!!
2 Sunday, 26 February 2012 21:48
What can anyone DO?? This is against anything a civilized Nation should tolerate ! We feel helpless, because we are. Prayer is the first thing to occur to another Christian, but is there anything , anything at all those who love The Savior can try to do ? He is NOT an Apostate. How can he be punished? The Koran does NOT approve of such barbarism.
1 Sunday, 26 February 2012 14:04
Tom Warren
Pastor Nadardhani was not a professing Muslim. His parents were Muslim, but he never practiced Islam. This is a crucial point. His "defection" is apostasy from a faith he never embraced.
He has been as active Christian since his late teens.

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