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Canadian bishops call for release of Iranian Christian convert

Catholic World News - October 10, 2011

Archbishop Brendan O’Brien of Kingston, chairman of the human rights committee of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, has called upon the government of Iran to respect the religious freedom of Youcef Nadarkhani, a Protestant pastor sentenced to death for converting from Islam. At a recent retrial, Nadarkhani refused repeated opportunities to renounce his conversion to Christianity.

“Now is the time to speak up and pray out loud for Christians placed in a stranglehold by oppression,” added Neville Kyrke-Smith, head of Aid to the Church in Need UK. “The decision to execute Pastor Nadarkhani is not justifiable in the name of any religion, it is a totalitarian act – one man’s life being ended to dissuade others from opposing the political regime … The Catholic community must not be struck dumb as such suffering goes on.”

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