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Iran to execute Christian pastor for renouncing Islam

Catholic World News - December 10, 2010

Youcef Nadarkhani, a 32-year-old Protestant pastor who became a Christian at the age of 19, has been sentenced to death for renouncing Islam. Nadarkhani maintains that he did not practice any faith before his conversion to Christianity.

The “draconian language in the verdict makes it very clear that the Iranian authorities mean business,” said Leonard Leo, chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. “He could be executed at any time. And for what? For being a Christian.”

“We call upon the Obama administration and the international community to use every means available, to raise this issue and demand the unconditional release of Mr. Nadarkhani.”

Nadarkhani’s attorney has appealed the verdict to the nation’s supreme court.

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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Dec. 11, 2010 12:49 PM ET USA

    Please remember to pray the Rosary. We are not fighting flesh and blood but powers and principalities. Have you not seen demons in the streets of London and in the Middle East? If not, you are not looking.

  • Posted by: JonathanC - Dec. 10, 2010 9:08 PM ET USA

    This is but the tip of a very large and much under-reported iceberg. Intense persecution at the hands of Muslims against Christians, Catholic and separated, is on the increase, especially in Indonesia and India. These injustices committed against Christ's body are something westerners are far too sheltered from. Educate yourselves and Pray, Pray, Pray. See the reputable Protestant organization Voice of the Martyrs www.persecution.com (they report on persecuted Catholics too) and learn to Pray!

  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Dec. 10, 2010 7:16 PM ET USA

    Perhaps we should point out that, since Christianity predates Islam by some 600 years, that anyone converting from Islam to Christianity may be REVERTING to the faith of ancestors. And, that many of those ancestors were forced/coerced to convert to Islam in the first place, or face death. If Christians were to apply the same laws then, we would be justified in persecuting Islam for causing all those people to convert centuries ago. Whose heads should we lop first? Religion of peace? Hardly.

  • Posted by: tturner3998 - Dec. 10, 2010 6:38 PM ET USA

    It is difficult to believe that Islam is so backwards that it commits these horrors in the 21st century. I hope we get the message and nibble away a little bit at the freedom of religion in this country so that this freedom does not come at the expense of offenses against natural law.

  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Dec. 10, 2010 9:50 AM ET USA

    This is Islam folks, plain and simple. Seeing that we as a culture are politically correct and continue to welcome Muslims into our lands while making excuses for their many acts of brutality and cruelty pretty soon we will be slaves in our own lands facing similar punishments. Wake up, this is happening in Iran but it is just over the horizon over here and in Europe. Mark my words.

  • Posted by: deacon2476427 - Dec. 10, 2010 8:16 AM ET USA

    To whom can we express our concern for this pastor? Anyone know?

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