Here’s What KJP Had to Say When Asked About Biden Commuting Hunter’s Sentence
Federal Reserve Makes an Announcement About Interest Rates
Media Repeatedly Shed Tears for Repeat Offender Hunter, and a Hockey Writer Finds...
The Economist Took a Close Look at the NYT's Bestseller List and Found...
Trump to Meet With Mitch McConnell for the First Time In Four Years
Federal Judge Blocks DeSantis Ban on Transgender Care Calling it 'Unconstitutional'
Biden Vetoes Chance to Give U.S. Troops a Pay Raise Despite Spending Seven...
State Votes to Block Candidates From Office After 81 to Keep People Like...
Joe Biden Thinks Felon Son Is Being Victimized
House Votes to Hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in Contempt
Voters In This Crucial Blue-State Explain Why They Are Voting for Trump
How House Republicans Are Standing With Israel: NDAA Amendments
You Won’t Believe How This High School Spent a $10,000 Grant
Turley Weighs in on How Pelosi's Admissions Highlight Credibility Issues of J6 Committee
Lia Thomas Loses Legal Challenge to Compete in the Olympics
OPINION

Iran pastor (Yousef) to remain in prison

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
TEHRAN (BP) -- An Iranian pastor who potentially faces a death sentence for being a Christian will remain in prison at least four more months and perhaps up to a year, according to conflicting reports.
Advertisement

The American Center for Law and Justice reported Friday (Dec. 16) that an Iranian court had ordered any decision on pastor Yousef (also spelled Youcef) Nadarkhani to be delayed at least four months, meaning he will be in prison there during Christmas and well into the new year.

Meanwhile, a second organization that monitors religious freedom in the Middle East, known as Present Truth Ministries, reported that the delay would last a year.

Either way, the news was disappointing to Nadarkhani's supporters who had hoped he might be freed by now.

It is not known yet what role Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei played in the decision. Nadarkhani's supporters had been awaiting a decision by the ayatollah and had been expecting it to be handed down in mid-December. The court had requested an "opinion" from the ayatollah.

The goal of keeping him in prison, Present Truth Ministries said, is to "use whatever means necessary to cause him to recant and return to Islam."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement Dec. 9 calling for Nadarkhani and several other prisoners of conscience worldwide to be released "immediately and unconditionally."

Nadarkhani was sentenced to death a year ago after a court of appeals found him guilty of leaving Islam.

The case dates back to 2009 when Nadarkhani was arrested after complaining that his son was being taught Islam in school. He eventually was sentenced to death by the court of appeals. Earlier this year the Iranian Supreme Court upheld the death sentence but ordered a lower court to examine whether Nadarkhani was ever a Muslim -- a fact essential to determine whether he left Islam for Christianity. But that lower court in Rasht, Iran, found that although Nadarkhani was never a practicing Muslim he remained guilty of apostasy because he had Muslim ancestry.

Advertisement

In late September of this year, he was given four chances to recant his faith in court and refused each time. His case then was referred to the ayatollah. The American Center for Law and Justice reported one of his court exchanges.

"Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?" Nadarkhani asked.

"To the religion of your ancestors, Islam," the judge reportedly replied.

"I cannot," the pastor responded.

Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press.

Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp)

Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Recommended

Trending on Townhall Videos