Iranian Pastor Must Disavow His Christian Faith This Week…or He’ll Be Executed
|Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani|
Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani continues to very literally fight for his life in Iranian courts. As the Blaze reported back in July, Nadarkhani was arrested in October 2009 and charged with apostasy (the total abandonment of one’s religion) following a conversion from Islam to Christianity.
As we have already reported, Nadarkhani, now 32, made this conversion years ago when he was a teenager. While this has become the basis for the Iranian case against him, his initial arrest surrounded his public opposition to Christian schoolchildren being forced to participate in Islamic religious education. The Christian Post has more about how the pastor first came to the attention of authorities:
The case began in October 2009 when Nadarkhani protested at the local school of his two sons. The government had recently passed a law stating that Islam must be imposed on children in local school, and even on Christian children.The details surrounding the legal handling of the case are complicated. According to some accounts, there was a glimmer of hope earlier this summer when Iran’s Supreme Court reportedly offered a recant or die option. In this instance, the government would avoid executing Nadarkhani if he “repented.” But the court also allegedly sent the ruling back to the pastor’s hometown court. Jordan Sekulow provides more information in his Washington Post op-ed:
Nadarkhani publicly protested at the school, stating the law was unconstitutional because it did not allow the free practice of religion. His protest caught the attention of the police and government.