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Iranian Pastor Refuses to Recant During Trial

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2011 Sep 27
  • Comments

According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani has twice refused to recant his Christian faith during two court hearings this week and will be again demanded to recant at a third trial today or tomorrow; if he continues to refuse, he will be executed. Pastor Nadarkhani was found guilty of apostasy (abandoning Islam) last year and was sentenced to the death penalty by the Supreme Court. The death sentence for apostasy is not codified in the Iranian Penal Code but judges used a loophole in Iran's constitution. Nadarkhani was not a practicing Muslim adult before becoming a Christian, but a court of appeals decided he remained guilty of apostasy because of his Muslim ancestry. Nadarkhani's lawyer made it clear that the repeated demand for recanting is against both Iranian law and the constitution, but the court of appeals insisted the Supreme Court's verdict be applied regardless of its illegality.