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Breaking: Pastor Nadarkhani Released, Aquitted of Apostasy

Pastor Nadarkhani

We’ve been following the plight of jailed Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who’s been held on charges of apostasy and Christian evangelizing for more than 1,000 days. At last, he has been released. (H/T: Sarah Brown)

Iran Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Acquitted of Apostasy, Released From Jail

By Lillian KwonChristian Post Reporter

Youcef Nadarkhani, the Iranian pastor who captured the hearts of millions as he stood firm in his faith while facing execution, has been acquitted of apostasy.

Two organizations that have closely been monitoring the case and have sources in Iran reported Saturday that Nadarkhani, who went on trial early Saturday, has been released from prison and is at home with his family.

“Thank you to everyone that has supported me with your prayers,” Nadarkhani said, according to Present Truth Ministries.

Though acquitted of apostasy, the Iranian pastor was found guilty of evangelizing Muslims. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment but was released because he already served this time.

“We give thanks to God for His deliverance and the answer to our prayers,” Jason DeMars, founder of Present Truth Ministries, said in a statement.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide also confirmed the pastor’s release.

“We commend the Iranian judiciary for this step, which is a triumph for justice and the rule of law,” said CSW Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas. “While we rejoice at this wonderful news, we do not forget hundreds of others who are harassed or unjustly detained on account of their faith, and CSW is committed to continue campaigning until all of Iran’s religious minorities are able to enjoy religious freedom as guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is party.”

Nadarkhani, pastor in a network of house churches, was arrested on Oct. 13, 2009, after protesting the government’s decision to force all children, including his own Christian children, to read the Quran.

He was initially charged for protesting but the charges were later changed to apostasy and evangelism to Muslims. In 2010, he was sentenced to death and the ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court of Iran last year.

According to [some interpretations of] Islamic Sharia Law, an apostate has three days to recant. The Christian pastor had refused to recant his faith.

Christians around the world have prayed and appealed for Nadarkhani’s release. A Twitter campaign advocating for his freedom reached more than 3 million.

 

Related stories:

Message to Iran: Free Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani

Jailed Iranian Pastor Decries “Insulting Words” Against Islam

Iran:

Message from Iran: Tell All Americans We Love Them

Israelis ♥ Iran: A Message of Love and Peace

 

 

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  • Common Sense

    @yourKinFolk

    Many of those “Islamic” countries invent things, and these apostasy laws are just one of these nonsense ideologies which they claim to be Islamic.

  • yourKinFolk

    im not a muslim, im more like a free lance monotheist, but i have been studying the quran and hadith literature for 5 year now, just as i have been studying christian and jewish scripture as well as many eastern religious scriptures…. i have yet to see any saying in the quran, in the 15 translations that i have on my shelf, or in my sahih bukhari or muslim hadith collections, that justify any kind of legal/physical penalty for apostates… every time i think i may see one, i see that its not apostasy per se, but treason against the state that required a death penalty… like, if a former muslim defected and went to the meccans to tell military secrets etc.. etc… and for most of those cases there was forgiveness on the part of mohammad where no penalty was ascribed…. where do these countries with apostasy laws get their precedent from if its not in the quran or sunnah? where did the major madhabs get them from?

  • Nilufer R. Sage

    And somehow, I’m imaging Resident Evil/Biohazard with Eeyore in place of Zombies and Tranquilizer Guns filled with Prozac…

  • Wanderer

    Ilisha?!

    “resident Eeyore” :’D I think that one is going to stick.

  • Steve

    @Ilisha, he served 3 years for a victimless “crime” – that is not something iran should be congratulated for

  • It’s wonderful news that he has finally been released, and like everyone else, I agree he never should’ve been arrested in the first place. As seen in Pakistan and Iran, these laws against so-called “apostates” are just ridiculous. Even more so that they’re are done in the name of Islam when the Quran teaches us that Christians are our brothers in faith. The hypocrisy of such laws are obvious, I only hope more people in the countries which they exist will voice against them.

  • Steve

    @Ilisha, my comments aren’t bitter. I am querying the people who are congratulating iran. He should never have been arrested in the first place and his life threatened. In the end they decided to sentence him to three years in prison for “evangelizing Muslims” – a patently ridiculous “crime”. He served his sentence and was released. We should be condemning iran not congratulating them. It is entirely positive he has been released but that shouldn’t reflect any glory on to iran.

  • AJ

    @khushboo,

    “Fox News will never be happy with whatever Iran does.”

    There is a current need to evil-ize the Iranians and build up a case to attack them…this takes away from it.

  • Steve

    @Crow “Good for Iran”

    Yeah well done Iran, he only served a 3 year sentence for “evangelizing Muslims” while all the time he will have been in fear of his life. Well done Iran, very tolerant, no fuel for islamophobes there at all.

  • Crow

    Good for Iran. Ive actually seen Islamaphobes claiming this man had already been excecuted (Islamaphobes are demon inspired liars) and liar pork, you fool nobody by pretending to be a christian.

  • Steve

    It’s good he has been released but he shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place.

    “the Iranian pastor was found guilty of evangelizing Muslims”

    Pathetic.

  • Khalid

    Apart from some assanine remarks left by Lord “plug-it-up-with-a-cork”, I am extremely delighted at this mans release.

  • Sarah Brown

    khushboo – I don’t see why one should be especially happy with what Iran does – of course acknowledge that it’s wholly positive he is free, and that Iran could have acted worse, but he still got three years for evangelising even if he had served that time already. I also think – given the whole Iran/US/Israel nexus – it is not unreasonable to speculate about any possible relationship between this decision and any wider diplomatic processes.

  • Christian-friend

    “one small step for a family, one giant leap for Iran.”

  • khushboo

    Fox News will never be happy with whatever Iran does. Now they’re wondering about their motivation behind releasing this poor man.

  • Nevermore

    “If the Muslim countries put restrictions on other faiths then they should be give similar treatment without reservatins.”

    Y’know…

    “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

    But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
    – Matthew 5:38-39

    Not very Christ-like of you, now is it?

    Glad to see that the pastor is ok, though; he should be free to believe what he wants. Crap like this doesn’t make fighting morons like Spencer and his ilk any easier. The world is a pretty shitty place, but it’s nice to know that sometimes good does in fact win.

  • Robert4

    @Lord Pork — Great parody troll persona!

  • Haddock

    @Lord Dork: “If the Muslim countries put restrictions on other faiths then they should be give similar treatment without reservatins.What ever is good for the GOOSE,is also good for the GANDER.”

    Ahhh….So, according to your “logic”, if the United States routinely bombs other countries, then those countries have the right to do the same to the United States?

  • mindy1

    What a relief, glad he is free 😀

  • Thank you Ilisha for publishing this wonderful news.Sunni Islam of SAudi Arabia and Shia Islam of Iran are both LETHAL for Christians.I hope the Pastor leaves Iran with his family to some Western country ,incase he gets killed.If the Muslim countries put restrictions on other faiths then they should be give similar treatment without reservatins.What ever is good for the GOOSE,is also good for the GANDER.The atrocities by Muslim towards the Christians are diabloical.NO AID SHOULD BE GIVEN TO SUCH ROUGUE COUNTRIES EVEN WHEN THEY FACE NATURAL CALAMITIES.MAY BE GOD WANTS TO TEACH THEM A LESSON AS HE DID TO PHAROAHS OF EGYPT.

  • Reynardine

    I don’t know this man, but he has one of the gentlest faces I have seen.

  • That’s good to hear every one of us should be given the freedom to choose what we believe.

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