In a decision likely to further alienate Western nations against the Iranian regime, a trial court in Iran has found Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani (photo) guilty of apostasy and has sentenced him to death. Prior to his arrest in 2009, Nadarkhani had led a 400-person house church movement in Iran after his conversion from Islam. The court demanded on several occasions in late September of last year that the pastor renounce his Christian faith, or face possible execution for apostasy from Islam.
As Dave Bohon reported in September for The New American, Nadarkhani has been imprisoned since October 2009, “when he was arrested while trying to register his church.” He was found guilty of apostasy and sentenced to death in 2010 for abandoning the Islamic faith, but the Iranian Supreme Court sought a reexamination of his case in order to determine whether or not he had been a practicing Muslim adult before his conversion to the Christian faith.
A February 22 article for FoxNews (“Iran court convicts Christian pastor convert to death”) reports that the review of Nadarkhani’s case is now complete, and he may now be executed “at any time without prior warning, as death sentences in Iran may be carried out immediately or dragged out for years.”
As previously reported for The New American last November, Iranian officials endeavored to obscure the religious nature of the trial and conviction of Nadarkhani, spreading false accusations of rape and “Zionism” in an attempt to attack the character of their prisoner — and those false accusations were reported in the Western news media:
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Photo: Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani