Finally, some good news out of Iran this weekend. Many people around the globe watched this story with hope the Iranian government would do the right thing and release this man, but instead theyshowed how their faith in their own constitution means little enough to them that they violated it for political reasons.
According to Iranian law, non-Muslims are not to be punished for their beliefs, so long as they did not convert to another religion from Islam as an adult. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani converted well before adulthood. He has never been an adult Muslim.
Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was originally sentenced to death in his native country for his Christian faith, was acquitted of apostasy charges and released from custody.
Nadarkhani, 32, was imprisoned for three years and waiting execution for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. His charges were lowered to evangelizing to Muslims, which carried a three-year sentence. He was released with time served, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, a Washington-based watchdog group that had been campaigning for the pastor’s release.
The pastor isn’t out of the woods yet, though. According to Sharia law, an apostate has three days to recant. The pastor refused to denounce his Christian faith. Sources close to the matter say executions in Iran can happen at any time, often without notice. The court is reportedly seeking the opinion of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Islamic republic’s spiritual leader and highest authority, according to AFP.
I hope the Ayatollah has the good sense to follow his country’s constitution and fully release Nadarkhani without condition.
As Americans, could you imagine if you were persecuted for your faith? I know we are to an extent by other people, but not by our government. It makes me grateful every day that I’m an American. I feel grateful I can practice my faith as I see fit without any interference from the government.