Iran has sentenced to death by man who converted to Christianity
Iran has sentenced to death Yousef Nadarhani – A 32-year-old Christian pastor who became a Christian at age 19.Charge – the rejection of Islam, reported the Catholic World News (CWN).
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran demanded Tuesday that Iran reverse Youcef Nadarkhani’s apostasy conviction and death sentence, and release him from prison.
The 32-year-old converted to Christianity at the age of 19. He is now a member of the Church of Iran ministry and the pastor of a 400-person congregation in the northern city of Rasht.
An ICHR spokesman, Aaron Rhodes, calls the conviction a “low point” of the Iranian judicial system. He said Nadarkhani’s death sentence is the “ultimate form of religious discrimination.”
The ICHR says that apostasy — the act of renouncing one’s religion — is not a crime under Iran’s Islamic Penal Code. The judge in the case said he based his verdict on provisions of Iran’s constitution and court procedures that instruct judges to consult sources and draw upon personal knowledge when there is no codified law.
On Sunday, Nadarkhani’s lawyer filed an objection with Iran’s supreme court. An appeals court upheld the sentence in September.
The ICHR also called for the release of Behrouz Sadegh-Khanjani, who is facing possible indictment for apostasy in the southern city of Shiraz.
Firouz Sadegh-Khanjani, a member of the Church of Iran’s executive council and Behrouz’s brother, told the ICHR the two cases are “part of a greater trend of persecution against Christians” in Iran.
- Iran Sentences Christian Convert to Death (waronterrornews.typepad.com)