Monday, September 10, 2012

Iranian Pastor, Originally Sentenced To Death, Is Released From Custody

According to the London Mail, Iranian Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been released from prison after extensive pressure from foreign governments.  Last year, Nadarkhani (who was born to Muslim parents) was convicted by a provincial court of apostasy and sentenced to death. On appeal, Iran's Supreme Court upheld the death sentence, but remanded to the lower court for re-examination of  whether Nadarkhani had been a practicing Muslim adult before converting to Christianity. The Supreme Court also said that the death sentence could be overturned if Nadarkhani recanted. However the 34-year-old pastor refused to do so. (See prior posting.)  At a hearing on Saturday, charges against Nadarkhani were reduced to evangelizing Muslims, which carries a 3-year sentence.  He was released from custody for time served. [Thanks to Pew Sitter for the lead.]