Christianity and Islam…

Update: Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani to he...A trial court in Iran has issued its final verdict, ordering a Christian pastor to be put to death for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity, according to sources close to the pastor and his legal team.
 Supporters fear Youcef Nadarkhani, a 34-year-old father of two who was arrested over two years ago on charges of apostasy, 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.

It is unclear whether Nadarkhani can appeal the execution order. In a separate, however related story we would like to include the following.

 “The world needs to stand up and say that a man cannot be put to death because of his faith,” said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

 “This one case is not just about one execution. We have been able to expose the system instead of just letting one man disappear, like so many other Christians have in the past.”
 It is also feared that Nadarkhani will be executed in retaliation as Iran endures crippling sanctions and international pressure in response to its nuclear agenda and rogue rhetoric. The number of executions in Iran has increased significantly in the last month.

The order to execute Nadarkhani came only days after lawmakers in Congress supported a resolution sponsored by Pennsylvania Rep. Joseph Pitts denouncing the apostasy charge and calling for his immediate release.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights, considers the recanting of a person’s religion a human right legally protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:

The Committee observes that the freedom to ‘have or to adopt’ a religion or belief necessarily entails the freedom to choose a religion or belief, including the right to replace one’s current religion or belief with another or to adopt atheistic views…Furthermore, bars coercion that would impair the right to have or adopt a religion or belief, including the use of threat of physical force or penal sanctions to compel believers or non-believers to adhere to their religious beliefs and congregations, to recant their religion or belief or to convert.

The order to execute Nadarkhani came only days after lawmakers in Congress supported a resolution sponsored by Pennsylvania Rep. Joseph Pitts denouncing the apostasy charge and calling for his immediate release.

“Iran has become more isolated because of their drive for nuclear weapons, and the fundamentalist government has stepped up persecution of religious minorities to deflect criticism,” Pitts, a Republican, told FoxNews.com. “The persecuted are their own citizens, whose only crime is practicing their faith.”

The ACLJ has been a major driving force in keeping Nadarkhani’s case in the international spotlight. Many other advocacy groups and human rights organizations also have mounted global campaigns and petitions against the Iranian government, and experts credit Nadarkhani’s international support for keeping him alive.

Nadarkhani was arrested in October 2009 and was tried and found guilty of apostasy by a lower court in Gilan, a province in Rasht. He was then given verbal notification of an impending death-by-hanging sentence.

His lawyers appealed the decision under the premise that Nadarkhani was never a Muslim at the age of majority, a practicing Muslim from the age of adulthood, 15 in Islamic law, to age 19, which was when he converted.

The lower court then ruled that Nadarkhani had not practiced Islam during his adult life but still upheld the apostasy charge because he was born into a Muslim family. Sounds like a rule change!

The next time one is thinking about religious freedom or the 1st Amendment to our Constitution, please mentally thank a Founder and realize that others are not so fortunate.

For further reading please click here, thank you.

 

 

About Jon-Paul

Academia, Constitution, Musicianship, all around Caucasian male, straight, and professes Jesus Christ as the Lord of my life. Guitars -- Classical, Acoustic, A/E, Strat, a real bassist at heart, Les Paul Standard bass.
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