Reality of Religious Persecution

Came across this story:

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.

“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.

“This is defiance,” Sekulow said. “They want to say they will carry out what they say they will do.”

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.

The ACLJ recently launched a Twitter campaign to publicize Nadarkhani’s case, asking participants to dedicate a daily tweet to “Tweet for Youcef,” stating the number of days he has been imprisoned (currently 863) and ending the tweet with “ViaOfficialACLJ,” sending readers back to the organization’s website where they could learn more about his case.

Read more at Fox News

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2 thoughts on “Reality of Religious Persecution

  1. If one were to base their convictions and opinions on the propagated talking points in the western media, and accept their delusional contextualization of the Iranian issue, one would think that the Iranian state is a menace and an existential threat to, not only the U.S. and Israel, but the entire world. If one was sufficiently convinced that Iran posed a direct threat to their security, in such a state of fear, one might even support a preemptive attack. This contextualization is so twisted and backwards that while laughable, is also extremely dangerous as it could possibly lead to the death of hundreds of thousands of human beings.

    10 years ago, Brian Whitaker wrote in The Guardian that “One of the oldest tricks in the run-up to a war is to spread terrifying stories of things that the enemy may be about to do. Government officials plant these tales, journalists water them and the public, for the most part, swallow them.” This was, as we all know now, the method used to justify the murder of Iraqi civilians and the destruction of their nation by the Bush and Obama administrations. It was a pack of lies – weapons of Mass Destruction, ties with Al Qaeda etc. – destined to occupy Iraq, steal its wealth and keep it under control, regardless of “civilian casualties”

    • Thanks for your comment…I’m certainly not advocating a war against Iran, and agree that would have devastating consequences for many people. I think much of the rhetoric concerning Iran could be overblown…but I also would not want them to have a nuclear weapon. I also agree that much of the intelligence used to sell the Iraq war seems to be largely fabricated, and certainly oversold.

      This story, however, is about this particular pastor, and I do think it is wrong for Iran to kill him for converting to Christianity. Unless you have evidence this entire story has been created out of nothing, it seems by all indications to be a real situation. I recognize that persecution is a reality in the world, and has been throughout history, and I posted this to raise awareness. But merely because it is a reality, doesn’t mean its a good thing, and if there is anything that could be done to save the life of Youcef Nadarkhani, then it should be done! In the world of globalization and media decentralization, unprecedented power has been given to ordinary citizens, who can form petitions on sites such as change.org and actually make a difference. I pray that the outside pressure being brought into this situation could make a difference, and we could all be a part of that.

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