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Iranian Christian pastor to be hanged 'imminently'

Despite a global chorus of protest, reports from Iran say an execution order has been passed on a pastor who refused to recant his faith.

  • Ed West
  • Iran
  • February 24, 2012
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Youcef Nadarkhani, the Iranian Christian pastor sentenced to death for apostacy, is to be hanged “imminently”, an American human rights group is reporting.

The American Center for Law and Justice has been informed by contacts inside the Islamic republic that an execution order has been issued for Mr Nadarkhani, who has refused to recant his Christian faith and return to Islam.

Jordan Sekulow, executive director for the American Center for Law and Justice, told American news site msnbc.com yesterday evening that “At this point, we can confirm that he is still alive,” but that “We know that the head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, must approve publicly held executions, but only a small percentage of executions are held in public — most executions in Iran are conducted in secret,” he said. “We are calling on the Iranian government to release the pastor immediately.”

Mr Nadarkhani, a 34-year-old father of two, was arrested and sentenced to death in Iran’s northern city of Rasht in 2009.

An appeals court upheld his sentence last year after he refused to reconvert to Islam, after he had been given three chances to recant. A member of the Protestant evangelical Church of Iran, Mr Nadarkhani was never formally a Muslim but came from a Muslim background.

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Full Story: Iranian Christian pastor to be hanged 'immediately'

Source: Catholic Herald
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