Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani

It is my moral obligation as a Jew to speak out on behalf of an Iranian Christian whom I have never met. Imprisoned since October 2009, Yousef Nadarkhani was first accused of apostasy against Islam by the Islamic Republic of Iran.  In 2010 he was found guilty "and sentenced to death ... for abandoning the Islamic faith."  Yet, according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 18 includes a "provision for the right to 'have or to adopt' a religion, which has been interpreted authoritatively by the UN Human Rights committee as including the right to change one's religion."  Thus, Iran is violating its own obligations.  Furthermore, the Iranian constitution "sanctions Christianity as a legitimate minority faith."  Clearly, however, this did not matter as the Iranian Supreme Court sought to establish that Nadarkhani was still guilty of apostasy because he has Muslim ancestry. Nadarkhani, who "leads a 400-person house church movement,...(Read Full Article)

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