Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has made National News Headlines and Facebook postings for his courageous stand regarding his religious beliefs. Until recently, he was facing execution for the crime of Apostasy.
As defined by Wikipedia the definition of Islamic Apostasy is: “According to Islamic law apostasy is identified by a list of actions such as conversion to another religion, denying the existence of God, rejecting the prophets, mocking God or the prophets, idol worship, rejecting the sharia, or permitting behavior that is forbidden by the sharia, such as adultery.”
It’s important to note that Apostasy is not actually in Iran’s Penal Code/Constitution (as far as I can find), but it is punishable by death in various religious texts and fatwas (still doing research on fatwas).
Nadarkhani, who was originally charged with Apostasy in 2009, has faced a long road of court hearings. Last week he refused to renounce his Christian beliefs at his fourth court hearing. Many world leaders have recently released harsh statements against Iran for the impending execution of Nadarkhani for the crime of Apostasy.
Due to the strong backlash from world leaders it shouldn’t be surprising that Iran is now singing a new song.
Nadarkhani is now facing charges of rape and extortion against Iran. These charges however cannot be found in the court documents since the beginning of this journey. Instead, the documents show accusations of Apostasy with Nadarkhani defending his religious belief in Christianity while rejecting Mohammad as prophet and Islamic authority.
Iran is defending its new position by stating the Western Press is distorting the facts, something unlikely unless their own court reports are not to be trusted. Guess we will have to wait and see how Iran will contradict the proof found in the court proceedings.
In my opinion, these new accusations cry “foul play”. It seems to me that they are looking for any reason possible to execute a man for disagreeing with their Islamic beliefs. What do you think?
For more information you can follow these links or Google Nadarkhani.