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Lawyer: International pressure has not helped Iranian pastor’s case
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was charged with apostasy for converting from Islam to Christianity
October 14th, 2011
12:21 PM ET

Lawyer: International pressure has not helped Iranian pastor’s case

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – International pressure mounting in the apostasy trial of a Christian pastor in Iran has “not had any impact on the Iranian court,” the attorney for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani told CNN on Friday.

“They (the court) work on the evidence and Iranian law,” said lawyer Mohammad Dadkah. “I don’t think the statements from the United States has had any impact either on this case as this is all going through the Iranian justice system, which is based on the law and evidence.”

Nadarkhani's trial has become a cause célèbre for a number of Christian organizations in the United States and abroad. Many of these groups took to Facebook, Twitter and websites in an attempt to energize their followers to protest the pastor's treatment.

Nadarkhani is the leader of a network of Iranian house churches and was first charged with apostasy in 2010 for converting from Islam to Christianity. He was sentenced to death by hanging.

There has been a back-and-forth in the case in Iran, with the Supreme Court passing on the case in favor of a lower court's ruling. During that trial last month in Gilan province, Nadarkhani refused to recant his beliefs.

As for the current status of the case, Dadkah said a court in Rasht has asked for Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, to rule on whether Nadarkhani should be put to death.

“I expect an opinion for Khamenei in about a week or so when he returns to work,” Dadkah said. According to Dadkah, Khamenei is traveling.

The lawyer has not spoken with Nadarkhani for about a week. “Last I saw him, he was doing well both physically and spiritually and was strong,” he said.

For now, it is a waiting game for attorney and client, but Dadkah has promised not to give up.

“If he is not executed,” Dadkah said. “I will continue to fight for him through the courts so that he is released.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Courts • Crime • Iran

soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Muhammad

    Nowhere in the Quran has it said to kill people.
    It is not up to us to judge anyone.
    “We shall not misinterpret the holy Quran” (Ayatollah Muhammad Rosa Khani”)

    August 2, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  2. Dora

    Islam is against the basic human right of religious freedom and should be exposed and condemned, even interdicted. This is intolerable.

    October 30, 2011 at 2:15 am |
  3. Dr Isaac ILEVBAOJE

    Hear the words of our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST:...yea, the time cometh,that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service(John16:2)

    October 25, 2011 at 6:52 am |
  4. To Christians

    Please submit the peti_tion on behalf of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani on the 'Amnesty International' website.

    October 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Does Amnesty International accept support from members of other cults or from atheists?

      October 19, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Support

      @Hot... Amnesty International peti_tion for Pastor Yousef is open to ALL regardless of their belief.
      I

      October 19, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I suspected as much. I was really making a comment on the above appeal "To Christians," as if only christians would petition for the release of the pastor.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
  5. John

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=390]

    October 18, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • .....

      GARBAGE ALERT – click the report abuse link this garbage isn't worth viewing. TROLL ALERT AGAIN!

      October 18, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Muneef

      look who is back..."The Butterfly???"

      October 18, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  6. Reality

    Reiterated for my sister and brother Muslims-skip the information if you are not a Muslim.

    Saving Muslims from making the Hajj !!! (as developed by yours truly a few years ago and based on the studies of contemporary experts on Islam, e.g Armstrong, Sir Rushdie, Aya-an Hi-rsi Ali, Richardson, Bayhaqi)

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send them a copy so he or she does not make the worthless Hajj.

    October 17, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • ......

      GARBAGE ALERT – click the report abuse link this garbage isn't worth viewing. TROLL ALERT AGAIN!

      October 18, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  7. jbot

    I feel bad for my lack of compassion for this guy, if he dies faithfully the world his sincerity and faith and God will be glorified. But what if it was my head on the chopping block. I hope God gives this guy freedom and me more compassion. But I believe he will not deny his faith through this whole thing an will say like Paul that he is ready to glorify God whether by life or death. This guy is not an atheist. In my mind an atheist is not just someone who says they are one but one who makes decisions without taking God into account. "The fool hath said in his heart there is no God, corrupt are they..." why did many religious leaders go along with Hitler or Stalin when the wind changed?: They were atheists. I hope God give this guy strength, he seems like the real deal to me. Makes me want to be less hypocritical myself.

    October 17, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  8. Michael

    If the Pastor is killed, God can raise thousands of humble Christians in Iran. Now where is USSR which wantd to erradicate Christianity?

    October 16, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  9. Jimtanker

    Go Iran!

    If you are living in Iran and break Iranian law then you face Iranian punishment. Nuff said.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • James

      Yeah, just like if you lived in Germany and broke Nazi law you'd face Nazi punishment. Unjust "justice" isn't wicked and unjustifiable.

      October 16, 2011 at 7:14 am |
    • James

      I'm sorry, I meant "is wicked" not "isn't".

      October 16, 2011 at 7:15 am |
    • love

      He has always lived in Iran.Why should he have to leave a country he came from.Why should he have to deny
      His faith in JESUS CHRIST. Iran should just not be such a BIG FAT BULLY TO ONE OF THERE VERY OWN!!!!?????

      October 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  10. Avser Bastian

    WALL STREET PROTESTS...NOT ANTI WALL-STREET AT ALL, BUT INSTEAD RACIALLY MOTIVATED AGAINST WHITES

    THEY WERE MURDERING YOU WITH AND INSIDE OF THEIR CORPORATIONS FOR OVER 66 YEARS !!! THEY HAVE CLOSED DOWN ALMOST EVERY SMALL COMPANY IN UNITES STATES OF AMERICA AND NOW, THEY WANT YOU TO GO OUT THERE AND PROTEST FOR THEM AGAINST WALL STREET(corporations = Wall-street) !!!

    FOR ENTIRE 66 YEARS, ON DAY TO DAY BASES, ALL THEY WERE DOING IS CRIME CONTEMPLATING AGAINST US INSIDE OF THEIR BACK OFFICE CUBICLES(on job torture/bullying/mobbing and forceful unemployment to progress humanity as Obama exclaimed over and over) PER EEOC AND NOW, THEY WANT YOU TO RAISE COMMUNIST FLAG UNDER AMERICAN SKY !!! ONE RACE; RAT RACE(Wall street protesters are Obama's army which spread from London per Zionist Washington DC and communist Moscow) !!!

    WHEN YOU PROTEST(it is much more than just than necessarily), RAISE SIGNS HIGH SO WHOLE WORLD CAN SEE DISPLAYED I CITE, "66 YEARS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES IS NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE !!!"

    THIS INFORMATION WAS PROVIDED TO YOU BY WHITE AMERICAN REFUGEE !!!

    http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec OR http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xGfYOAydjw OR http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xleq3o

    October 15, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.