U.S. support for Iranian pastor continues to grow
Support for Yousef Nadarkhani, an Iranian Christian who is slated for execution, is becoming a political issue in the United States.
October 3rd, 2011
04:15 PM ET

U.S. support for Iranian pastor continues to grow

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Calls to stop the execution of Yousef Nadarkhani, an Iranian pastor, continue to grow after a week in which demands for leniency came from the highest levels of the U.S. government.

On Monday, GOP presidential hopeful and Texas Gov. Rick Perry released a statement that called the pastor’s impending execution “unacceptable.”

“There is no shade of gray or room for equivocation here,” stated the news release. “Freedom to worship is a basic human right, and the charges against Pastor Nadarkhani are an affront to the essential principles of the civilized world.”

Last week, a number of members of Congress also released statements calling on Iran to release Nadarkhani. A statement by Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the situation, “distressing for people of every country and creed.”

“While Iran’s government claims to promote tolerance, it continues to imprison many of its people because of their faith,” Boehner’s news release said. “This goes beyond the law to an issue of fundamental respect for human dignity.”

Additionally, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida; Rep. James Lankford, R- Oklahoma; Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Virginia; Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona; Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana; Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pennsylvania; Rep. James McGovern, D-Massachusetts; and Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Virginia. have all released statements.

Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal organization founded by televangelist Pat Robertson, said his organization is working with members of Congress to ensure these statements continue.

“There will be more congressional support this week, absolutely there will be more and more group statements,” said Sekulow.

Nadarkhani, the leader of a network of house churches in Iran, was first convicted of apostasy in November 2010, a charge he subsequently appealed all the way to the Iranian Supreme Court. After four days of an appeals trial that started Sunday at a lower court in Gilan province, Nadarkhani refused to recant his beliefs.

Reports by the semi-official Fars News Agency indicated that the charges against Nadarkhani have since changed and the pastor is now charged with rape and extortion.

"He is a Zionist and has committed security-related crimes,” Gholomali Rezvanii said in the Fars News report. Renvanii is the deputy governor of Gilan province, where Nadarkhani was tried and convicted.

The White House and State Department released statements on Thursday and Friday, respectively. The White House stated that Nadarkhani "has done nothing more than maintain his devout faith, which is a universal right for people."

Pastor Ellie Davidian, leader of The Living Hope Persian Church in San Diego,  said the Iranian Christian population in America welcomes the outspokenness of the U.S. government.

“Anybody who can support to stop the execution will be appreciated,” Davidian told CNN. “The more and more we have pressure through the international media, then the Iranian government will be under more pressure as well.”

Davidian, who converted from Islam to Christianity after leaving Iran, went on to say while that her congregation will continue to pray for the pastor’s release, information on the issue is difficult to come by because of the tight control of information in Iran.

“What we see through media in Iran, it isn’t what it is in the heart of the people,” Davidian said.

Christian and conservative groups who hope to influence the Iranian government’s decision to put Nadarkhani to death have also been very vocal.

Voice of the Martyrs is a nonprofit, Christian organization that attempts to assist with persecuted and minority churches around the world. Todd Nettleton, spokesperson for Voice of the Martyrs, said their Facebook page has become a “link to the wider body of Christ” for their more than 100,000  followers.

Comments flood onto the Facebook page by the minute, as people exchange articles, post Bible verses and pray for Nadarkhani.

“In all honesty, I can’t think of a better use of my time than praying for this man,” said on Facebook user after posting Matthew 18:20.

“You can’t kill a Christian. You can only change his address,” reads a quote from Pastor Duke Downs that was posted my Voice of the Martyrs.

The quote has been shared almost 1,500 times in seven hours. More than 300 people have commented on the post and that number continues to grow.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Iran • Religious liberty

soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. hippypoet , the prophet


    October 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • eaglemt

      God created our giant gas ball sun to warm us and help plants to grow. He didn't intend for us to mistake it for Him.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • hippypoet


      you may argue in any way you think works, but as you think i am i know you are...WRONG... see, my SUN's existence can be proven, as it can its freely given gifts – reuseble energy! you, go out and seek you some proof of your so called "god" who is in mind just a fantasy of a child wishing for a second chance – afterlife-.... so go now, and don't preach to me your false fakehoods untill hold you proof of your own!

      May the ALMIGHTY SUN shine a light upon you.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  2. Muneef

    I was made to understand that Iran has multiculture and Multireligions living within it from Jews to Christians to Pagans so what happened now? This Paster seems to have done more to upset them than just being Christian pastor...!?

    October 4, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • Muneef

      Or otherwise he might have been a Muslim before becoming now a Christian and that is a difficult issue towards which he might lose his life for it...!

      October 4, 2011 at 8:59 pm |


      your religion is just really violent and hates people as much as possible

      October 4, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • eaglemt

      Then why have so many women in Iran have been executed for being members of the Ba'hai religion? You have the internet. I found this out by just searching.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • joe banna

      Nobody should lose their life b/c of their beliefs. Their beliefs are their own, and the government...nor any religion...should exercise its will over our rights to believe in religion or not to believe. For the sake of humanity this man should be released. Not b/c he is christian/muslim/jew...or even a devil worshipper, it is b/c he is being persecuted for his thoughts. Very Orwellian.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Renee

      I doubt you'd feel that way if others not of your faith came into power and decided to kill anyone who believed what you do! Without freedom of religion, EVERY person is at risk of being persecuted because of their beliefs.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • steveinmo

      I'd say it's more like the Iranian govt "claims" that they're open-minded and a diverse society. But in reality, the truth is that led by the mullahs, at every turn the govt actively pursues putting down such diversity. Of course, it's no different in Saudi Arabia. Hmmm, right back to the question, should we have just left Iraq alone and instead gone after the real problems – Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan...

      October 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  3. Simon Glickman

    I'm not a religious person, but I'm outraged by this and all state persecution - whether for practicing a particular faith or for practicing no faith at all. Let's not only condemn what's happening in Iran but also be wary of religious intolerance in our own country.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  4. Rachel

    Dear Pastor Yousef, you are being remembered in a very special way in the thoughts and prayers of milllions of believers. Almighty God is with you!

    October 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  5. joe banna

    Having Perry release a statement to actually STOP an execution??????!!!!! WOW. Not in Texas, where he executes innocents as well as the guilty

    October 4, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • AGuest9

      That was the first thought I had, as well. The irony!

      October 4, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Jb

      I believe there was a confession of guilt before that death. Try to say something nice about the pastor instead of the political crap.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Mike

      That got me too! Perry SHOULD not add his tainted voice to this,

      October 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • joe banna

      The political crap comes from perry, not me. Perry doesn't give 2 poops about Mr. Nardakhani, just another darn foreigner to him. I do hope he is released, and I believe he will be, but no such confession was given for the man who was executed for the fire that killed his children. The only thing he was guilty of was being a coward, but they executed him for it.

      October 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  6. sandra

    Cant help but thinking about Jesus being seized by preaching the gospel. I truly believe people are finding more and more excuses to try to make pastor yuceff from Iran look bad? what is his crime? is it preaching the gospel of repenting from our wrong doings? and turn ourselves to Christ is that a deadliest crime wishing others salvation through repentance???? what is so wrong in wishing others salvation of our souls? come on! we are no longer on the 5th. century where besides ignorant we were being evil as no one could. All I know is the God Christians serve is a great judge, guess what I dont wish anybody being responsible of a martyr's blood, is innocent blood, same other charges they build up upon Jesus, now him? should youceff be freed or Barrabas? God punishes with strong head those who mess with his son! HE SURELY DOES BROTHER I PRAY AND I AM WITH YOU!

    October 3, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      "Sorry, but you are not going to succeed in painting me into a corner. Been dealing with your kind for long enough."

      Hmmm. Apparently not long enough because you are still dumb as a lump on a log. But you are funny.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:34 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      I'm with you Sandra.....We may not be in 5th century, but we know that satan is working harder then ever, because he knows that his time is short. Also,we are witnessing such corruption of human character in times we live , not precedent in times of the past. That 's where satan has his advantage now days, but it is because it is so on God's timeline. There will be many more Yousef Nadarkhani's in times ahead, and Christians in no place on this earth will be immune to it, but their persecution, and the blood spilt for the sake of the Gospel will only produce a the new harvest to grow.... but woe is to those who offend, and do harm to God's "little ones".... It would be better if they never have been born. These are the words of our Lord.

      Yes indeed, they can't kill a Christian, they can only change his address! A m e n!

      All creation knows it, and every creature is subjected to His laws and His power...But it is only the rebellious mankind, whose hearts are darkened by the love of sin that 's in them...But the day is comming that EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, and EVER TOUNGUE WILL CONFESS that JESUS CHRST IS LORD!

      October 4, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  7. Mariposa

    He is actually a Christian who is facing persecution...it's nothing new, and it will get worst. I will pray for him!!

    October 3, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • MarriedToAPersian


      October 4, 2011 at 4:59 am |
    • deana

      To Trystan: If you are right, you can rest easy. But when will you find out you are wrong . . .

      October 4, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  8. Mary Hillsbrough

    Have faith that the Lord will free this man. PRAY.

    October 3, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      How will praying help again?

      October 3, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
    • Mary Hillsbrough

      God will intervene.

      October 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And what will it mean if he (your phantom god) does not?

      October 3, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Mary Hillsbrough

      Do YOU know His will? I don't think you do. It is not up to you to decide. It is only up to us to have faith and hope. On judgment day, you can ask Him.

      October 3, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Mary Hill

      How is that you seem to know your god's will? I'm not questioning his will – just asking *you* what it will mean if he does not intervene.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • Mary Hillsbrough

      Where did I say I knew God's will?

      October 4, 2011 at 12:29 am |
    • HotAirAce

      "Mary Hillsbrough

      God will intervene."

      October 4, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • Mary Hillsbrough


      The question was asked what will happen if we pray. I said that God will intervene. That's help, is it not? It is not up to me what God chooses. You must be an atheist. Always questioning and trying to talk Christians into a corner. Sorry, but you are not going to succeed in painting me into a corner. Been dealing with your kind for long enough.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • HotAirAce

      You said your god will intervene. Certainly sounds like you think you know your god's will. If I was to say "your god does not listen to prayers" or "your god will not intervene" I would admit that I am claiming to know your god's will. How is what you wrote any different?

      And in any event, I was not asking about your god's will! I was asking you what you thought it would mean if your god did not comply with your understanding of his will. Are you going to answer this very simple question?

      October 4, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Ladies and Gentlemen! Please welcome Mary Hillsbrough as the newest member of the "Run & Hide Herbie" cult! She joins, herbie himself, Credenza, sidebar and a host of other wackos who simply go silent when it becomes obvious they cannot defend their imaginary supernatural friends. So long and thanks for all the laughs!

      October 4, 2011 at 1:11 am |
  9. Dana in Alaska

    He's dead for sure if Perry keeps opening his mouth as every comment that does fall out shows what a dumb stupid narcissist he really is. Lets get back to topic, and that is the Pastor knew exactly where he was and knew what could happen. It may or may not happen but if he is playing the odds he's not executed he may lose.USA stay the F@#$ out, he knew exactly what he was doing. GOOD BYE PASTOR.

    October 3, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      There is something in your content the filters don't like most likely. Use dashes if needed.

      October 3, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  10. Central Scrutinizer

    I am pretty sure you can kill a Christian. If I were him, I think I would just lie so my head doesn't change addresses.

    October 3, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • Dana in Alaska

      I like that,good thinking. I wouldn't want my head and body in different time zones.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Damn straight.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Dana in Alaska

      Central I tried posting a response to a New Yorker here and twice it wasn't posted here what happened to free speech?

      October 3, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Helpful Hints


      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      October 3, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • deana

      Your post makes it clear you are woefully ignorant of christianity.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  11. Muneef

    How Islam should be Judged?

    Before Islam they worship idols
    After worshiping the one absolute God
    Before Islam they didn’t know Jesus or Mary or any prophets
    After Islam who deny Jesus or Mary become blasphemer 
    Before no payers no charity no family relation 
    After Islam it become must 
    Before Islam us-u-ry and slavery adultery was common
    After Islam got forbidden
    Before Islam women has no value and all her property to her husband
    After Islam become her own she can do what she like within Islamic laws 
    Before Islam the girls-child were buried alive 
    After Islam no girls-child were buried alive
    Before Islam no laws or guidance to people
    After Islam established the laws or guidance to people( sharia)
    Before Islam tribes killing each others 
    After Islam they became brothers 
    Before Islam there was no education
    After Islam became must and first word came to Muhammad from the angle was (read)
    Before Islam no scientific study
    After Islam seculars in chemistry and math the no.1234 are Arabic and innovated the ZERO 
    Before Islam they were tribes 
    After Islam became empire from Spain to china 
    And More……. I cannot do it 

    The Big change in history done by ( illiterate ) prophet Muhammad peace be up on him brought the people from darkness to light , but most people killed by the pride they do not want to admitted . 

    Quran verses;
    40) And certainly We have repeated (warnings) in this Quran that they may be mindful, but it does not add save to their aversion. (41).

    (88) And certainly We have explained for men in this Quran every kind of similitude, but most men do not consent to aught but denying. (89).

    And certainly We have explained in this Quran every kind of example, and man is most of all given to contention. (54).

    Islam is most hated for forbidding (Us-u-r-y) and Slavery-1

    Islam is most hated for forbidding (Us-u-r-y) and Slavery-2

    Islam is most hated for forbidding (Us-u-r-y) and Slavery-3

    Islam is most hated for forbidding (Us-u-r-y) and Slavery-4

    October 3, 2011 at 7:52 pm |

      you forgot the part of the koran that says its ok to beat women

      October 3, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • Muneef

      There are Reasonable and Unreasonable ! The reason for beating and has to be reasonable beating with a purpose of straightening one's wife... But there are bad one's who over do it purposely for a reason or no reason and hard beating towards which it is legally and religiously condemned. Am not sure about others but as for me and my father before me we never laid a hand on our wives although they did drive us mad at times to go out slamming the door behind us and that is all to it... But surely few might have found out their wives cheating on them or have some doubts or family problems,no one would know what their reasons are... Guess have heard of religious and those non religious beat their wives, so as it seems it is not conditional to Islam...!

      October 3, 2011 at 8:25 pm |

      no but your religion promotes it which is disturbing and disgusting

      not a religion worth wasting time on

      its trash

      October 3, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • Answer


      "Before Islam they worship idols
      After worshiping the one absolute God"

      This is all I need to dispute all your choices (quotes) for justifying your faith. Your god = your god. Not the true god.
      You want to think that. You want to accept that. You never question it. I don't care.
      The moment you question which is the true god you will know how wrong your ideology is. You and the christians and all the other religions all love to think your god is the true god. Go and kill yourselves over it. Oh never mind – you already do.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • Slumberjack

      Islam is a sham just like every other religion, Judaism and Christanity included. Sunni and Shia murder one another on a continuous basis in places like Iraq and Bahrain. So much for brotherly conduct among Muslims. Islam, like Christainity and Judaism are religions created by men for men.

      October 3, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • Mary Hillsbrough

      Jesus is the only way.

      October 3, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      There are Reasonable and Unreasonable ! The reason for beating and has to be reasonable beating with a purpose of straightening one's wife... But there are bad one's who over do it purposely for a reason or no reason and hard beating towards which it is legally and religiously condemned. Am not sure about others but as for me and my father before me we never laid a hand on our wives although they did drive us mad at times to go out slamming the door behind us and that is all to it... But surely few might have found out their wives cheating on them or have some doubts or family problems,no one would know what their reasons are... Guess have heard of religious and those non religious beat their wives, so as it seems it is not conditional to Islam...!

      October 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      In other words I believe it is alright to do to a degree. Even though I don't do it myself. Others are ok to act on this as long as they do not cross the line.

      October 3, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      I think that you are twisting my words...

      October 3, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • MarriedToAPersian

      Sorry, Muneef.

      My wife was born in Tehran.

      What you describe here, this world that existed before Islam... is not how things were in Persia prior to Islam.

      Perhaps this is how things were in a trailer park in Saudi Arabia perhaps?

      But not Persia.

      This is not to say the Persian people were not stupid. 30 years ago, they were stupid enough to invite you people in, foolishly believing you would solve all their problems...

      and you apparently have no idea how much the Persian people regret that now. They call it a sudden temporary insanity.

      My father in law resigned his officer's commission with the air force, sold all he had, grabbed his family and fled the country the same year the Ayatola was made the supreme leader. Not exactly what you call a resounding endorsement.


      October 4, 2011 at 4:42 am |
    • claybigsby

      "you forgot the part of the koran that says its ok to beat women"

      and the bible says its ok to stone and kill women. your point?

      October 4, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • AGuest9

      I find it astonishing that you actually wrote: "The reason for beating and has to be reasonable beating with a purpose of straightening one's wife."

      So, you can find a reason for physically abusing one's wife? As long as the beating of one's wife has a purpose of straightening her out? Are wives that unruly in that part of the world that they must be beaten into submission? If so, why marry someone like that in the first place?

      October 4, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Muneef

      I think it is better to divorce rather than keep some one that you will only solve problems with by beating although beating to a beating differs... The beating that religion made allowed was the training type of beating...
      But since I do not use the this system am not aware of it's rules...
      They say "A free willed person understands from an indication,while enslaved willed person understands when knocked with a rod". So as it seems mentality of people are not the same...!

      October 4, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Muneef

      Have not judged to say my GOD is better....I just said what our creed of Abraham has taught us that there is only one GOD...
      But if you like to sculpture your own God to worship go ahead make the shape you like in the color you fancy...so who cares but honestly I would still in side my heart will feel as I would feel for any insane person...since they say; "If you are to cry then cry not for the lost dead but rather cry for those alive who lost their sanity"... !!!

      October 4, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • sanjosemike

      Muneef, please explain to us the schism between Shi'a and Sunni Islam and the wars that have been going on between those sects sinc 632. Please also explain why Muslims bomb Mosques. Even the Israelis don't do that!

      Please also explain why Iran is willing to go to (nuclear) war to force the Shii'te religion on all Sunnis. Also, please explain why the majority of the victims of terrorism are fellow Muslims.

      While you're at it, kindly explain why Muhammad Atta and his group murdered 60 Muslims at the WTC on 9/11. Also please explain to us why he did this even though most of them had never attended a Haj. You and I both know that murdering a fellow Muslim before their Haj is a mortal sin in Islam.

      Please explain to us why it is necesary for Muslims to fight internecine wars for centuries to "prove" why their version of Islam will rule the world.

      Also, please explain why all Western art, including Beethoven are banned in many Muslim countries. Also please explain why there is so much over-population in most Muslim countries.

      Also, please explain why at least 50% of Muslim women are illiterate in Arabic and can't even read the Quran. Also, please explain why Mohammad allowed children under the age of 10 to be forceably married to adult men. Also, please explain honor killings and stoning of women.

      I think you have a fair share of explaining to do.


      October 5, 2011 at 1:55 am |
  12. Muneef

    Interference from a Christian country as a religious grounds ! Or
    Interference from an Atheist country as on a humanitarian grounds ! Or
    Interference based on finding an excuse to Condemn this country... So now it seems there will be a twist where beside the political issues held against this country now there will be a religious one as well.... Which will mean Atheists & Christians are to get ready for this war which only GOD knows where it will take the whole world into...!?!

    October 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm |

      i am not going to war over your stupid religious beliefs muneef

      October 3, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      and he probably won't go to war over his beliefs either

      October 3, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • Muneef

      It is not my war,it is your war that you are trying to create when ever there is a chance....yes I wouldn't go for your wars I do not like these types of games...I would rather go for planting trees and date palms might it feed a hungry man one day and I get my reward for it after life...thanks.

      October 3, 2011 at 8:30 pm |

      no its not our war

      your religion is the problem

      i dont believe in worshiping things that dont exist

      you do

      and thats why these people think they can act the way they do

      and then it gets blamed on us and they say its all our fault

      if it wasnt for your religion we wouldnt be in this mess

      October 3, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • Grunthead

      The unreasonable violence against fellow human beings that you seem to sanction or endorse makes me think that been barbaric I stand a better chance of obtaining mercy than being a follower of your religion and standing before Him in the last day.

      October 3, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • MarriedToAPersian

      Sorry, Muneef.

      My wife was born in Tehran. The world you describe, which allegedly existed before Islam... is not how things were in Persia. A trailer park in Arabia perhaps, but not Persia. This is not to say they weren't stupid. 30 years ago, they were stupid enough to invite you people in, thinking you would solve all their problems... and you have no idea how much the Persian people regret that now. They call it a sudden temporary insanity. My father in law resigned his officer's commission with the military and fled the country the same year the Ayatola was made the supreme leader. Not exactly what you call a resounding endorsement.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:37 am |
    • AGuest9

      They've been killing one another over there for so long that they don't remember why, anymore. It was over land, women, goats, god. So they left it as god, and keep up the ridiculous behavior.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Muneef

      Not sure to whom or what to answer the war is a war effecting all no matter who is right or wrong there should be means of resolving issues in other ways than war...the wars today are not as of yesterday nor tomorrow would be as today...we all are on one boat,we can not go on about global warming and omission and then bring wars that do us wrong for hundreds or thousands of years ahead of us...?
      Just remember I am Arabian Sunni Muslim from Yemen and live in Yemen am not Persian nor am living in the West...I just want to say are we not thinking of our generations to come...? Iran with her advancement of technology is a thing non of the Arabs countries put together has achieved,she was alone separated from the whole world but still she was able to catch up with help and with out help..!! She never stretched her hands for food from any one,she managed to build from where started with what she got...! Isn't that an example of a successful country...? Or has she to be as those failed countries before they can be good...! The more any country is looked up in hostility and misunderstanding the more she will work towards protecting it self to survive...isn't that natural...? Why do we chose to go for wars as between religions or as between different sectors of a religion...! Aren't we fed up and deserve an alternative change with out violence whether it was from Muslims or non Muslims...!? Where is that freedom of Choice that GOD granted us if we go on judging and condemning the other for his choice of beliefs....!? Wars and Peace are within us and are what we say or express to masses, that is another choice we have to make and take...!

      October 4, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  13. Jodi

    “You can’t kill a Christian. You can only change his address"

    I absolutely LOVE this! So true!

    PRAY, PRAY and PRAY for Youcef! May the God of all comfort be with him!

    This execution needs to be stopped! God's will be done. May God be with Youcef! How great is our God!

    October 3, 2011 at 6:59 pm |

      yeah cemetery address

      just like everyone else

      when we die we rot and thats it

      no heaven no hell

      you are wasting your time praying to something that doesnt exist

      dont believe me

      read your bible

      but then again youre a christian

      so i know you wont be reading it

      October 3, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • Mari

      AMEN! AMEN!! AMEN!!!!!!

      October 4, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Mari

      All the AMEN'S to Jodi!!! I would rather look forward NOW to go to Heaven, and live in HOPE and only THEN find out that there is no Heaven – and have nothing to loose – .... than to live without HOPE and do not believe that there is a Heaven and then find out that I've been wrong all the time and loose EVERYTHING!! I serve an awesome GOD!!!

      October 4, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      @Brown Note,
      Friend, I GURANTEE you this one thing.... When you die, your residence WILL NT BE a cemetery! Your flesh will decay, only bones will be left of your physical existence. BUT when you hear that loud sound of thunder in your ears, and your soul exits your body's frame, you will take a journey, short, but definite. Up, or spiraling down.....here is only TWO directions....
      You laugh at people who tell you things as written here, but you have an APPOINTMENT PENDING, that will convince you....

      Even a fool is wise when he refrains himself from running his mouth stupidly, about the things he knows nothing about. But you don't bridle yours!

      October 4, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • AGuest9

      "live in HOPE and only THEN find out that there is no Heaven – and have nothing to loose"

      Other than to have lived a lie. But, if you can be OK with lying to yourself, who will you not lie to?

      October 4, 2011 at 11:28 am |


      i will just be worm food

      your bible also said that jesus would return before his followers died

      your bible also said nothing about hell in the old testament

      it was incorrectly translated to greek from the word grave

      check the original

      i assure you

      theres no heaven or hell

      youre living a wasted life pipe dream


      im enjoying this life because its all i have

      youre wasting your life thinking theres going to be another one

      pretty sad

      it must suck to be broke

      October 4, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
  14. Sharon Martin

    I hope that all Americans look into this story about Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who has a wife and young children who is sitting in jail in Iran. Iran is threating to put this young Pastor to death for not renounicing his religion. We need to take a stand and call our politicians and the media to get the word out there to stop this . We would NOT tolerate this from any other country we must demand that Iran stop or we should boycott Iran. Keep him in your prayers and get the media talking so that we see a change and save this good Man..

    October 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • New Yorker

      The Iranian regime persecutes minorities!! Where is the U.N. on this? They should be pressuring the Iranian regime on this clear human rights violation! They should ask for his immediate and unconditional release!

      October 3, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Dana in Alaska

      He should die as he knew just what could happen.

      October 3, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Is he an American citizen? No. We have no place in getting involved with the criminal justice systems of other countries, unless POSSIBLY it concerns the case of U.S. citizens.

      Come to think of it, we don't even prosecute people who break into our country, illegally.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  15. Wyatt

    Mitt Romney's statement on the death sentence of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in Iran:

    “I strongly condemn the Iranian regime for the conviction and death sentence of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. The freedom of religious belief is the most personal of rights, and Iran’s effort to bring the power of the state to bear upon Pastor Nadarkhani’s Christian faith is not only a violation of Iran’s international obligations, but an unacceptable outrage against human dignity. I call on the Iranian authorities to rescind the conviction and death sentence, release Pastor Nadarkhani, and abandon all measures that deny the Iranian people basic human rights.”

    October 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  16. iko ayuba

    Youcef Nadarkhani needs our prayers.
    God will perform the miracle of his release very soon.

    October 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  17. Keith

    Islam is soooo awesome! Peaceful, too. Oh, wait, you might want to ask that Iraqi poet in St. Louis-he might beg to differ. Especially, since MUSLIMS here in the good ole USA attacked him and carved the star of David in his back. Come on CNN, where the hell are you on this story? Maybe that idiot Aman Ali can do a "my take" story on the incident. By the way, it is not be handled as a "hate crime" by the St. Louis PD-but you can bet your rear end it would be if the guy had been a muslim attacked by a Cristian or Jew. Hypocrites. cnn sucks.

    October 3, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  18. Reality

    And the idiocy of it all is that Islam is based on the "angelic revelations" of the mythical Gabriel to one of the great con men of history, Mohammed. Such ignorance can be easily classifed as "vomit inducing".

    October 3, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Way to stay on topic Reailty. But how about you tell us if the Pastor is being fairly treated in this situation.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • .........

      hit report abuse on all vomit inducing reality posts

      October 4, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  19. Chuckles

    "Stop the execution!" says Rick Perry......Now THAT'S a laugh

    October 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  20. William Demuth

    We should mind our own buisness.

    October 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      100,000% agreed!

      October 3, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • New Yorker

      Mind our own business? Not your brother's keeper, eh?
      (- Better hope someone isn't minding their own business when they come for you...)
      Looking the other way never helps... This man, your fellow human being, needs our assistance.
      Have some courage.

      October 3, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      If this was happening in my country, I would be outraged because it would be illegal. That's not the situation in Iran – this person clearly knew the law and the penalty for challenging it, and it appears that due process has been followed. In an ideal world, the USA would agitate for this case to go to an impartial international court, but the USA will not submit itself to such courts so that avenue is not available. If the USA really wants to get upset about this, it should take on the larger issue of civil rights (including freedom of religion and women's rights) in Iran and other countries, but that would be an overt case of projecting American values and the backlash would likely be severe, so that's not likely to happen either.

      Best to let the Iranians figure out for themselves that their theocracy is barbaric.

      October 3, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      Newyorker.. while i do not agree with Ace or William on their point of view on this issue,.. I wonder where the religious go when persecution and denigration of gay folks happens? Are you not your bothers keeper then, or are they not Human beings.. bit of a double standard maybe?

      October 3, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Let me be clear. I fully support freedom of religion and think this specific situation and the general situation in Iran is sick. My stance is more about Iran being a sovereign country, free to make there own, and in many cases stupid, laws.

      If we stick our noses in other countries business, we should expect them to do the same and/or retaliate. Are we ready for that?

      October 3, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • New Yorker

      EvolvedDNA, I never advocated for the murder or mistreatment of gays in my post.. Where did you get that?

      October 3, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      New yorker.. Never said that either..I was pointing out that you are willing to look the other way,, or at least the Christian community does...when issues of gay rights or persecution happens whether in North America or say, Africa.. yet it crys foul when a christian person is in trouble... I think that the treatment of this Priest is barbaric also.. I do not want any one to die either...he is after all a Human being which, if we valued that rather than the particular myth he believes in, he and the world would be in happier place.

      October 3, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
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About this blog

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.