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Lawyer: Iranian Supreme Leader to weigh in on pastor’s execution
October 10th, 2011
11:35 AM ET

Lawyer: Iranian Supreme Leader to weigh in on pastor’s execution

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) –-  The possible hanging of an Iranian pastor, who may face execution for refusing to recant his Christian beliefs, reached the highest levels of the Iranian government over the weekend with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei being asked for his opinion on the possible death sentence.

Mohammad Dadkhah, attorney for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, told CNN that Nadarkhani was still alive and that the court has asked the highest religious leader in Iran for his input. Though Khamenei has the ultimate authority in Iranian affairs, the move is unusual for a case that was supposed to be decided Monday.

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. In an appeals trial last month at a lower court in Gilan province, Nadarkhani refused to recant his beliefs.

After the trial, however, reports by the semi-official Fars News Agency on September 30 indicated that the charges against Nadarkhani have since changed and the pastor is now charged with rape and extortion. "This issue has nothing to do with his abandoning his religion," reported Fars.

"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.

In a 2010 Iranian Supreme Court brief obtained by CNN, the charge of apostasy is the only charge listed.

"He [Nadarkhani] has stated that he is a Christian and no longer Muslim," states the brief.

"During many sessions in court with the presence of his attorney and a judge, he has been sentenced to execution by hanging according to article 8 of Tahrir – olvasileh."

The case has drawn international attention, with governments from around the world, including the United States, Britain and France, issuing statements on the fate of the pastor.

Nadarkhani "has done nothing more than maintain his devout faith, which is a universal right for people," a White House spokesman said in a statement. "That the Iranian authorities would try to force him to renounce that faith violates the religious values they claim to defend, crosses all bounds of decency and breaches Iran's own international obligations."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Interfaith issues • Iran

soundoff (955 Responses)
  1. tonelok

    @Robert
    Wait, exactly what redicule do christians face in the united states? is your majority rule being bullied by someone? Your silly.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Robert

      Ton–The irony of your comment is second only to your mastery of spelling. Best wishes, friend.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  2. TheNitwon

    "He's a Zionist..."

    Who honestly didn't expect that accusation to come flying out of the woodwork? Got a troublemaker in Iran? Accuse him of being in cahoots with those filthy, hook-nosed Zionist Jews and he's done for. Gotta love their pristine sense of logic and reason...

    October 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  3. Reality

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    October 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Lin

      You have no empirical proof for any of your claims. Therefore, aren't you basing your beliefs on faith?

      October 10, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      October 10, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Reality

      It is called the Infamous Angelic Con:

      Joe Smith had his Moroni.

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Apparently hallu-cinations did not stop with Joe Smith.

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      October 10, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  4. sdabby

    Hopefully, the Supreme Leader will send him into exile outside the country.

    October 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  5. Central Scrutinizer

    @carruth
    Quite happy in general thank you. But not too happy about Washington. Things need change! Make it work people!

    October 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Pete

      What article are you reading??? Have you ever left the US out of curiosity?? I don't think you have.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Patrick

      You continue to attack Christian's comments on this peaceful forum and we Christians will continue to pray for you Central Scrutinizer! I am actually loving it, because I don't think more people have been praying for you all together and at once in probably a long time. If you think it's a waste that were praying for you buddy, you obviously know nothing about the power of prayer and how it grows exponentially in power when more then one pray. We love you!

      October 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Real Deal

      Patrick, "the power of prayer and how it grows exponentially in power when more then one pray."

      Do you have verified evidence of that power?

      There is evidence to the contrary, however:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16569567

      October 10, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Patrick you are a funny guy. Just for giggles I am going pray for you right now. This should be hoot.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Pete
      Yes.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Patrick

      Hopefully the verified evidence you seek is manifested through our prayers and one day you yourself will come to know of this power I speak of. Until then we will continue to pray for those who don't yet know the lord. There are many believers and even non believers who have witnessed countless miracles come through prayer and mutual prayer is known to be stronger. My evidence is a Book called the Bible, you may of heard of it, it's the greatest selling book of all time on the lists of "best" sellers. It has stood the test of time and has never been scientifically or historically proven to be wrong in anything it say. It surely has been confused by people like yourself, but it is truthful. Just maybe not to people who can't see the proof I speak of. Blind people. Unbelievers.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Patrick

      Thank you sir, for your prayer for me. You too are a funny guy, but I think it's awesome that your at least open minded enough to pray for me. Thank you and I mean that very sincerely.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Patrick
      Are you talking to yourself again?

      Well, I tried praying for you and I must admit it was a little dissappointing. I will try visualization next....

      October 10, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  6. Robert

    This man is a true hero of the faith, and I'm proud to call him my brother in Christ. The little bit of persecution and ridicule that believers face here in the US is nothing compared to what the champions of Christianity face in Iran, China, and elsewhere. If Iran murders this man, soon he will hear our Master's voice: "Well done, good and faithful servant."

    October 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Patrick

      Amen. Thank you Lord for our persecutors, they know not what they do or say. Forgive them.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • John Smith

      Dude. You sound like Osama Bin Laden lauding martyrs.

      Religion makes people nuts.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Patrick

      I have spent a total of 721 days and nights in Afghanistan and Pakistan over four tours and my Group, Group 3 Army SF continuously hunted Bin Laden and his followers following 9/11 and continue to 10 years later. How dare you compare Christians comments to Bin Laden's views. Everyday and night my unit has spent in those countries we prayed for each other's safety and for "his" will to be done. As a proud Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom I am saddened by your comment. I still love you though.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • albert

      So are you God? How dare you make such an assumption as to what God is going to do.. Matthew 7:15 – 23.

      I bet you are one of those make pretend Christians that celebrates Christmas and Easter. Both Pagan traditions, nowhere to be found in the Bible.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Patrick

      Albert, I am surely not God, I'm a sinner, a human. I know the Bible very well, I've studied it for 20 years. I never made a prediction to as what God is going to do, but rather a prediction on what the Supreme Leader of Iran will do or not do. I know about this man, I've studied and watched his reign over Iran, because I love to read and learn about our world.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Patrick

      Patrick, you just went from amusing to REALLY creepy. If were over there to fight a Holy war you are no better than them sir.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Patrick

      I know you are giving me the silent treatment and it is breaking my heart, but did you really say you love to read and learn? Man, you must read REALLY slow cuz you are about a brick shy of a load. The good news is I prayed for you earlier so that should help.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  7. Alex

    This Pastor's martyrdom – if it happens- will drive Iran faster to Chritianity. Iran beware that Christianity flourishes under persecution and now millions of iranians are watching let alone the rest of the world

    October 10, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Patrick

      Amen. Fellow Christian's, world wide, take up OUR cause. We know we will be persecuted by the non-believers but pray for those who persecute you, for they no not their sins. "Blessed our meek, for yours is the kingdom of heaven!" -Jesus

      October 10, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Yeah! Let's go kill more people in the name of ideal concept of an all-good loving God!
      /sarcasm

      October 10, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Ed

      @Nonimus, really sarcasims nver would have guessed

      October 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Ed

      that would have been better if I had bothered to check it before hitting send. That's what I get for being flippant.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Ed,
      You never know what people are capable of reading into the obvious, take the Bible for example.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  8. Tom

    He knew he was facing certain death by converting to Christianity in Iran and he made the choice to place himself in harms way as a martyr for his faith. I think he is getting so much attention because he is an attractive man and easy to promote in the US media. If he was ugly he wouldn't be getting near the coverage.

    October 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • carruth

      back off the meds.....

      October 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Nown

      ... or get back on the meds.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • FauxNewz

      You're right, ugly Christians are being hanged in Iran every day. It's time for ugly Christians to rise up and demand more media attention.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  9. Central Scrutinizer

    My fellow Americans! Take up the cause. Out with the mormons and christians and Islam, etc. Let truth guide you! We are running out of time. The country and the world is falling apart!! It is up to US!!

    Until such time as an Atheist, an Agnostic, an openly ho-mose-xual person, or any other minority can be seriously considered for political office, particularly the presidency, then I hang my head in shame as an American. Sure, Obama is half black and that is a step in the right direction. But where are the Asians, Africans, Mexicans, Gays, Atheists, Agnostics. women and all other minorities? Scr-ew the Christians! Let some intelligent folks move the country forward for a change. The Christian Right are liars, cheats, thieves and charlatans. The Dems just lie to fit in. Americans, let’s take back our country! The time is now! Call out the politicians on their lies. Call out the banks on their thievery. Take Wall Street money away from the politicians. Smart people in Congress, that should be our mantra, Carry on with common sense or we are doo-med. It is up to us to remove them!

    Right now, only morons and liars can run for office. How does this help America??

    October 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • vtskivt

      Nothing is stopping you from running for office....... Obambam got elected, so there is still hope for a wirdo like you!.

      October 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Patrick

      "Blessed are the persecuted for theirs is Kingdom of heaven!" -Jesus

      Thank you lord, forgive this man for he knows not what he has done.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      We deserve better. Much better. In order to run for office you have to be a Christian or lie and say you are a Christian. No one with a moral center could ever stomach politics, so sadly we just get what is left over. Rich, Bent, greedy liars. If we could have an atmosphere of tolerance then maybe, just maybe GOOD candidates would actually present themselves. I can dream, can't I?

      October 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @vtskivt
      There is much that prevents me from running. I am not a Christian. I am not rich. I am not on the take. I love my country more than money. Etc.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Patrick
      Who are you responding to? Me? If so, who is going to forgive me again? My gardener Jesus? He doesn't know much English but I guess I can see if he will forgive me.....I don't really get it though....

      October 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • j-m=btown

      what ur saying is that Christians are not against corruption and are part of the problem? Where is ur facts/source, besides ur blatant reverse prejudice.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • carruth

      you sound like a very happy person.....

      October 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Patrick

      Central Scrutinizer: I forgive you and I pray the Lord will forgive you. Oh and racism is ignorance! Your hispanic gardner Jesus will most assuredly inherit the kingdom of heaven, but making racist remarks and persecuting people for loving their God, who loves all including you, is not really nice. You are making a donkey out of yourself, but even Jesus talks to donkey's so I pray again for your forgiveness. I love you, Jesus loves you more. if you hate me, its ok I still love you!

      October 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Patrick
      What is racist about what I said about Jesus? Please explain what is racist about it. Are you suggesting he does speak good English? He doesn't.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • tzvikf

      Only morons and liars? I thought pretty much anyone running for office is a lawyer. Oh, I guess you are right!

      October 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      j-m=btown
      No, that is not what I am saying at all. What post are you reading? I am saying that IF you are in politics or want to be, you either better be Christian or pretend like you are. Politicians provide the rest, greed, special interest funding, lying, etc. These people are not your friend, they are fleecing you. How can you defend them?

      October 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Patrick
      I am not persecuting anyone for their beliefs. True, I think religion is stupid, but I am not forcing my agnostic point of view on you. I am saying that it is unfair that ONLY Christians can occupy congress and the high posts in this country. Not good for you or me.

      Also, you have not answered my question about Jesus the gardener. Why was that statement racist? Please explain your comment.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Patrick

      Central Scrutinizer: Anyone with half a brain reads through your lines here, you referred to you're hispanic gardner who may or may not exist or be named Jesus as in hey Zeus, but you might as well pray to the God Zeus and let your hispanic landscaper speak which ever language he knows. I bet he knows his is the kingdom of heaven, and I pray one day the Lord will give you a chance to know him and he already loves you and knows you. Isn't weird even when you hate on us, we still love on you. Guess were crazy, huh. I better go take my medicine, which is the Word. Im going to go pray for you again, but this is my last response to your comments friend.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @carruth
      Quite happy in general thanks. But not too happy about Washington. Things need change! Make it work people!

      October 10, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Patrick
      Giving up so soon Patrick? Well I won't miss you, but for the record I do have a Mexican gardener ( I don't think he is from Hispaniola) Couldn't tell you what his religion is, none of my business, but the fact that you assume he is Christian based on his race is well, you know. No his name is not Jesus (I don’t think) but I was just joking around. You know, it IS ok to joke around "friend". Fact is he is a great guy and I like him very much but he doesn't speak much English. All true enough. I was trying to point out to you that your Jesus is dead, while mine is busy mowing lawns. Or picking strawberries. Or running a law firm. Or performing open-heart surgery. Get it genius? I think I need to be more literal with you.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  10. Patrick

    I encourage all who has read this article or has a comment or opinion about to first wikipedia the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. If you know more about this man, you will realize there is not a chance this Pastor has to survive, but I thank the Lord Jesus for using him as a martyr for human rights injustice and this story I pray spreads in circulation in world-wide press. This is the chance for world press to show this tyrant how powerful the press is. BTW Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is by far the biggest enemy to freedom of press as far as Political leaders in the world.

    October 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Patrick,
      "...but I thank the Lord Jesus for using him as a martyr for human rights injustice..."

      You thank God for having someone killed for the cause of human rights? Really? What does God care about human rights, He's killing people just to make a point! What the hell kind of morality it that?

      October 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Sorry, it should read:
      What does God care about human rights, if He's killing people just to make a point!

      October 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Colin

      "But I thank the Lord Jesus for using him as a martyr for human rights injustice and this story"

      You ridiculous fool. That one sentence captures so perfectly everything I despise about you religious nuts. How about I come to your house and kill you to make you a martyr? You people sicken me, you really do.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Patrick

      This man knowingly risked his life for a great purpose, if he converted one soul from Islam to Christianity he served a great purposeful life. Anyone who knows a lick about Iran and the Supreme Leader knows he will be martyred. I thank the Lord for warriors like this Pastor and it makes me cry that he will be put to death and is most assuredly receiving tortures while we write. Jesus however also knew what his preaching would bring against him, but he fulfilled the prophecies and he died for our sins. I'm comparing this wonderful man's life to that of Jesus', please don't twist my words to you're liking. It's my opinion, you can't have it.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Patrick,
      I wasn't twisting your words, just quoting them.
      In addition, however, I'm almost certain that extremist-Muslims feel the same way that you do but about their martyred suicide bombers.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Patrick

      Wow you are on a good one. However, unlike suicide bombers who kill and maim innocent lives in hopes of receiving 72 Virgins and 80,000 slaves in heaven, it is hardly comparable to this poor man being put to death because he loves people enough to risk his life in the pursuit of righteousness! "I knew when I posted my comment that I would too be persecuted, but I embrace it, as a true Christian. You can't offend me, and I will continue to defend the defenseless. I love you, Jesus loves you all. Thank you Lord for your truth!

      October 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Ed

      @Patrick. You're not being presecuted just disagreed with. This guy is being presecuted. You are being over sensitive.

      @Nonimus, "You thank God for having someone killed for the cause of human rights? Really? What does God care about human rights, He's killing people just to make a point! What the hell kind of morality it that?"

      God isn't doing the killing here. The Iranain government is. I read your correction but the same response still fits

      October 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Ed,
      You are correct about who is doing the killing, it is definitely not God. That's why I am disagreeing with the viewpoint that God should be thanked, or that He would want such a sacrifice. Especially since it's very unlikely that He exists, and therefore couldn't kill anyone or want anyone killed.

      Martyrdom for an all powerful supernatural being just seems the height of arrogance and stupidity to me. Why would such a being need or care for our supposed sacrifice?

      October 10, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • Nonimus

      p.s.
      I honor this man for defending his own, and by extension others, rights to freedom of religion, not for his belief in Christianity.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Ed

      @Nonimus, God has no need for us or what we do. God is and was before us and will be after us. While he be pleased with us when we behave well and sad when we behave badly, he does not need us. Again similar to parent child relationship. You can live a full life and never have kids. But having Kids still adds a great deal to the life of those that have them,even though they did not need them to live.

      Martyrdom is a sad fact of the human condition. While it can result in political or societal change it would be better if we could learn the lesson with less presecution of any kind. Unfortunately humans prefer to learn their lessons the hard way,

      October 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Guest

      @Patrick: Obviously you are a man of faith. However, I must say for you to dismiss God's ability to save based on your reading from Wikipedia shows that you give limitations to God's power. Remember "All things are possible with God". I wouldn't write God off yet, Patrick. "The fervent prayer of a godly person is powerful and effective."

      October 10, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Ed,
      And around and around we go. I'm happy for you that you think God has no need for us. I happy for you that you think that God even notices when we behave "well" or "badly". Unfortunately there is no reason to suspect that He even exists, let alone notices our behavior; but believe what you want. Also, I don't think that the analogy of parent/child is equivalent to creator/created, but whose worried about logic anyway.

      You miss my point about martyrdom. Self-sacrifice can be a noble and heroic thing, but getting yourself killed for a supernatural being that, even if He does exist, probably couldn't care less, just seems silly to me.

      October 11, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  11. kren

    wat u want Oman to bail him out or something? lol this is becoming retarded

    October 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  12. martinmunson

    Wow, that schnozz takes a left turn at Albequerque. Still, Youcef was a great man and he gave wickedimproper . com his every blessing.

    October 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  13. Brian

    "we offer people choices in their lives & serve as a beacon towards the future."..........................

    Unless you are a Native American. Isn't it a little strange for the U.S. to be preaching about the death penalty?

    October 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Antoine

      What kind of a moron are you? The US has never executed anyone because of his or her religious belief.
      One can be against the death penalty but such a short cut is not an argument...

      October 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  14. Life and Hope in Jesus Christ

    Yes freedom is in America: But the most basic duty of American government is to protect the life of the innocent said George W. Bush.
    The person that is not safe is the unborn baby.
    All life must be protected at any cost.
    This young pastor has my prayers for a life of hope.

    October 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  15. andy

    I'm not a warmonger, and detest all our meaningless wars. But this is a good reason to bomb the hell out of Iran. Killing someone because of the God he believes in pretty much negates your religion and culture in my book. The Iranian people are cool, but why we don't have special forces killing the inner political circle is beyond me. Bomb their military to dust at the same time. Sick of the old guys in Iran running things like the dark ages.

    October 10, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  16. trex

    Hey Iran....I have an idea we BOTH would like.............you trade us this Pastor,.......and you can put a fatwa on the goof ball Westboro Baptist Church.

    October 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  17. Darth Vadik, CA

    What the heck are the US conservatives complaining about???

    Aren't they just waiting for the Armageddon? The day when they get to cut all non-Christians' throats if they don't convert?

    Kind of like the same thing Iran is doing now....

    October 10, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Ed

      thanks for proven you know nothing about Christians

      October 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  18. Patrick

    Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is on his death-bed and literally is going to die any day now. He is very ill. I predict he will either make no comment or he will agree with the penalty handed down. This Pastor being put to death may in fact fulfill God's will for his life, I'm suggesting him being martyred. Him being killed will have a more profound effect on making Iran change, I know I feel sick saying this. This is an innocent and peaceful man being unjustly charged, but it sheds light on Iran's evil ways. Lord of Lords, King of Kings, ruler of all nations please Lord hear our prayers!

    October 10, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Kachoto

      I rather support your marthyrdom...

      October 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  19. Walter Sieruk

    The Islamic Iranian goverment of Iran might murder that Christian pastor for preaching the gospel of Christ to the Iranian people. That shows how afraid these mullahs who are in power in Iran are of the Bible. Likewise, the mullahs don't want the Iranian people to hear the Gospel or conpaire and contrast the The Bible with the Quran. They are afraid if the people of Iran do this they might find out that the Bible is a superior book over the Quran. Thus, the mullahs would lose their power base.
    Furthermore, one man who was a Muslim and did study and conpaire the Bible with the Quran became a Christian as a result of this study and the pwer of God. His internet site is 'www.shoebat.com'

    October 10, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  20. Really???

    This showcases the difference between a country where they can kill you just for your religious preference, & a country where the free choice of religion is a basic human right. No wonder they hate us, we offer people choices in their lives & serve as a beacon towards the future.

    October 10, 2011 at 4:10 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.