home
RSS
With pressure mounting, Iranian Supreme Court could rehear pastor’s case
October 13th, 2011
05:12 PM ET

With pressure mounting, Iranian Supreme Court could rehear pastor’s case

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN)–Should Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani's case be returned to the Supreme Court of Iran, that country's highest court has agreed to review it, according to the pastor's lawyer.

Mohammad Dadkah, Nadarkhani's lawyer, confirmed the Supreme Court's statement in a Thursday conversation with CNN. The reversal is a minor victory for the two-year-old legal battle; the Supreme Court passed on hearing the case in 2010.

Nadarkhani, the leader of a network of house churches in Iran, was first convicted of apostasy in November 2010 for changing from a Muslim to a Christian. He was sentenced to death.

He subsequently appealed the conviction all the way to the high court. The Supreme Court passed the trial back down to the lower court and, in an appeals trial last month in Gilan province, Nadarkhani refused to recant his beliefs.

Nadarkhani's ordeal has drawn international attention, becoming a cause celebre for a number of Christian organizations in the United States and abroad. Many of these groups took to Facebook, Twitter and their own websites in an attempt to energize their followers to protest the pastor's treatment.

Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, an organization that has regularly updated its followers on the status of the case, said once the international community got a word of this case, voices were raised high enough that Iran began to feel the pressure.

"I don't credit one group or just Christians even," Sekulow said. "But when the world started speaking out, more and more people heard about Pastor Youcef and voices were raised."

He said the key to the campaign was making the issue about human rights, not religion. Drawing contrast to the ACLJ's activism on other issues of Islam in America, Sekulow said, "This is not about that - it is about a pastor's life and an attorney."

According to a count by the ACLJ, 80 members of Congress have released statements on the issue, in addition to public statements by the White House and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"The United States stands with the international community and all Iranians against the Iranian government's hypocritical statements and actions, and we continue to call for a government that respects the human rights and freedom of all those living in Iran," stated a release from Clinton.

Other countries have been involved, too. Representatives from The European Union, France, England and Germany have all issued statements asking for the Iranian government to halt the execution.

But according to Harris Zafar, national spokesman for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, it is "unnerving" that one distinct voice is missing from pleas to Iran.

"I think what is really missing is a strong Muslim voice," Zafar said. "I am a bit surprised that there aren't more Muslims up in arms about this. Perhaps it is quiet, passive, acceptance."

He said that putting pressure on Iran is a touchy process, and it takes the right voices to sway the Iranians. Though the Iranian government may not hear one specific organization in America, he said, a surge of voices that includes powerful figures can have an effect.

"When you have people of more known standing in the United States saying something, that has more of a possibility of causing Iran to rethink this," Zafar said. "I don't think an individual sitting in Columbus, Ohio, would have played a role in directly changing their minds."

But don't tell that to the thousands of people who post comments on the Voice of the Martyrs Facebook page. The group's page has become a hub of activity for Americans interested in Christians who are being persecuted abroad. Written prayer is common for the page, with people regularly turning to God via Facebook.

Todd Nettleton, spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs, said the group's activity on Facebook has helped.

"I think in terms of people praying for Pastor Youcef, that has had an effect, and I think we are seeing the results of that," Nettleton said. "Iran is a bit hesitant to put this man to death, and I think that is a result of international pressure."

Zafar said that although international pressure like Voice of the Martyrs is helping keep Nadarkhani alive, Iran is probably hoping to delay the case so long that the international community moves on to the next pressing issue.

Iran's hope is that they "delay a little longer so the pressure would die down and they can make a decision under the guise of the dark," he said.

Nettleton said that won't happen.

"We continue to monitor the case and we continue to talk about it on our Facebook page," he said. "One way or another, people are going to know when a verdict is announced."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Iran

soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. Calso

    Dear Pastor Yousef, You are being upheld in a very special way in the thoughts and prayers of miilions of believers.

    Please know that God's protective hand surrounds you and all the others who are being persecuted for their faith.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Same sentiment form non-believers. No one should be executed for their beliefs.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      "FROM" not from. Tom Tom will kick my ass if she sees that.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Dang it I am such a fail. I will satrt over:

      Same sentiment from non-believers. No one should be executed for their beliefs. We love people too.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • *frank*

      *start

      October 13, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nope, I wouldn't, CS. I only smite those who deserve smiting, and are too stupid to realize how dim they are.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      LS, thank goodness. I have been trying to hold down the fort but happy to see you here.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who is LS?

      October 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @tom tom
      If you don't know who LS is, then your not tom tom. fuk off.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you don't know the difference between "you're" and "your", you aren't CS.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good luck sweetiebumkins. You're going to need it.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @tom tom
      Dam it tom tom. I don't know who I am talking to any more. You know I always screw up my tenses ane I call Lisbeth.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  2. A Catholic

    God of mercy,
    Hear my prayer in the midst of destruction;
    give me patience and hope,
    so that under your protection and with you as my guide,
    I may one day be reunited with my family and friends
    in peace, tranquility, and love.
    Grant this through Christ our Lord

    October 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • Anglican

      The Lord be with you.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      And may the Pope continue to be Nazi and condone pedophiles in the clergy. Amen. God Bless. Whatever.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • Anglican

      Central. One big negative are you? Enjoy your negative life. Peace be with you.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Anjerkasoid
      Why do you fear the truth so much? I am not negative. In fact, I LOVE life and REJOICE in it. I just don't believe in sky-fairies or se-xually abusiing children. Hey if that is your thing, whatever. Hope you go to prison.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Anglican

      Central. You choose to highlight the wicked which is always mixed within the good, whether faithful or secular. Atheist often accuse those of faith, "cherry picking" issues. That is what you do. For every piece of trash who abuses, there are thousand who do good work. What do you do for your fellow man, faithful or secular?

      October 13, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Anglican
      Ahhh, an actual take. Thank you. I do volunteer work for child cancer patients. Educate my children. Love and cherish my wife and parents. I could go on but it is embarrassing.
      .

      October 13, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Anglican

      Why would that be embarrassing? A good man who loves his fellow man and family regardless of his beliefs is hard to find these days. Peace.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Thank you Anglican, but I am not here to promote myself. What I do for others I do out of love. Fortunately, I do not believe in God. If I did, I would hang myself. Such cruelty and evil. God can go fuk Itself.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Anglican

      So be it. Peace and goodbye.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • JT

      If you Christians didn't go around proclaiming to be morally superior to all others then you wouldn't have all your faults thrown back at you. Are you saying you're no better than secular people or are you one of those cop-outs who say "not perfect, just forgiven" crap?

      October 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Shel

      Thanks "Catholic"! I may not be religious, but I appreciate your prayer!! Keep up the prayers for the world!

      October 14, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  3. Line

    Keep the faith Pastor Youcef n know that GOD is w/u. HE said in HIS WORD, HE will never leave nor forsake u. GOD is present w/u. HE's an Omnipresent, Omniscience n Omnipotent GOD. My prayers r w/u n 4 those that persecute u 'cause of HIS NAME's sake n 4 tis whole world 2 come 2 know GOD. GOD bless u.....

    October 13, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • GoToCollegeGetDrunkEatChickenFingers

      I'm sure he appreciates the kind words. Unfortunately, the almighty above has never answered a single prayer as promised in the Bible. Food for thought.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
  4. Anglican

    God have mercy on us ALL.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Or just you. Whatever works.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • Anglican

      May He have mercy on you.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Why? Who exactly is HE?

      October 13, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • Anglican

      He is the Creator of all this. You and me, tree and sea.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Anglican
      Come on now, who is HE, Where is HE, and why do think HE is a HE anyway? Do you have any thoughts of your own? I would love to hear them. Let's talk!

      October 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • curious george

      'anglicized'? which god?

      October 13, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      WHERE is HE. WHEN did HE create these things.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Elementary

      If you notice the anglican is very evasive in its addressing of the issue at hand.

      Are supporting the release of this Pastor or not?

      October 13, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • Anglican

      I am an Anglican. I believe in the Creator God, revealed in the face of Jesus of Nazareth. Anglicans consider scripture, tradition and reason in understanding God. Now I know what will happen now. You will totally deny any credibility of scripture, tradition, and reason, and we will be back at the same point where we started. He is my Creator, my God.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @central answering for anglican
      God is I AM ,the creator YHWH.He created All things in the beginning.Hope that clears it up for you.God bless

      October 13, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • Anglican

      Elementary. Not evasive at all. Just understanding what I am up against.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Typical carnal responses of carnally minded folks who need Jesus truth in their lives instead of listening to the talking heads on TV that get paid to sell Jesus out.

      Amen.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • PRISM1234

      Some people have no concept of God, nor do they have understanding that they have immortal souls... I wrote many times about this subject, but it is like speaking to herd of animals.... Sad shape to be in.....

      October 13, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Herby
      God bless you blessing god and bless you with all the blessings of god on the god blesssing of god blessing in a the blessing of God blessing you . Oh, and God bless.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @heavensent
      Nice to see you back. I have asked you on two occasions but you have not replied. Why do all of your posts end with "amen". Are they prayers? I don't understand. Please explain.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Anglican
      If you are sincere about discussing faith you will reply with more than just, "God is good, God is great, Who do we Appreciate".

      My question to you: When did modern man first walk the Earth. If you don't know, you are completely irrelevent.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • Erin

      @CS- When did the final pre-modern man last walk the Earth?

      October 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Erin
      Hi Erin, well I don't think Anglican has the brain power to participate so I appreciate your quesiton. I am gonna say that the first "modern human" not just physically but mentally was about 200,000 years ago. Am I close?

      October 13, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • Anglican

      Central. I presume you know the answer? I certainly do not. i am not aware that anyone knows that answer other than God. I do not believe man is only six to seven thousand years old. Much older than that. So when did man walk first as he is? God friends in Ivy places much wisher than I who do not know. Should they speak with you?

      October 13, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • Anglican

      Got friends(sp) A slip of Sigmond I guess.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • No, I'm the best.

      You can "say" anything you like. Whether there actually IS a creator/deity is another matter. But, yes, you can SAY anything to yourself, that makes you feel good, and explains the world to yourself. The actual nature of reality is NOT dependent on anything you say or think. Billions of humans have said the nuttiest things, and were just as sure as you they were right. You actually think YOU are different ?

      October 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @anglican
      Well I hate to be the one who breaks it to you, but MANY people know the answer. There is this funny thing called science, where intelligent, well-educated people actually look a the world and the universe and record facts, from which they determine the difference between reality and fantasy! I know crazy right? Actually looking at truth rather than mythology? Go figure.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Anglican

      Central. Gosh, I am just an idiot. Two doctorate degrees, one US and one UK. Board certified as well in my spec. I still do not know a brain who knows the day man walked as he does today. Two hundred thous is an guess. You ask me when. Trolling wiki?

      October 13, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Anglican
      Any rich fuk can get a degree. That doesn't change the fact that you are dumb as stump on a log. Sorry. IF you have an argument, bring it on. I like the discourse. But you have nothing to offer. So say something, anything intelligent or go away.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Now, now CS, there's no need for insults and name calling. After all, you can't take it yourself. Stop acting like a coward. Be a man.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
  5. Where is the outcry

    Hey wham bam islam-

    Where is the outcry on this Pastor's incarceration????

    October 13, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Sorry

      Nope, they only cry out for their rights like wearing burkas, heckling foreign dignatories , building those mosques and having their shows on TV.

      They are silent when it comes to voicing concerns about fundatmental human rights violation. A pastor's life is in the line, where are you?

      October 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @sorry
      don't foget how hilarious it is when they throw acid on the faces of teenage girls and make public sport out of stoning people to death at futball matches. The Dark Ages are alive and well. Get a ticket and enjoy the game and entertainment!

      October 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • Anglican

      What ever offends you, never do to your neighbor.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Anglican
      What?? I can't torture my neighbors? Dam it!

      October 13, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • Elementary

      Anglican trolling with an anglicized name?

      not very difficult to see through your stance.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Anglican

      I am one of the Faithful, a Christian. Why are you hanging out here?

      October 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  6. Richard Kaiser

    Central Scrutinizer, wrote on Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 7:49 pm, stating, “Dicky, when I imagine a world without religion it brings a BIG smile to my face. Then when I wake up, only sadness. Imagine there's no heaven it's easy if you try. No hell below us, above us only sky.…”

    Dreams oh Central Scrutinizer are all that the major majority of people upon this world has. Few of the socially inept have the means and wherewithal to make a good life upon this world. Should it be with everyone to have what the many are socially plagued with,,, hunger,,, disease,,, no home to call their own? Where then Oh Scrutinizer Central will one be if such disparaging equableness entangles all? Answer me this ‘one simple question' if you please.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Sure I will answer the question. What is the question again?

      October 13, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @richard
      Dicky, I want to answer your question, but I don't know what it actually is. I sort of undestand the point you are trying to make, and people don't use the word "equableness" very often, but what exactly is your dam question?

      October 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • Richard Kaiser

      @ Central Scrutinizer,,,

      Sorry CS, didn't realize I asked two questions,,, 🙁

      Dreams oh Central Scrutinizer are all that the major majority of people upon this world has. Few of the socially inept have the means and wherewithal to make a good life upon this world. Should it be with everyone to have what the many are socially plagued with,,, hunger,,, disease,,, no home to call their own? Where then Oh Scrutinizer Central will one be if such disparaging equableness entangles all? Answer me these ‘two simple questions' if you please.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      John Lennon is back with our Lord and Savior ... learning the truth about Jesus without constraints of the human flesh which is sin.

      Christianity 101 for dummies.

      Amen.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @richard
      How the hell should I know? It is your God that brings all the grief on people right?

      @heaven
      I have a very good job, that is why I have time to play around on these silly blogs

      @heaven
      Don't even THINK you can talk about John. Fool.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • No, I'm the best.

      Dicky, what would the minor majority HAVE ? 🙂

      October 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dickie, please ask your god to translate your gibberish into English. TIA.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's Thanks In Advance, in case you were blissfully unaware of what "TIA" stands for. I just wanted to show off how clever and edgy I can be. I also felt that I could properly showcase my Internet savvy with the appearance of being young and hip. I must regrettably admit however, that I am in my late 40's. Oh menopause, how you make my mustache grow.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
  7. mm

    It's a shame when mortal man set themselves up in the position as the Almighty God. They have a lot of answering to do. At least if they execute the pastor he will have time to make his peace with God. But these demonic people who are acting in God's place may not be as fortunate as this pastor.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  8. Central Scrutinizer

    It is so wierd how even when I am not anywhere near a computer or phone, I still post to the blogs. I guess I am a phsyic poster!

    October 13, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Ahhhhhhhhhh, could it be that you need a job?

      October 13, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Could it be that you just need a brain, HS?

      October 13, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  9. James n c

    O lord have mercy is changing from islam to chrsitan a crime prisedent obama please save that pastor from evil men

    October 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Shel

      Yes it is a crime, punishable by death. Although some more moderate Muslims think you shouldn't kill him, unless of course he says bad things about Islam, THEN he should be killed.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  10. John

    God is imaginary.

    October 13, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Anglican

      No, God is Creator and Sustainer.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Spoken like a true lover of sins of the flesh.

      When you get over yourself John (simply meaning, shut up, hang up your ego of lusting after the flesh, read the Bible) and ask Jesus for forgiveness, you too can learn His truth.

      Amen.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I doubt anyone ever loved your flesh, HS. Poor you.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No one loves mine. That's for sure. Not even me!

      October 13, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  11. Zoomba

    Here is what stands out: "I think what is really missing is a strong Muslim voice," Zafar said. "I am a bit surprised that there aren't more Muslims up in arms about this. Perhaps it is quiet, passive, acceptance." So what of this? I wish they would speak louder.

    October 13, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Par for the course

      I'm not sure why this surprises anyone. The moderate Muslim majority rarely speaks out loud and clearly against things like terrorism, or the persecution of non-Muslims. However, when the US kills a known terrorist and enemy combatant, the entire Muslim world rants and raves about how they are being victimized.

      Here's my challenege to the moderate Muslim majority. Speak out against the persecution of this man in a loud and clear manner. If you want the world to view you as normal human beings who understand the concept of basic human rights and people who want to co-exist peacefully with everyone, this is what you need to do. If you can't even do that, don't expect the world to sympathize with your plight.

      October 13, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Sorry

      They are conveniently hiding behind those burkas.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  12. Mike in NC

    This can only be dealt with by implementing the most draconian Tax Cuts for the super-wealthy we have seen to date! That'll show 'em.

    October 13, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Pwilson

      Wow. Obsess much? Nothing to do with this story.

      October 13, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  13. Lee

    I hope the best for this man. This is not an execution for a murder, it would be murder committed by an executioner. There is nothing right or holy about this whole thing. Regardless if you belong to a religion or don't. This is an atrocity against humanity.

    October 13, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Tiny Tim

      Yes. This is IRAN....

      October 13, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  14. JOHN

    Amazing... these Iranian Muslim leaders talk about knowing God... What a joke... Satan loves this type of nonsense. He has deceived the Muslim world for 1400 years. Believing in the teachings of one man, who used warfare "blood" to conquer people. Not too bright. Now they kill any Muslim who changes religions. Man... God is getting a bad rap from these boys.

    October 13, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • GoToCollegeGetDrunkEatChickenFingers

      If you were to leave this "God" and "Satan" out of the equation, then perhaps one day, Iran would follow suit in their antiquated religious system of hate. This is why this poor gentlemen is in the predicament he is in. Religion is a prison sentence.

      I hope that this man is freed. But not only that, I hope he breaks free from the constraints of the venomous religious clutches he is bound by. I hope that he can get the chance to enjoy what it is important, his family and this life. This is the only life we have. Cherish it.

      October 13, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Richard Kaiser

      Of which does or should, one worship? GOD? God, or god? Seems to me that many people worship their own God of Gods and not GOD,,,,,

      October 13, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Richard Kaiser

      GoToCollegeGetDrunkEatChickenFingers

      Without religion will be Chaos. Imagine or try to, what kind of world this would be if there were no hope or faith or belief. No hope for the lowly kind. No faith in a greater life then that which so many are now put upon. No belief in a 'Being' who can deliver such people who find faith and hope to be the only commodity left for them to sustain their current paltry life,,,, Shame is upon those who cry out, "There is no GOD!"

      GOD is IMHO a much needed social structure for with to keep the humanities from absolute Chaos.

      Until we humans can and do act upon the welfares of everyone and not just acclaim the socially and finacially obscure to be their heros/idols, then and only then will anything of goodness be ours for the common benefits toward all.

      October 13, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @richard
      Dicky, when I imagine a world without religion it brings a BIG smile to my face. Then when I wake up, only sadnes.

      Imagine there's no heaven it's easy if you try. No hell below us, above us only sky....

      October 13, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Richard,
      You have no proof there would be "chaos" without religion. And now you base your belief in the existence of a mythical being, because you "feel the need " for one ? How illogical ! Where was the "hope", when the tsunami hit Ja-pan last spring ? Did it give THEM hope ? No, dispair. What about the 12,000,000 who were starving in Africa this Summer. Did your nonsense give THEM any hope ? Did you ask any of them. as they left their dead kids on the side of the road ?

      October 13, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • No, I'm the best.

      The Pink Monkeys are slaughtering each other because they won't "say" they believe in the correct sky fairy. That gives me great hope.

      October 13, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      The world would be better without religion. Religion is not required for hope, to dream, to behave within a civil society, to treat others kindly and with respect, to do charitable deeds, etc. On the other hand, religion is excellent at creating stupid, childish and unnecessary divisions and rivalries – much like street gangs do. If the world would be better off without street gangs, it would be an order of magnitude off without religion.

      October 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Typical half answer Hot Air Ice. You spew your nonsense all the time on this blog and never think anything out to it's conclusion. The only thing you atheists know is that you were taught Jesus' truth which you reject. Take your nonsense 10 generations ahead where atheists raise atheists and never mention Jesus' truth. Not only do you not know His truth by that point in futuristic projection, your kind (non-believers) care even less about any truths in the world where the atheist kill the atheists. Thankfully, our Lord and Savior comes back during this generation and resolves your foolishness once and for all. Basically, what you write is always mute as long as you lust after the flesh.

      Amen.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • GoToCollegeGetDrunkEatChickenFingers

      @Richard, You speak of chaos. I find this ironic, as the hope of extremists to die as martyrs so they can go to heaven. So I ask you, what do you think would happen if they had no hope? They would do nothing. What is the one thing that generates the most animosity of all things on this planet? Religion.

      I'm not religious. Does this mean I'm chaotic? Do I fit the description of a loose cannon, otherwise known as a 1980's Hollywood depiction of police officers? Am I more prone to do evil Satanic things?

      October 13, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @HeavenScent

      You can blather all you like about killing by atheists but you really should be worried about religion-on-religion violence. How can you defend the millions of people killed in my-god-is-the-one-true-god battles? As usual you worry about atheists when you really need to clean up your backyard first.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      GAH. Need brain bleach. REALLY don't want to think about Heaven Stink's 'backyard'. I suspect it's been neglected for eons.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Shel

      Christianity had it's share of bloodshed too. However, most of us in the West have evolved – and if we want to be technical...if anyone considers themself a real Christian, there would NEVER be a need for bloodshed. There wouldn't be greed, there wouldn't be hate – only love, forgiveness and understanding. Unfortunately religion corrupts people.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  15. . Godisgood.cookie

    GIve that pastor a chance to live. Afterall changing religion is not a crime this man believes in a higher power and being a christian is his choice. Let pastor be free his not in no sin to put em to death. Be real?

    October 13, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      This religious charlatan, errrr, pastor, is alive so he has had at least one chance to live.

      It is against the law in Iran to convert from islam.

      His "higher power" most likely does not exist.

      He allegedly is charged or convicted of rape so may be guilty of a significant sin, but in any event he is not likely to be without sin as being sinful appears to be a requirement to be a member of the christian cult.

      But despite all the errors in your post, I do agree he should not be executed – regardless of what he might have done.

      October 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  16. Naomi Wilton

    Praying fervently! May Pastor Nadarkhani experience ministering angels to strengthen him. If the Son of God sets you free, you are free indeed! How blessed to live in a country that respects human rights of freedoms! God Almighty can set christians free in Iran. He can use persecution to bring others into the Kingdom of truth! Of whom the world is not worthy...followers of Jesus Christ Savior of the world! Jesus Christ is the WAY, the TRUTH & the LIFE! Holy Spirit of TRUTH reveal Jesus Christ to many in Iran!

    October 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • R. Diane

      AMEN and AMEN!!

      October 13, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Josh

      Why do religious people insist in using CAPLOCKS? That's the same as shouting. If that's what you meant then quiet down- no one likes to be shouted at. I you didn't know, now you do.

      October 13, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Amen.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, can it, HS. You say "Amen" like most people say "Bless you" when someone sneezes. You don't even mean it and it's meaningless when it concludes posts as hateful and judgmental as yours anyway.

      Really, you dried up hag, why don't you shut up?

      October 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  17. kimsland

    Forget courts he just needs to pray for forgiveness and all will be ok.
    Ohhh, this is a real life story. He should lie and save his ass.

    October 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • o.k.

      Kimsland's world view: Be a coward at all cost.

      October 13, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Josh

      There is nothing wrong with self-preservation. Passing judgment on others as if you're the moral authority...there is something wrong with that.

      October 13, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • o.k.

      Josh–I agree with you...to a point. At some point we each have to decide if what we believe is so important to us, that it's worth paying a price no matter how small or large–including death. This pastor is at that point, and if he believes it is more important to keep his faith then lie to save his backside (and live with the guilt thereafter) I would suggest that that is a quality to be admired.

      As for my comment to Kimsland–take it with a grain of salt. Her posts are notoriously hateful, and it appears that only thing she believes in is herself (and her hatred for anyone of faith).

      October 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  18. Central Scrutinizer

    President Obama will get this sorted out. He isn't a republican pig.

    October 13, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      not me, but thanks for the love.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  19. Mr Chihuahua

    Sic a K-9 unit on the Ayatollah lol!

    October 13, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  20. Free the Pastor

    Free the pastor and all the other 33 you have falsely accused and imprisoned for their Faith.

    October 13, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
1 2 3 4
Advertisement
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.