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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. Anon

    Both Christians and Muslims are like this in the head.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q16KpquGsIc

    October 14, 2011 at 3:49 am |
  2. Nathan T

    Were prayin' for ya Pastor! We did tonite...

    October 14, 2011 at 3:45 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Ya know, writing a letter on his behalf would have done so much more for him than speaking to empty air!

      October 14, 2011 at 6:15 am |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Hey Truth. Just wanted to say hi. It is the real me. Carry on.

      October 14, 2011 at 6:24 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Good Morning CS: Nice to see the real you :-). It was getting to sound like a teenage girl slumber party here for a bit. Enjoy this beautiful day. 🙂

      October 14, 2011 at 9:04 am |
  3. Jimtanker

    Iran is starting to get soft. They seem to be just looking for publicity now days. Starting to soudn a lot like N Korea.

    October 14, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  4. Steve

    People have been fighting over this crap for the last 2000 years. Give it a rest. God exists but doesn't follow a man made religion.

    October 14, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • Jimtanker

      Or, no gods exist.

      October 14, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Anon

      God is an imaginary friend for weak minded fools.

      October 14, 2011 at 3:45 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      And once again a christian puts a different spin on god.

      October 14, 2011 at 6:20 am |
  5. Richard Kaiser

    Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, my heart reaches out to you and your plight. May mercies find you and grace be upon you.

    October 14, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  6. Richard Kaiser

    A Loving GOD and Son

    The skies a dim blue like the eyes of my Love.
    The spirit does beckon on the wings of a dove.
    Light years beyond the travailing winds yawning,
    Harbors the safety on which comes the dawning.
    GOD is the allness and HIS Spirit is calling us all.
    Now is the Time to ever remember His fall.

    Together we all do await in secondly concerns,
    The Holiest Spirit brings flight and duly it burns.
    Distance one measures the will of His ways,
    Craving the depths of jealousy's days,
    Live and do Love all that bemoans their uneven weights,
    Pray for those lost that considers their fates.

    Kindness sequesters and keeps itself clean,
    Forgive me dear Lord my words that seem mean.
    I just jest with the rest who belittle of the malcontent
    My raiments are but clothes that the Lord made rent.
    Love them GOD and bring them your first Son,
    Who bought us all, our spirits, our souls, He has truly thus won!

    Richard S. Kaiser

    October 13, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  7. Richard Kaiser

    “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.” [“Der erste Trunk aus dem Becher der Naturwissenschaft macht atheistisch, aber auf dem Grund des Bechers wartet Gott.”] (Heisenberg, as cited in Hildebrand 1988, 10).

    WERNER HEISENBERG – NOBEL LAUREATE IN PHYSICS

    Nobel Prize: Werner Heisenberg (1901–1976) was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics “for the creation of quantum mechanics, the application of which has, inter alia, led to the discovery of the allotropic forms of hydrogen.” In 1927 Heisenberg published the famous principle of uncertainty (indeterminacy) that bears his name.

    Nationality: German.

    Education: Ph.D. in physics, University of Munich, Germany, 1923; Dr. Phil. Habil., University of Goettingen, Germany, 1924.

    Occupation: Professor of Physics at the Universities of Copenhagen (Denmark), Leipzig, Berlin, Goettingen, and Munich.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • lorne

      He was a Nazi.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Jimtanker

      So what are you trying to get at? That a man can be both intelligent and delusionall?

      October 14, 2011 at 12:52 am |
  8. Richard Kaiser

    “I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity.

    Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.” (Schroedinger 1954, 93).

    ERWIN SCHROEDINGER – NOBEL LAUREATE IN PHYSICS

    Nobel Prize: Erwin Schroedinger (1887–1961) was granted the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics “for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory.” Schroedinger also contributed to the wave theory of matter and to other fundamentals of quantum mechanics. He is the founder of wave mechanics.

    Nationality: Austrian

    Education: Ph.D. in physics, University of Vienna, Austria, 1910

    Occupation: Professor of Physics at the Universities of Stuttgart, Jena, Berlin, Zurich, Oxford, and Vienna

    Copied at http://nobelists.net/

    October 13, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  9. Reality

    The real Islam that the Iranian Supreme Court should address:

    Evidence of the 24/7 koran-driven terror and horror of Islam:

    The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

    ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

    and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

    and more recently

    1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

    1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

    2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

    3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

    4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

    5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

    6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

    7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

    8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

    9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

    10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

    11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

    12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

    13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

    14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

    15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

    16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

    17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

    18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

    19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

    20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

    21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

    22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) – Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

    23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

    October 13, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Seek the truth

      People always have the same arguments against Muslims, that they are terrorists and Islam preaches hate. As the second largest religion, why aren't more Muslims involved in these violent acts... could it be that these Martyrs have been influenced by individuals with their own agenda? Why don't the leaders of these organizations become Martyrs instead of sending impressionable young adults? Its all politics and not religion to blame

      October 14, 2011 at 2:50 am |
    • marj

      There are no doubt several more but you forgot one major atrocity: The Beslan school hostage crisis (also referred to as the Beslan school siege or Beslan massacre) of early September 2004 which ended in the deaths of over 380, mostly children.

      October 14, 2011 at 4:28 am |
  10. Cassandra Chu

    that's a 'good boy', Iran. i think u get the hint...

    October 13, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  11. Richard Kaiser

    “Religion represents a bond of man to God. It consists in reverent awe before a supernatural Might [Macht], to which human life is subordinated and which has in its power our welfare and misery. To remain in permanent contact with this Might and keep it all the time inclined to oneself, is the unending effort and the highest goal of the believing man. Because only in such a way can one feel himself safe before expected and unexpected dangers, which threaten one in his life, and can take part in the highest happiness – inner psychical peace – which can be attained only by means of strong bond to God and unconditional trust to His omnipotence and willingness to help.” (Max Planck 1958, 9).

    October 13, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • Richard Kaiser

      MAX PLANCK – NOBEL LAUREATE IN PHYSICS

      Nobel Prize: Max Planck (1858–1947) won the 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his work on the establishment and development of the theory of elementary quanta.” Max Planck is universally recognized as the father of modern physics; he formulated one of the most important physical theories of the 20th century – Quantum Theory. He also contributed to the progress of the Theory of Relativity and the study of electromagnetic radiation. Planck is a founder of quantum mechanics.

      Nationality: German

      Education: Ph.D. in physics, University of Munich, Germany, 1879 (at the age of 21)

      Occupation: Professor of Physics at the Universities of Munich, Kiel, and Berlin

      October 13, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  12. Richard Kaiser

    GOD’s Love

    We should Love GOD because “We are”.
    We are living because of GOD.
    We are learning because of GOD.
    We are seeing our faults because of GOD.
    We are always repentant because of GOD.
    GOD’s Love allows us to be as “We are”.

    You should Love GOD because “You are”.
    You are living because of GOD.
    You are learning because of GOD.
    You are seeing your faults because of GOD.
    You are ever repentant because of GOD.
    GOD’s Love allows you to be what “You are”.

    I should Love GOD because “I am“.
    I am living because of GOD
    I am learning because of GOD
    I am seeing my faults because of GOD
    I am forevermore repentant because of GOD.
    GOD’s Love allows me to be what "I am".

    Richard S. Kaiser

    October 13, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dearest DIckie with your beloved poetry. As predicted.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  13. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    I'm so chuffed and stoked that my little stalker is behind me at all times. It's so cute! Really, thanks, honey. You've made my day! Sweet dreams, darling. Nighty-night.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      I am tired of stalkers.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So am I.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh dear, I'm your LS. Don't fret!

      October 13, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @LS
      Cool.

      October 14, 2011 at 6:27 am |
  14. ZaziJams

    Our prayers are with you Pastor Youcef. It's rare that I'm proud of our congress and politicians (including Hillary Clinton), but I'm glad they have lifted their voices in support of a Christian suffering at the hands of a violent, terroristic, non-peaceful religion. It's terrible that people are murdered for choosing a different faith–Islam is a cultic hateful religion. Since its inception, Christians have been persecuted by the Romans and are persecuted here in the U.S. We're hated because ours is an uncompromising faith. I hope Pastor Youcef's struggle will cause Americans to see Islam as the terroristic religion it is–they've been hoodwinked and bamboozled by Islam's false claim as a "peaceful" religion. Even Zafar hoped for a delay so that could do their dirty work in the dark–the gall that he would be so bold and unashamed in his lust for murdering this pastor for "apostasy." As Christians we know that if they murder Pastor Youcef, he'll be in a better place (Heaven) than intolerant Moslem Iran. Unlike the other Moslem male perverts, he's not looking for 70 virgins in Heaven.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • razzi

      That is exactly what I was going to post:) Jesus is Lord of all nations! God Bless you, ZaziJams

      October 14, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • Anon

      He'll probably get beheaded/hanged, then you christards will make up crap saying that it was god's will or some other nonsense like always.

      October 14, 2011 at 3:47 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Anon: Don't you just love how they think speaking to air is going to help this man?

      October 14, 2011 at 6:35 am |
  15. Central Scrutinizer

    @tom tom
    Is that really you out there? I am getting to the point where I can't tell who is who any more. You are my LS. If you don't know whaat that means clearly that is not you. If you do, cool. Hope you are having a nice day/evening. CS

    October 13, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, I'm the real deal. LS means nothing to me, so whoever you are, give your LS and kiss and hope for the best. See ya around.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      fuk me. I thought you were a Dragon Tatoo fan. Sorry. You have had stalkers for a long time.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Give your LS and kiss.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  16. george

    Pastor Youcef, a face of the many Christians in the Middle East that are being put in prison and who have been killed by their governments. God does not forget those who love Him, because He first loved us.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Hey george,
      God does not appear to be "hands on". Are you really not able to see that???

      October 13, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • razzi

      Indeed!

      October 14, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  17. Richard Kaiser

    “In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.” (Albert Einstein, as cited in Clark 1973, 400; and Jammer 2002, 97).

    GOD and not God nor even god is the Creator of all sublimeness and variances of immutabilities.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • Richard Kaiser

      “- To what extent are you influenced by Christianity?

      – As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.

      – Have you read Emil Ludwig’s book on Jesus?

      – Emil Ludwig’s Jesus is shallow. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful. No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot.

      – You accept the historical Jesus?

      – Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.” (Einstein, as cited in Viereck 1929; see also Einstein, as cited in the German magazine Geisteskampf der Gegenwart, Guetersloh, 1930, S. 235).

      GOD not God nor even god is Creations' Creator.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You remind me of the commercial where the guy meets himself coming and going to make the doughnuts.

      Nuts being most appropriate.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • JT

      Don't confuse or equate a belief in a god with the human created dogma/religion/cult called Christianity.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      God I love nuts. Of all different varieties! Greek nuts, glazed in the finest of massage oils.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • Richard Kaiser

      Tommie Tom Tommie is a name-calling son,
      went tp Piggly Wiggly away he did make run.
      Once there Tom Tommie did ramble some,
      But in the end all he wanted was to blow gum.

      Chew Tommie Tom Tom upon your childish gum.
      Quit complaining to be ever such a dumb dumb.
      Piggly Wiggly will always be there don’t ya just know?
      Tommie Tom Tommie just go and try ever to always blow!

      October 13, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      JT, same concept for you is to get over yourself, you would then start to comprehend Jesus. Since you haven't shelved your ego which Erases God Out, your writing is just babble to give you something to do.

      Amen.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, Dickie, I have a question. How does one chew "upon" something? I chew food. I don't chew "upon" it. Do you?

      October 13, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • Richard Kaiser

      JT wrote on Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 10:47 pm, stating, "Don't confuse or equate a belief in a god with the human created dogma/religion/cult called Christianity."

      “- To what extent are you influenced by Christianity?

      – As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.

      – Have you read Emil Ludwig’s book on Jesus?

      – Emil Ludwig’s Jesus is shallow. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful. No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot.

      – You accept the historical Jesus?

      – Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.” (Albert Einstein, as cited in Viereck 1929; see also Einstein, as cited in the German magazine Geisteskampf der Gegenwart, Guetersloh, 1930, S. 235).

      October 13, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Cleaver post Richard about Tommie Tom, Thomthina. That will give her something else to complain about ... along with invented herself as she tells off others that know how miserable she is without Jesus in her life!.

      Amen.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Awww, HS, I'm truly touched! You are thinking of me!

      Is anyone loving your wrinkly old hide? I hope so, for your sake, though I pity the fool. He's earning his crown in heaven, I guess. Poor little fella,

      October 13, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Have anything that I could chew upon? Naughty Naughty!

      October 13, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • A. Cronyms

      HeavenSent, Re: your babble

      AMEN... which means Aforementioned Message Exudes Nonsense

      October 13, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • Richard Kaiser

      @ HeavenSent

      Tommie Tommathina? Well I'll be hornswaggled,,,,LoL

      October 13, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • HellBent

      Of course, Einstein also said:

      It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.

      The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of hon.ourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.

      For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superst.itions.

      A man's ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

      Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts.

      From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist.

      October 14, 2011 at 7:36 am |
  18. To Pastor Yousef

    His hand is on you still,
    As you seek and do His will.
    Don't give in to despair,
    Rest in your Father's care.
    For when you think you can't take it,
    He will give you grace to make it.

    ~ Gene Griffin

    October 13, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • PRISM1234

      AMEN!

      October 13, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • Mr Chihuahua

      I'd rather he kept his grace and gave me some pizza lol!

      October 13, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
  19. Keith

    Don't forget Asia Bibi in Pakistan, either. The copts in Eygpt. Etc. Islam is not tolerant, nor is it peaceful. It is a cancer.

    October 13, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • We Pray

      Yes, thanks for the reminder we pray that Almighty God's comfort surround them and keep them safe.
      May God give them strength and renew their spirit.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • No, I'm the best.

      If an almighty god wanted them to be safe, couldn't it do that. Why would it need an ant on planet Earth to remind it of the need to do something ? It's all about YOU, talking to YOURSELF ! Think about it. Fine sentiments, which many share, but why not grow up, and see whats going on ?

      October 13, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • Keith

      I'm 6'-3", 230 #, and can tighten 2" threaded pipe with a pair of 24" pipe wrenches so that it will pass a 200#-2 hour hydrostatic test. Therefore, there is no need to grow up physically. The concern is for others-not ME. I'm mature enough to recognize that there's a God-and I'm not Him. You would do well stop denying His existence and realize that you need His Son as your personal Savior. Right now, you are lost. If you die in your current condition, you will have an eternity to regret it. You are the one who needs to "grow up" and recognize the sorry state you currently find yourself in. You are the one who one who is living for YOU, not me.

      October 14, 2011 at 7:44 am |
    • HellBent

      So Keith,

      So your response so someone telling you to grow up is telling them to grow up? Have I been transported back tot he fourth grade? From the start of the last post it seems like you've got quite the chip on your shoulder.

      And the whole 'believe or burn' message is really really old. If you're really trying to win someone over, extortion usually isn't an effective technique.

      October 14, 2011 at 7:48 am |
    • No, I'm the best.

      @Big Keith,
      Dear, it's all relative. You ARE an ant. Go up in an airliner sometime. As far as your strength goes, do you think that's permanent. All you need to do is get sick once, and you will see how strong you are. Again....grow up.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Keith

      I've been in ICU for 17 days with pnuemonia and a lung infection with a white cell count of 35,000. Don't lecture me about losing your physical strength. I looked like I came out of a concentration camp when it was over-weak as a kitten. But spiritually I was good. I was saved. If I had died during that time, I knew I was going to heaven. You do not have that comfort, but you can have it. I don't deserve eternal life, but God has graciously given it to me as a free gift-one that I happily accepted. You slap that same gift onto the ground-your loss.

      October 14, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  20. A Daniel

    Pastor you have dared to be a Daniel of the 21st century.
    May the Almighty God be with you and keep you!

    October 13, 2011 at 9:06 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.