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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)
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  3. randa

    The Changeling: I concur 200%! but why bring up the jcbseut of bombs from the get-go!??? especially when you have right here in our backyard in Bed-Stuy nabe (e.g., kids, teens & adults) being killed by stray bullets from illegal hand guns!Bombs are usually somewhere else in a different part of the world! where peeps from the hood; couldn't point too on a global map. and to have a so-called Blues (Bombs) benefit in the face of these killings right here; w/out a single word spoken about it just speaks volumes on how they think about the ppl from the Bed-Stuy.Go figure1?

    April 4, 2012 at 2:47 am |
  4. Reality

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

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

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

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

    Are you ready?

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

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    October 17, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • Muneef

      Dear Reality..

      Would like from you to read more about Dr.Mustafa Mahmoud of Egypt & read his book;
      Book;
      Name: Dialogue With An Atheist
      Author: Dr. Mustafa Mahmoud 
      Publication Year: 1994
      To download free;
      http://www.mediafire.com/?9vincbd3mney16z

      More information about the book Author;
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustafa_Mahmud)

      October 18, 2011 at 11:57 am |
  5. Avser Bastian

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

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

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

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

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

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

    October 15, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  6. Avser Bastian

    WHITES AREN’T WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER !!! WE DON’T NEED YOU ANYMORE !!! OUT OF AMERICA WITH WHITES NOW !!!

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

    OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009. Facts about lunatic Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against white population.

    Make sure to play video from beginning. Just in case http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xleq3o

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

    IS IT INDEPENDENCE THAT WE CELEBRATE OR DEPENDENCE (what are your credit card bills or alimony saying about it) !!? HOW IS YOUR DIABETES AND LOST MARRIAGES !!? FORECLOSURES AND JOB SEARCH !!? THAT IS THE QUESTION TO BE OR NOT TO BE !!! IS IT LAND OF THE FREE OR STATE OF TERROR AGAINST OWN WHITE POPULATION !!? IT IS TIME TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT COLOR ARE THE STRIPES ON OUR STAR SPANGLED BANNER !!! TIME TO DETERMINE WHOSE INDEPENDENCE/AMERICA, WE CELEBRATE TODAY(who wants to erase us and denies us the right to exist) !!! IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHOM WE ADDRESS WITH "PRESIDENT" (STOP HUMILIATING YOURSELF) !!!

    911 WAS CREATED FOR PEOPLE TO WAKE UP(deliberately by CIA)....HOWEVER, WAKE UP EITHER WHAT IS TRUTH(sanity) OR WAKE UP TO LIES(insanity = with what your self elected governments have brainwashed you when forcefully jobless/persecuted....therefor­­e, I want you to think about "WAKE UP" when watching next time ALEX JONES alike "alternative" news/media = CIA)

    WHEN YOU WAKE UP, I WANT YOU TO WAKE TO YOURSELF AND NOT TO SOMEONE ELSE'S DREAM (ZIONIST/COMMUNIST/LIBERAL DREAM CATCHERS/THIEFS, WHO PLOTTED 911 TO WAKE YOU AFTERWARDS WITH ECONOMIC OPPRESSION IN A WORLD OF LIES !!!)

    HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TRUTH IS !!? WHATEVER YOU WERE BORN IS WHAT YOU ARE(truth therefore) AND FOR WHATEVER REASONS YOU HAVE CHANGED(distorted yourself) SINCE 9/11 IS WHAT YOU ARE NOT !!!

    FOR PIECE OF MIND(sanity), PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITES AND REMEMBER, GENOCIDE(health care) BASED ON FORGIVE AND FORGET IS NOT FOR ME !!! DIGNITY, PRIDE, AND HONOR ARE WORTH TO DIE AND KILL FOR !!!

    October 15, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  7. Muneef

    Guess they at court should ask him why he had to convert...and what was that he seen wrong with Islam and that is good for him in Christianity...? They should rather hold a debate with him and if he was looking for the convincing truth then he might learn of... There should not be compulsion but rather be convincing in religion...those whom you can not convince with debate then let go of... What am saying you Iran or any other Islamic country you have among you already christians,Jews and other minorities that form your unity and am sure you do not want to break that unity or go on killing all those non Muslims...which surely GOD will not be happy with since he gave mankind the ability to take and make choices that which we should not deprive people of..after all GOD is the best judge of all...some times maybe one of those is more honest or purer than those taken as Muslims but do worse of acts than any other would do...!! GOD is Merciful...

    October 14, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Reality

      WOW !!! Muneef has taken a turn to the Bright Side !!!

      October 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Muneef

      The bright side is believing in GOD "Allah" the most merciful...but sad to see that you are still in the dark side for not believing that for every coin there are two faces "Good&Bad" just as "Day & Night"... I pray for your guidance..Amen

      October 16, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Reality

      ill-mannered Islam has only one coin side, koranic-driven terror and horror.

      Some examples:

      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, 3,483 and 925 in non combat roles. 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, 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 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. 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.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Muneef

      Silly of me but I never heard of any one sided coin...!?

      October 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Muneef

      Besides I meant that GOD guide you to recognize his existence but as for the religion I leave it to you to chose which brings you closer to him no matter what the religion is called but the main thing is it's meanings and teachings...!!

      October 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Reality

      "US Mint to Release One-Sided Coin

      The United States Mint is proud to release its newest line of 24-karat gold and silver coins. The new American Buffalo Coin, to be in the public’s hands by September 2008, is unique in that it is abnormally “one-sided.”

      October 17, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • Muneef

      You mean this Oneness ,well you all ready have that;

      Eye of Providence
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      A Christian version of the Eye of Providence, emphasizing the triangle representing the Trinity.
      The Eye of Providence (or the all-seeing eye of God) is a symbol showing an eye often surrounded by rays of light or a glory and usually enclosed by a triangle. It is sometimes interpreted as representing the eye of God watching over humankind (or divine providence).[1][2][3]
      In the modern era, the most notable depiction of the eye is the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, which appears on the United States one-dollar bill.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_of_Providence

      The One Eyed Creature;
      Narrated Ibn Umar: Once Allah's Apostle stood amongst the people, glorified and praised Allah as He deserved. Then, mentioning Dajjal, he said, "I warn you against him (i.e. the Dajjal) and there was no prophet but warned his nation against him. No doubt, Noah warned his nation against him but I tell you about him something of which no prophet told his nation before me. You should know that he is one-eyed, and Allah is not one-eyed."[5]
      Every Messenger of God did warn his nation about the trials of Dajjal. God,
       however, delayed Dajjal’s birth and did not let him appear until now. Be aware! He will claim to be God and try to create doubts in your minds. Have a firm belief, the one-eyed creature cannot be your Lord. 
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masih_ad-Dajjal

      October 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Muneef

      For every Coin Two Sides;
      Origen (185–254) refuted Celsus's view of the Antichrist. Origen utilized Scriptural citations from Daniel, Paul, and the Gospels. He argued:
      Where is the absurdity, then, in holding that there exist among men, so to speak, two extremes– the one of virtue, and the other of its opposite; so that the perfection of virtue dwells in the man who realizes the ideal given in Jesus, from whom there flowed to the human race so great a conversion, and healing, and amelioration, while the opposite extreme is in the man who embodies the notion of him that is named Antichrist?... one of these extremes, and the best of the two, should be styled the Son of God, on account of His pre-eminence; and the other, who is diametrically opposite, be termed the son of the wicked demon, and of Satan, and of the devil. And, in the next place, since evil is specially characterized by its diffusion, and attains its greatest height when it simulates the appearance of the good, for that reason are signs, and marvels, and lying miracles found to accompany evil, through the cooperation of its father the devil.[38]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antichrist
      ---–

      October 17, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Muneef

      Antichrist
      The term or t-itle antichrist, in Christian theology, refers to a leader who fulfills Biblical prophecies concerning an adversary of Christ, while resembling him in a deceptive manner. The antichrist will seemingly provide for the needs of the people but deny them ultimate salvation.
      The term "antichrist" appears five times in 1 John and 2 John of the New Testament — once in plural form and four times in the singular.[1] The Apostle Paul's Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, in particular the 2nd chapter, summarizes the nature, work, coming, and revelation of the "Man of Sin" – a passage often regarded as referring to same person as the antichrist of 1 and 2 John.

      Jewish antecedents
      Anti-messiahs are referred to in some Jewish writings in the period 500 BC–50 AD, and this is thought to be the precursor of the concept of the Antichrist in Christian writing. Bernard McGinn conjectures that the concept may have been generated by the frustration of Jews subject to often-capricious Seleucid or Roman rule, who found the nebulous Jewish idea of a Satan who is more of an opposing angel of God in the heavenly court insufficiently humanised and personalised to be a satisfactory incarnation of evil and threat.[24]
      Armilus is an anti-messiah figure from late period Jewish eschatology. He is described as bald, partially maimed, and partially deaf.[27]

      Hippolytus of Rome (c. 170-c. 236) held that the Antichrist would come from the tribe of Dan and would rebuild the Jewish temple in order to reign from it. He identified the Antichrist with the Beast out of the Earth from the book of Revelation. 

      More at links;
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antichrist

      October 17, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Muneef

      Masih ad-Dajjal the "AntiChrist";
      Hadith attributed to Muhammad give many signs of the appearance of the Dajjal...The following signs are;

      People will stop offering the prayers
      Dishonesty will be the way of life
      Falsehood will become a virtue
      People will mortgage their faith for worldly gains
      Us-ury and bribery will become legitimate
      Imbeciles would rule over the wise
      Blood of innocents would be shed
      Pride will be taken on acts of oppression
      The rulers will be corrupt
      The scholars will be hypocrites
      Adultery will be rampant
      The liars and treacherous will be respected
      There will be acute famine at the time
      There will be no shame amongst people
      Children would challenge their mothers
      Youngsters would perform marital relationship with their parents
      Many people would worship Satan
      There would be no respect for elder people
      H-omo-$exuality

      More at link;
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masih_ad-Dajjal

      October 17, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  8. brooksjk

    My new book, "The Four Pillars of the Kingdom" should be out very soon. The work is, not only a response to some of the metaphysical arguments of the so-called New Atheists, but also a call to believers to take their faith serious in a very real way.

    You can find an excerpt here: http://bit.ly/qWrueX

    I would love to hear your comments!

    Thanks,
    Joe Brooks

    October 14, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @brooksjk,
      Based on the excerpts on your website, I'm guessing that some conservative Christians may be inspired by your writings, but I'm not seeing anything unique or new.
      You open with an excellent point by Bertrand Russell, but seem to side-step any response to it.
      The "come to Jesus" middle section is perhaps required writing for these types of books but doesn't seem to go beyond the minimums.
      As for the last section, perhaps it was more influenced by T.S. Eliot than implied by the quoted passage, in that it contained a lot of flowery language, or attempts at flowery language ("overweening", "Narcissistic pool of the Self"), but little substance. Your assertion that the "life that God created is used as key evidence against His existence," is a contradiction of complaining about evidence without using any, e.g. what God created. Similarly with other assertions such as, "we recast God in our own image" and "the previous millennia of philosophy, science and the quest for knowledge has culminated in nothing more than a journey of self-discovery..."
      I do however agree with the part of the last section about whether we are a Christian nation being unimportant, and what we build going forward is the important thing. I don't however agree with you assessment of what that should be or the false dichotomy of "stand[ing] with Jesus or to stand alone and fall." What happened to stand together and thrive, just without Jesus. The Jesus or fail, black or white, with me or again' me, misleading options are overly simplistic and don't cover nearly all the options.

      Obviously I'm not your target audience, so take my opinions however you like.
      And, Good luck with your book!

      October 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  9. Brilliant!

    Voice of the Martyrs is on FB and is keeping this story live. Thanks Voice of the Martyrs!

    October 14, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Calso

      Pastor Yousef, You and all the others who are persecuted for their faith are being remembered in our prayers and thoughts each day in a very special way!

      October 14, 2011 at 11:14 am |
  10. Bo

    @Realility. you had very long 8:48 post, and very good too. (See, you don't have to rely on those long boring: copy & paste posts that nobody reads) However, I have a question for you; do you think Islam will conquer the world? Personaly I don't believe it will, bcause I believe Bible prophecy. As you may well know, there is another power in this world that wants to assume world power, it has a better chance than Islam. Do you have any ideas what that may be?

    October 14, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • hippypoet

      hey Bo....good morning... come, lets pray together:

      We believe in one God,
      the Father, the Almighty SUN,
      Creator of heaven and earth,
      of all that is, seen and unseen.
      God from God, Light from Light,
      true God from true God,
      Through him all things were made.
      For us and for our salvation
      he came down from heaven:
      by the power of the Holy LIGHT WAVES
      he became incarnate from the Merry people,
      there will be no judging the living and or the dead,
      and his kingdom will have no end.

      We believe in the LIGHT, the Lord, the giver of life,
      With the SUN he is worshiped and glorified.
      He has spoken through the Prophet Hippypoet.
      We believe in one holy SUN and Church of eternal LIGHT.
      We will look up towards the heavens,
      bathe in the LIGHT OF THE LORD, THE ALMIGHY SUN.
      AMEN.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  11. TheyNeed ToChange

    This is a prime example of the great inhumanities that are happening in Iran. With a deeply ingrained belief in that they are right in what they do they are causing innocent people to go to their death while trying to portray themselves as a country and religion that are for life and for the people. They are neither. Iran needs to emerge from the darkness of their wayward thought and join the twenty-first century. Unless they do that there will be many other martyrs who will suffer under their rule and they will continue to create this kind of situation that completely lacks human compassion with a government and religion that believes more in death and worships death rather than upholding the preservation of human life.

    October 14, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Jimtanker

      The guy knew the law, he broke the law, he should recieve the punishment. I dont see the "inhumanities" here.

      October 14, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  12. Kerry

    Please continue to post updates on this case. It makes those of us in the free world more appreciative of the liberties we take for granted. It may also help to drag Iran out of the Middle Ages. The freedom to believe and pray as we please is a God given right. No government or person can take that from us, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is proof of that. Regardless of what Iran decides....he is already a martyr to the cause of freedom of thought and belief.

    October 14, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  13. Doc Vestibule

    The world has a short attention span.
    A year or two from now, he can quietly be drawn and quartered and nobody will bat an eye.
    Anyone remember Asia Noreen Bibi? Didn't think so.

    October 14, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • captain america

      No news in your own country to comment on?

      October 14, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • hippypoet

      @captain america .. why such a dic?

      October 14, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Captain America
      Back at you, Cap'n.
      Or are you Iranian?

      October 14, 2011 at 9:07 am |
    • captain america

      America is my country and we tend to our own business,and are not fond of foreigners with their smart ass comments trying to criticize us.Deal with your own countries problems,or is it that you have no credibility in your own yard?

      October 14, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • hippypoet

      hey there capt crunch... there is no such thing as america, unless you are talking about both north and south america... then ok, just add an s next to the a in america-s see... much better.

      We believe in one God,
      the Father, the Almighty SUN,
      Creator of heaven and earth,
      of all that is, seen and unseen.
      God from God, Light from Light,
      true God from true God,
      Through him all things were made.
      For us and for our salvation
      he came down from heaven:
      by the power of the Holy LIGHT WAVES
      he became incarnate from the Merry people,
      there will be no judging the living and or the dead,
      and his kingdom will have no end.

      We believe in the LIGHT, the Lord, the giver of life,
      With the SUN he is worshiped and glorified.
      He has spoken through the Prophet Hippypoet.
      We believe in one holy SUN and Church of eternal LIGHT.
      We will look up towards the heavens,
      bathe in the LIGHT OF THE LORD, THE ALMIGHY SUN.
      AMEN.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • captain america

      hippy you may be an American but you have shown NO credibility in your own yard.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • hippypoet

      i am yes indeed a north american from the COUNTRY OF THE UNITED STATES...do you miss that, i said the country called the UNITED STATES of america...of means where, located, found in....but i'm sure you already knew that being as smart as you are. afterall we all know the grand hight the intelligence level in the (her it is again) UNITED STATES!!!!!!! its sickeninglty low. and you make it go lower everyday you talk for your stupidity spreads like a wild fire! where are you from...texas?

      October 14, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • captain america

      Any one with even a minimum of intelligence and credibility can recognize America as the USA.You have proved my point!

      October 14, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • hippypoet

      so your arguement is that becaus they are others as du mb and ignorant as you, that justifies you called a country by the land mass it sits on.... so if was to say lets go to europe.... which COUNTRY am i talking about? and if you say america, i might think you mean mexico, canada, panama...whatever – but you have clearly some really really moronic friends that you talk to or else you would have said it properly...U.S. of a ! OF thats more important to you then the united part huh... thats because you don't understand the country you are from, only the power you think you have because OF where you were born. stupid people.... just sad!

      October 14, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • captain america

      hippy you are an incredible, uncredible moron.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • hippypoet

      insult me all you wish, your the one that doesn't know where the hell your from or live. does a canadian person say i live in america? does a mexican say it? most likely no, because they on average are smarter then us UNTIED STATES citizens and know how to say the country of there origin! You on the other hand when asked where you live give a VERY vauge answer – for your answer is not a country but a continent, well acually its two continents....but i'm sure you didn't know that there was a place below texas or above the U.S. because you like most of the citizens of our country are self-centered and conceded, moronic and ignorant. you and people like you make me sick!

      October 14, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      hippy doesn't have to be intelligent. He owns his own mentally stimulating dog training business which was given to him by his daddy. He is the epitome of a troll. By the way hippy, The United States is often referenced as "America." I can't imagine someone being such a mental mind cripple that they didn't know this.

      October 14, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • hippypoet

      lol, and another moron to your resuce... thats too good!!! and just because people referr to our country as the continent and not the country means its totally ok. I WILL GO WITH THIS LOGIC AND SEE WHERE IT TAKES ME. all people are now not people but carbon based life forms – which is common knowledge and by your logic this will be understood that i mean people.. i will say it one more time – the more the morons group together the more they think themselves right because others share there view on things. well sry, you are both sad little creatures... and yes i do own my biz, mr. swain i thouht we had an understanding the other day....guess you got back on your high horse – oh btw, where did your horse get the pot, i am running low!

      i'm gunna start saying when peope ask where i'm from , - i'm live on earth, or perhaps in the milky way, or maybe i could be really vauge – i exist! thats where i live, duh!

      October 14, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Ron Jeremy

      Is this debate REALLY happening? bwahahaha Hey there hippy skippy, have you never heard of US Citizens referred to as AMERICANS or AMERICAN CITIZENS? You should try a google search on this subject. When you're done, I want you to come back here and apologize to everyone for being obtuse.

      October 14, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • DamianKnight

      Captain America,

      You fail to understand how much what happens in Canada affects the United States and vice versa. I encourage you to look this up and see.

      October 14, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Captain america
      You'll note that the first comment says "the WORLD has a short attention span" – not specific to any country.
      This story has nothing to do with America or Americans and everything to do with IRAN.
      If you would deny foreigners an opinion regarding America, you should heed your own advise and STFU on this story.

      October 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • captain america

      Canada like any other third world country should be concerned with itself.We used to use it as a buffer between us and the USSR,but since we whopped the commies ,we don't even need it for that anymore.We don't need a canadian opinion on any subject to rule the world,sit down , shut up and hang on.

      October 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • hippypoet

      look, i don't care if you call yourself anything...but when anyone referrs to a person who is a U.S. citizen as an american they are simply wrong. Your arguements that its ok because others do it....its a complete admittence to being nothing more then a follower without any mind of your own. so by all means keep calling yourself whatever the hell you want, cause you miss the point. how about we call ourselves earthlings as to clear any confusion. OH and as a citizen of the US, we are not the most powerful nor even remotely more intelligent then any other country on this planet, so stop your high chinned moronic at!tude. it has no place in civilized society!

      October 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I'll ignore the "third world country" comment, as it is patently absurd.
      Do you realize that you import fully 10% of your energy from Canada?
      If we stopped sending you oil, natural gas and fissionable material, your economy would collapse harder than it allready has and much of your population would be living in the dark.

      October 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • captain america

      You don't send, we take.It is we who are deserving of the worlds resources as we are the ones who developed them all.They belong to the USA.

      October 14, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • hippypoet

      and with that last comment catp. i am done with you... i hope you get fuked up by some canadians one day... and they leave you bleeding and then you only survive due to canada's health care system... you are such a pric its amazing. and you know very little of anything abuot the U.S.

      October 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @captain america
      I'm with hippypoet on this one.
      Your comments are becoming increasingly obtuse.
      Did someone pee in your cornflakes this morning?

      October 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • captain america

      Since neither of you have any credibility in the USA, I guess you both can go pound salt then.

      October 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Ron Jeremy

      I am still confused as to why hippy thinks that the term "American" is wrong. The world calls us Americans. Way to take this whole article way off track. It's like saying the word "sky" is incorrect because only people who call it that are followers. That's right. No argument, so start calling people names! Right-on!

      October 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @Ron Jeremy... look here good man... the term american is wrong because when people say it they only mean people from the U.S. yet what really said was american which means all people from the americas... and once again your arguement is because others do it its ok and correct... so if i called you a moron and many others did as well, is it now right to do so? sry, it doesn't and therefore by the same logic mr. carbon based life form, you should know that a country's ID is very important to others, and the first use of american as a term for people was when the americas were first being colonized, it just hasn't left us yet. and again you argue that because it has been that way for years it is ok and correct... do we still stick our guns out trains windows and shot buffalo? your sky thing was meaningless.... that didn't make any sense at all... but if you believe that calling only a select group by a general term that covers nearly everyone in a hemisphere then i would expect you to make such arguements that don't make any sense! i'm done with this pointless debate over pure stupidity!

      October 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  14. Reality

    Islam’s Koran and World Domination- a history lesson we all better learn

    "Mohammed could not have known the size of the world, but several passages in the Koran show that he envisioned Islam dominating all of it, however large it might be: “He it is who sent his messenger . . . that he may cause it [Islam] to prevail over all religions´(Koran 9:33, M.M. Ali; see also 48:28 and 61:9). M.M. Ali designates these three passages as “the prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in the whole world.”

    Mohammed’s successors, the caliphs, quoted passages like these to inspire Muslim armies as they advanced out of Arabia, imposing Islam by the sword upon a peacefully unsuspecting Middle East and North Africa, as I described in the previous chapter.

    Islamic armies, imbued with what Mohammed claimed was divine authorization, imposed Islam by force over vast areas, all the while extorting wealth from subjugated Jews and Christians to fund their ongoing conquests. As I noted, major defeats at Tours, France, in A.D. 732, and again at Vienna, Austria, in A.D. 1683, halted Islam’s attempt to take all of Europe by force. Gradually Islamic forces were forced to retreat from Europe, except for part of the Balkans. But Islam has again set its sights on a conquest of Europe and of European civilization, wherever the latter has spread to North and South America and other regions. Muslim strategists ask their followers, Why do we find in these modern times that Allah has entrusted most of the world’s oil wealth primarily to Muslim nations?

    Their answer: Allah foresaw Islam’s need for funds to finance a final politico-religious victory over what Islam perceives as its ultimate enemy: Christianized Euro-American civilization. So, Islam follows Nazism, fascism and communism as the world’s latest hostile takeover aspirant.

    Nazis, fascists and communists failed. Does Islam have a better chance at success? I believe it will flounder if we awaken to its threat in time; yet, if there is not adequate planned resistance, Islam does have a better chance of succeeding. Communism’s world takeover attempt was guaranteed to fail because its economic policy was naively contrary to human nature. Advocating the rubric What is mine is thine, and what is thine is mine, communism failed to see that human nature will not keep those two balanced propositions in equilibrium. Like a female black widow spider consuming her mate, the latter part of the formula makes a meal of the former, leading to the collapse of any system based upon that formula.

    In contrast, political systems do well if they can persuade people to adhere to What’s mine is mine and What’s thine is thine maxims.

    Only if a strong religious incentive is added does such an idealistic formula have any long-term chance. Even then success will be spotty. But communism (and Nazism, for that matter) excluded religion. And that mistake was the final nail eventually clamping a lid on communism’s coffin. Communism, on a historical scale, perished while still in its childhood.

    Islam is not repeating communism’s mistake. Mating political cunning and incredible wealth with religious zeal, Islam does have a chance to succeed and will succeed unless major parts of the Western world unite to take appropriate countermeasures. But many Western leaders, unable to believe that a mere religion could possible be a serious political threat, keep proclaiming themselves as Islam-friendly, reasoning that all religions are good-aren’t they?

    A Muslim strategist in Beverly Hills, California, declared several years ago, as quoted by a friend of mine: “Now that the struggle between Western democracies and international communism is winding down, it is time for the real and final struggle to begin, and we are going to win!”-D. Richardson

    October 14, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • .........

      plz hit report abuse to any reality garbage posts

      October 14, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Tom

      Soooo, Christian evangelzation and the crusades good . . . but the same actions by Muslims bad. At the root of it, religion is the problem. Everyone purports that their religion is one of peace and love . . . and then turns around and kills the believers of other religions. I wonder how the Aztec and Myans felt about the Spainiards bringing the good word of Christ to the Americas . . . oh wait, you can't really ask them because their civilization was destroyed.

      October 14, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Reality

      Keeping atrocities in perspective:

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:

      from: M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

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

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..Religions/Groups involved*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Pagans)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      October 14, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  15. ROCKWOOD

    I think this is a good thing. At least it shows some form of .....change. Albeit probably giving in to the negative world media attention this particular case got.

    October 14, 2011 at 8:14 am |
    • hippypoet

      i'm not sure if i'd say it shows change...more an unwillingness from Iranians to put kicked out of the U.N. and so they have to adhere to the laws. Hoowever my personal views are they this guy should have two choices – leave the country or die for his beliefs – after all the country he lives in is really called "THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN" and so under the country's laws one must be islamic. He chose to be what he is and therefore broke the law...knowingly and willfully did it! he was born there, he should have known better. I don't feel for this guy at all. He is not a du mb man, but to play the fool is to invite destruction into your life. An old proverb : one who knows the flow of the river can not guess which way the stick will go.

      October 14, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • Blahman

      Hippy, I don't think you truly understand the laws of Iran.. It is not a crime to be a different faith in Iran. In fact, only 89% of Iran is muslim. It even has the largest jewish community in the muslim world.

      The crime this pastor is accused of is Apostasy (converting from Islam to Christianity). He claims he has always been Christian however and if true, would not be Apostasy.

      October 14, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • hippypoet

      thank you for that, it makes more sense....the law i mean. I was wondering if he converted or not.

      October 14, 2011 at 9:19 am |
  16. Ahmad Adley

    That what Islam do for years .. in Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia , Libya (the one we helped) .. The problem in this evil called religion Islam, I’m a former Muslim , and I know what is he going through, God help him

    October 14, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • Jenny

      It's not Islam it's the Government. This is why America is very blessed to have a separation of religion and state. Our Government gives us the freedom to be whatever we want. That includes us former Christians. But in Islam you can't be a true Muslim without believing all three religions. You probably converted because it wasn't for you, and thats fine for you but don't put down something just becuase you learned it the wrong way.

      October 14, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • Lucious Hamilton

      Jenny, unfortunately you are wrong. In Islam, Sharia does NOT allow for the seperation of church and state, and Islam must permate through all aspects of life, including politics and governance. They are mentally and physically unable to seperate the two as islam is their life.

      October 14, 2011 at 9:24 am |
  17. Ezekeil Mshelia

    I think the Iranian government must think twice before excuting this devilsh act. What if a Christian become a Muslim? It is shameful for changing religion has become a problem to human being. Who judge, is it man or God our creator? He who kill this man let ask himself who is to kill him, is it a natural death or penalty death like him/

    October 14, 2011 at 7:38 am |
    • Shel

      In th USA you can be any religion without fear of persecution.

      October 14, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  18. shawn

    lLeave manu ginobli alone

    October 14, 2011 at 7:26 am |
  19. Emmanuel Peter S

    I see JESUS sitting on the throne. Angels worship him, crying holy,crying holy, crying holy, crying holy. You're holy You're holy You're holy Angels watching on You're holy, turning there pride to foolishness You're holy,the gates opening on there own accord for Peter.when the church prayed, that same JESUS is still sitting on the throne, His eyes going to and fro upon the surface of the earth.You're Holy.the world cry holy The world cry holy for YOUCEF

    October 14, 2011 at 5:37 am |
    • moneypostyeah

      I was tripping on some LSD once and had the same vision, only Lynyrd Skynyrd was playing Freebird and Jesus was singing with Ronnie VanZant. I was in the front row getting hammered. It was awesome!

      October 14, 2011 at 5:52 am |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @money
      That happened to me at a Frank Zappa concert once too! God killed Frank with cancer. RIP Holy Holy Holy

      October 14, 2011 at 6:22 am |
    • hippypoet

      LSD is awesome, lets not talk bad about Doc. Hoffman and his love child!

      October 14, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  20. moneypostyeah

    This is just an Iranian stunt to provoke the West. Governements in the Middle East are obviously free to kill thier own people. There isn't a government on this planet that really gives a crap about a human life. Iran can kill him and nothing will happen. They have been killing people from religious minorities for years. This type of activity happens all over the Middle East all the time...Syria, Libya, Egypt, Isreal, Saudi Arabia and the list goes on. The governments around the world aren't going to lift a finger to save anyone. They just want the oil to keep flowing. As long as the oil flows, they can do whatever they want to do to thier own people. In the end, Iran will probably use this as a PR stunt. They will release the Christian and say they are civilized. They will say that his life is a gift from Allah. If they don't do that, he will die. Nothing will happen to Iran if he dies. It is just another dead man to them. Welcome to the planet Earth.

    October 14, 2011 at 4:58 am |
    • Luigi

      moneypostyeah - There isn't a government on the planet that...? You have got to be kidding. Government includes local. I think you'd be hard pressed to prove that every small town government doesn't care about human life. Some towns are really small and their governments are, likewise, very small.

      Since my conclusion causes a contradiction, I suspect you mean something different than what you said. If so, could you please say what you mean? I can't read minds.

      October 14, 2011 at 5:31 am |
    • moneypostyeah

      Obviously, I'm not speaking of local governments in America. I'm talking about governments or lack there of that run or manage countries.

      October 14, 2011 at 5:50 am |
    • Mike

      Brilliant comment. Thank you.

      October 14, 2011 at 7:29 am |
    • Muneef

      Hmm.
      So you calling all of those involved as hypocrites...!! well guess then they are after all who cares for minorities being oppressed while cash is flowing uninterrupted...?! No wonder some oppressed are Mad with America and the West for allowing some while standing against others....!!

      October 16, 2011 at 6:09 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.