Just days after Iran released two Americans accused of spying in Iran, an Iranian court has upheld the apostasy conviction and execution sentence of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani.
The 11th branch of Iran’s Gilan Provincial Court has determined that Pastor Nadarkhani has Islamic ancestry and therefore must recant his faith in Jesus Christ. Iran’s supreme court had previously ruled that the trial court must determine if Pastor Youcef had been a Muslim before converting to Christianity.
When asked to “repent” by the Judges, Youcef stated, “Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?” The judges replied, “To the religion of your ancestors, Islam.” To which he replied, “I cannot.”