We keep telling y’all isht is really real in the world.
An Iranian pastor is making headlines all over the globe today because of something we in the U.S. take for granted: freedom of religion.
Youcef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor in Iran, faces the death penalty if he refuses to convert to Islam.
Pastor Nadarkhani has been convicted of “apostasy,” the crime of abandoning a religious faith. Despite the fact that he was never anything other than a Christian, Iranian clerics have determined that since his ancestors practiced Islam he is still considered guilty.
While an appeal trial determined that Nadarkhani was not an apostate, Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the original decision from the 11th branch of Iran’s Gilan Provincial Court. And while apostasy isn’t technically in Iran’s penal code, it is punishable under religious texts and Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwas.
Nadarkhani, who was arrested in 2009, has been given three chances to repent and convert to Islam. All three times he has refused. Nadarkhani was given his fourth and final chance to give up Christianity on Wednesday, which he again declined. No verdict has been announced, but many expect that he could be put to death as soon as Thursday.
“Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?” Nadarkhani reportedly said at his trial.
“To the religion of your ancestors, Islam,” the judge replied, according to the American Center for Law & Justice.
“I cannot,” Nadarkhani conlcuded.
Dayum. What would you do???