Another bit of good news, though perhaps temporary and still disturbing, for a Christian minister in Iran who was released after having the charges — apostasy, which shouldn’t be a crime anywhere under any circumstances — against him reduced.
An Iranian Christian pastor who was originally sentenced to death for holding on to his faith in the Islamic fundamentalist country was acquitted of apostasy charges and released from prison on Saturday.
Youcef Nadarkhani, 34, spent three years behind bars waiting to be executed to refusing to renounce Christianity. His charges were lowered to evangelizing to Muslims, which carried a three-year sentence.
The government apparently gave him credit for time served and he will not have to go back to jail. And while that’s good for him, he certainly can’t feel safe living in a country that thinks the mere act of changing one’s religion is a crime. It isn’t the government’s business — any government — to concern themselves with whether one is a Muslim, a Christian, an atheist or any other position for that matter. This just underscores the dangers of blending church and state (or mosque and state, in this case). The result is barbarism.