Iranian authorities are reportedly attempting to persuade a jailed Christian pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani, to convert to Islam. Nadarkhani remains in a Tehran jail, while the government decides whether to push ahead with a controversial execution that has drawn international criticism and has been postponed a number of times.
For the Iranian authorities, the Youcef Nadarkhani case has turned out to be extremely difficult. They can’t simply release him, because they would be seen as weak. But they also seemingly can’t even decide what he should be charged with, as media reports have reported variously that he is accused of a wide range of seemingly unconnected crimes, none of which have been detailed.
It’s now reported that Youcef Nadarkhani has been handed a text titled Beshaarat-eh Ahdein, which attempts to portray Christianity as a perversion of the original message of God. Meanwhile officials have turned to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to see whether an execution should be ordered in the event that Nadarkhani does not convert.