Iran pressuring jailed Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani to convert to Islam

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.


About Sarah Bosdiccia

Sarah Bosdiccia is a writer, journalist, blogger and editorial assistant. In the past, she has worked in the local newspaper business and has taught journalism modules at undergraduate level. She doesn't 'do' Facebook but you can follow her at @sarah_bosdiccia.


2 thoughts on “Iran pressuring jailed Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani to convert to Islam

  1. Hi Sarah,
    I think the difficulty for Iran with the Youcef Nadarkhani case is deeper than appearing weak. Rather it is a question of which belief has more power over the believer:
    Since the State of Iran is a Theocracy, and the world is watching, this is a defining moment:
    It is after all the willingness to die, rather than deny the name of Christ that spread Christianity in the first centuries.
    Have You read Foxes book of Martyrs?
    I have a feeling Youcef has.

    Posted by Theophile | November 5, 2011, 9:40 pm
  2. Mr. Youcef is not a convert to Christianity, this is only reported so in Western media to give him some attention.

    Posted by ali naderi | November 6, 2011, 11:25 am

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