Apostasy - Tutu asks Iran to free pastor

2011-10-09 22:21

Cape Town - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on Sunday called on Iran to free a pastor who faces the death penalty for refusing to give up Christianity and return to Islam.

"I would like to appeal to the Iranian authorities to free Yusef Nadarkhani, and allow him and all other members of minority religions in Iran to worship God," Tutu said in a statement.

"Forcing anybody to renounce his or her faith is an utter violation of our universal human and religious values, and a renunciation of God," Tutu said.

Nadarkhani, 32, converted from Islam to Christianity 13 years ago and became pastor of a small evangelical community called the Church of Iran.

He was arrested in October 2009 and condemned to death for apostasy under Islamic shari'ah law, which allows for such verdicts to be overturned if the convicted person "repents" and renounces his conversion.

His lawyer told AFP in Tehran on Thursday that a verdict was expected within days.

  • Debra-Lee Boulter - 2011-10-09 22:41

    Disgrace if this was the other way round the do gooders of the world and the whole of the Islamic world would be up in arms, so time for Christians to stand together!!!

      JohnPicarra - 2011-10-09 22:57

      Join the African Christian Democratic Party, and lets plan a demonstartion in from of the Iran embassy!

      Met - 2011-10-10 07:15

      Where is our islamic brotherhood now? Conspicious in their absence.But wait for the Israelis to act in self defense,and you will not hear the end of it. Each and every person should send a message to yhr Iranian embassy- let them know that we all know about the pastor. This is a true reflection of islam in practise

      craig - 2011-10-10 15:00

      thats why i hate muslims! they are the most arrogant, violent people on this planet. This world would be a better place without them.

  • JohnPicarra - 2011-10-09 22:53

    The Pres of South Africa is not listening. Long words of communism and socialism are clogging up his brain cells, no spark. Has the SA gov listed Syrian government assets and frozen them? No. Has the SA gov listed of Syrian officials, families and connections, and expelled them? No. Has the SA gov listed the belongings of those officials, families and connections, and confiscated them? No. Has the SA gov called for the removal of Turkey from Cyprus? No. Has the SA gov called for the removal of Turkey from Constantinople? No. The SA gov is not listening.

  • leonard - 2011-10-10 00:15

    Oh Shyte,now we are into an entirely new realm,religion.Looking at the comments of Antwahn I predict a VERY stormy few days ahead.Arch you are 10000% correct in what you say but fighting a battle that cannot be won.Look at whom you are trying to negotiate with.Intransigent people oblivious to any religion other than their own.Nevertheless,good luck in your crusade.

      Antwahn - 2011-10-10 14:50

      Leonard, I try, but all my comments have been removed at the request of the intolerant bunch of hypocrites. Curiously, they object to name-calling (a favourite practice, also in SA -even the Arch does it.) But you will NOT hear them protest when people are: -hanged -beheaded -stoned -blown to smithereens by high explosives, all in the name of their religion and god. (That's true folks, the evidence is in our faces, and again.) So DON"T go as far as venting your contempt and resort to pejorative nouns (That's reserved for the black-vs-white debate.) Don't call the hypocrites names! Oh no sir, they are but a tolerant, peaceable, loving religion! And whatever you do, if you are an author or a cartoonist be VERY careful! Freedom of expression / religion / satire cannot be found in their dictionary. It will be easily seen as a call for a fatwa -life as you knew it will be over. To all Muslims who read this: should but one (1) of you denounce the priest's imminent murder and if you declare to be a devout, practising Muslim, I'll fully retract my statement(s) on this page and apologise. To mod: do objectivity a favour. Many of us are gatvol of the Muslims' demands to be treated with preferential treatment -which is crazy regarding their violent ways. Seeing that I have: -Not insulted their prophet, nor their god -Not called them names (that they are hypocrites is an opinion!) -be so kind as to leave this comment standing. It's fair, if a bit vehement.

  • Messenger - 2011-10-10 00:15

    Pastor, be strong and steadfast. We are praying for you.

  • Rikhogrande - 2011-10-10 08:06

    Iran needs some Jesus so they can learn about things such as freedom of religion and forgiveness.

      AntiThesis - 2011-10-10 08:41

      Oh yes, what Iran needs is more religion. Or a different kind of religion. Makes perfect sense

      Messenger - 2011-10-10 09:58

      Well, in a way it is happening. As a Christian, this is pleasing for me to see:

  • mkerruish - 2011-10-10 08:45

    Perhaps the government can make up for a tiny fraction of the ignominy it deserves from the Dalai Lama fiasco by standing with the Arch and offering Yusuf Nadarkhani asylum.

  • Darwinian - 2011-10-10 09:04

    muslims, islam, christians all have the same god....

      Antwahn - 2011-10-10 09:57

      True, but christians stopped murdering others for him a few hundred years ago -muslims still go for it -flat out!

      Darwinian - 2011-10-10 10:49

      so god made christians better than muslims? interesting...

      Antwahn - 2011-10-10 15:54

      Your words -not mine. The peculiarities of a religion are but chiefly a function of the character of a group. So you are putting very much the cart behind the horse in your statement. But apart from the causative factors, it's undeniably so that at present a muslim is far, far safer from a christian -than vice versa. Or do you disagree?

  • Moon God - 2011-10-10 10:04

    I just do not understand zose mooslims. They usually tell you: "There is no compulsion in religion", and then you see this. Islam just does not make sense.

  • mbube - 2011-10-10 11:36

    How violent a religion is, is determined by how seriously those take up the teachings. In Kenya, and you can see the videos on the internet. People are burned alive because they are witches. In Nigeria there is a strong influence to kill 'gay offenders' by Christian right. All as recommended by the Bible. It is the Born Again types who can be more peaceful, because for them to read any book, nevermind a thick one as the Bible is too demanding. Though it does open the door for anything else to filter through which could be just as dangerous. It is the same with Islam. These people who would kill an apostate just takes their texts seriously. Except for sharing the inherent violent teachings, the teachings of Christianity and Islam are fabrications of the same untruth. It is about time we grow up and realise it is better not to live as a slave or as bad a sheep, under a celestial North Korea.

      Messenger - 2011-10-10 12:05

      Okay mbube, did Jesus stone the prostitute in John 8:11? Or did He give her accusers permission to do it?

      mbube - 2011-10-10 14:26

      @Messenger. Sorry I don't see the relevance. I can also quote more scripture of all the good things from either the Quran or the Bible. But does the Bible not say: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live? Nevermind the numerous parts recommending slavery and genocide. The problem is this: At any stage can anyone go back to the nasty bits and exclaim that they are guided by God's infallible word.

      Antwahn - 2011-10-10 15:29

      Mbube, interesting comment -but I'm afraid Messenger has got you there. It may be so that in the old testament there's lots of violence and smiting going on. But the teachings of Christ are practically devoid of violence -especially when we consider that he lived 2000 years ago, when people were generally far less humane. On the other hand the koran is full of directions to violence -as coming from god, through the mouth of Mohammed. Day and night, I'd say.

  • Hells_Swag - 2011-10-10 12:50

    Anytime intolerance prevails and so-called 'good men' say nothing, they should expect to see it grow and expand. If Iran cannot tolerate a Christian there is a man who cannot tolerate a Muslim. From a religious standpoint blessed are the peacemakers for theirs is the kingdom....and according to the O.T....what is the kingdom? It is a land where freedom in its truest sense will this continued intolerance bring us to absolute freedom. When we see such intolerance, we should hope so.

  • AfrikaTsoga - 2011-10-10 16:26

    Oh what joy to share in the surferings of Christ! I envy this man, with everything in my heart.

  • Neville - 2011-10-10 17:29

    The Prophet must be so disappointed in his followers for not upholding his values, not all is like this but no one condenm those for their ungodly behaviour, and brutal killings in the name of allah, what a disgrace

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