(Update: The White House has condemned Nadarkhani's conviction. Full text at bottom.)
Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani faces imminent execution after refusing to recant his Christian faith in court today for the fourth time this week. Nadarkhani is the first person to be found guilty of apostasy in Iran since 1990. Religious freedom groups are lobbying hard for his sentence to be dropped.
Nadarkhani, who was arrested in October 2009 related to his advocacy for greater freedoms in the religious instruction of children, was found guilty of apostasy and evangelizing Muslims in September 2010 by a court in Rasht. CT has noted that an appeal to the Iranian Supreme Court resulted in a partial retraction of the sentence, upholding the death sentence but allowing an annulment if Nadarkhani recanted. The Supreme Court also ordered the Rasht court to re-examine Nadarkhani's faith practices before his conversion to Christianity.
After an investigation, the Rasht court determined this week that Nadarkhani ...1