By Patrick Goodenough
Supporters of Youcef Nadarkhani are celebrating the news that the Iranian pastor who was sentenced to hang for embracing Christianity has been acquitted and freed.
They are urging prayers for his safety in the aftermath of a case that has raised greater awareness of shari’a-based apostasy laws in Iran and other Islamic countries. They also note that many other religious minority Iranians face discrimination and mistreatment for their beliefs.
Nadarkhani, in his early 30s, walked free after almost three years behind bars, following a six-hour court appearance Saturday ended with his acquittal on apostasy charges, according to reports reaching organizations that have publicized his plight, including the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).
CSW cited sources as saying that Nadarkhani was found guilty of an alternative offense, evangelizing Muslims, and given a three-year sentence – but with that time already having been served, he was released.
Jason DeMars of Present Truth Ministries, who has sources close to the case, said that Nadarkhani has been reunited with his family, and quoted him as saying, “Thank you to everyone that has supported me with your prayers.” Click here to continue reading.