Alex Massie Alex Massie

An Execution in Tehran

Cranmer is right about this:

It really is quite incredible. Last week, a convicted murderer, Troy Davis, was finally executed in the United States, and it seemed as though the entire British (and EU) Establishment arose to denounce the barbarism. Even Pope Benedict XVI appealed for clemency. Yet today, Iran is scheduled to hang a Christian pastor for ‘apostasy’, and the collective silence from our scurvy politicians, trappist churchmen and hypocritical media is positively deafening. Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was found guilty two years ago of ‘apostasy’, even though he was never a practising Muslim. His guilt was determined because he ‘has Muslim ancestry’ (which is a kind of convenient catch-all in a place like Iran), and he was sentenced to death. That sentence may be suspended if he renounce his faith. This week, in court, he has twice refused to recant. A third refusal today will result in his execution. […] But this story does not involve ‘apartheid Israel’ or the ‘barbaric United States’. It is simply about one Christian in Iran who wants to worship God in spirit and in truth, in accordance with the Gospel of Christ. The British media won’t care much for that. So thank God for the blogs who can point you in the direction of the Iranian Embassy (or via here). Please make your protests known. Perhaps a word of support from the Foreign Secretary? Or is he too busy condemning Israel? The Prime Minister? Too preoccupied with planning? The Archbishop of Canterbury, perhaps? O, forget it.

As I say, all of this is accurate. But little of it is surprising, though not perhaps for some of the reasons some might think.

It is not Pastor Nadarkhani’s faith that has prevented his looming execution from becoming a cause celebre.

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