Tutu denounces death sentence of Iranian pastor
October 9 2011 at 10:52pm
Johannesburg – Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on Sunday
condemned the possible death sentence for an Iranian pastor who renounced the
Islamic faith and converted to Christianity.
“There are no religions that propagate violence, yet many
who commit violent acts in the name of religion,” he said in a statement.
“Forcing anybody to renounce his or her faith is an utter
violation of our universal human and religious values, and renunciation of God.”
Tutu appealed to Iranian authorities to free Youcef
Nadarkhani, who was first imprisoned in 2006 on charges of apostasy and
evangelism to Muslims.
Nadarkhani was sentenced to death by hanging in November
last year. Following a number of appeal processes, a recent verdict included a
provision for annulment of the death sentence should he recant his faith.
Iran recently denied the pastor would be executed. – Sapa