Update: Good news in Iran — sort of

Here is a short update on a religious liberty story that I have been trying to keep my eye on — which is hard since the MSM rarely deals with these issues. I refer to the frightening case of Hamid Pourmand, a lay pastor in Iran. To see the earlier post, click here.

This is another case where we need alternative, online media to find out what happened. The good news is that the Assemblies of God leader is not going to lose his head after all. But, as Compass Direct reporter Barbara G. Baker notes, it isn’t exactly clear how he got off. Here is a key section of her report:

An Islamic court in southern Iran acquitted Christian lay pastor Hamid Pourmand on charges of apostasy and proselytizing two days ago, declaring, “Under sharia (Islamic law), there are no charges against you.” . . .

Pourmand’s judge reportedly told him, “I don’t know who you are, but apparently the rest of the world does. You must be an important person, because many people from the government have called me, saying to cancel your case.”

But instead of dropping the charges, the judge declared he was acquitting Pourmand, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity 25 years ago, because he had “done nothing wrong” according to Islamic law.

What does that mean? That the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a good thing, all of a sudden? Check out Article 18.

Print Friendly

About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    On the internet I have found site after site of Evangelical organizations working to aid persecuted Christians around the world. Are there any Catholic organizations doing the same???
    If so, why are they so well hidden by the media and among Catholics???

  • http://blogs.salon.com/0003494/ Bartholomew

    I wonder how this will play out among the Iranian Baha’is.

  • http://kevinjjones.blogspot.com Kevin Jones

    Is double jeopardy dealt with under Sharia law?

  • tmatt


    This is a great question. Several years ago, we had an interesting stage where the National Association of Evangelicals was fighting to the mat for Catholics in China while the Catholic mainstream was either silent or actually, in quiet ways, backing the Clinton administration on the policy issues involved.

    In other words, much of the AmCath establishment has instincts that are ECUMENICAL before they are Roman.