Christian pastor in Iran, once sentenced to death, released

Published: Saturday, Sept. 8 2012 2:00 p.m. MDT

The Iranian government imprisoned Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in 2009 for apostasy and condemned him to death when he refused to recant his beliefs. Today, he was set free, and Twitter is abuzz with exclamations of relief and support. Learn more about Nadarkhani in this CNN article, and follow the conversation on Twitter using #Nadarkhani.

A Christian pastor sentenced to death in Iran for apostasy was reunited with his family Saturday after a trial court acquitted him, said a nonprofit group monitoring the case.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, born to Muslim parents and a convert to Christianity by age 19, was released after being held in prison for almost three years under a death sentence, said Tiffany Barrans, international legal director of the American Center for Law and Justice.

Setting aside the death sentence, a trial court convicted Nadarkhani of a lesser charge — evangelizing Muslims — and declared that his prison sentence had already been served, Barrans said.

Read more about Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani on CNN's Belief Blog.

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