“His crime is not, as some claim, converting others to Christianity,” said Gholomali Rezvani, deputy governor of Iran’s Gilan province, where the persecuted pastor was sentenced to death by hanging. “He is guilty of security-related crimes.”
Those crimes, claimed Rezvani, in remarks reported by Fars news agency (the Iranian government’s unofficial mouthpiece), include rape and extortion. “No one is executed in Iran for their choice of religion,” he insisted.
The Iranian provincial governor’s explanation of Pastor Nadarkhani’s death sentence does not square with court records of the trial, conviction and appeal of the leader of 400 Christian house churches – whom Rezvani disparagingly described as a “Zionist” criminal.
“Does not square” is a very mild way of stating the obvious: the provincial governor is lying. What a great political system they have there, that the governor has no compunctions about lying in describing the charges against someone.
The clerics may yet kill Pastor Nadarkhani, but the fact that they’vee changing their stories, and are now providing a different rationale is a sign that the pressure is getting to them. Remember what Jesus said: all that do evil hate the light (John 3:20).