Where U.S. and Iran Find Common Ground

Condemned for apostasy in Iran, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani’s impending execution has not aroused as much attention as the execution in September of Troy Davis in Georgia, which provoked an international outcry and renewed U.S. debate over the death penalty. Nadarkhani has twice refused to recant his Christian faith during court hearings. If he persists, he will be scheduled for execution. He was arrested in his home city of Rasht in October 2009 while attempting to register his church, an effort viewed as a challenge to the Muslim monopoly on the religious instruction of children in Iran. Perhaps in response to social unrest, executions in Iran have spiked this year, with more than 320 tallied by the end of June. It is in the use of capital punishment that the United States and Iran find themselves in a rare area of agreement. They are among the handful of nations that conducted executions in 2010: China (several thousand), North Korea (60), Yemen (53) and Japan (2). Last year Iran executed 252 people and the United States 46.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Images: CNS/Composite: America
On Nov. 11, the Catholic Church lost a moral titan in the long struggle for racial equality and justice in the United States.
Shannen Dee WilliamsNovember 22, 2017
Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar military commander-in-chief, speaks during the Union Peace Conference Aug. 31 in Naypyitaw (CNS photo/Hein Htet, EPA).
Gen. Min Aung Hlaing wields great political power in the country.
Jacob Tremblay and Julia Roberts in “Wonder” (CNS photo/Lionsgate). 
‘Wonder’ is a tween melodrama on a mission of mercy.
Simcha FisherNovember 22, 2017
The change was in “no way” a response to the C.C.H.D.’s persistent online critics, an archdiocesan official says.
Kevin ClarkeNovember 22, 2017