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

Hong Kong residents hold a banner that reads: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” The Occupy Central movement was initiated as an effort to force the Hong Kong and Chinese governments to allow true democracy in the city. (CNS photo/Francis Wong)
“I believe it’s essential for some people to go to jail for the sake of democracy. It will in the end strengthen the movement.”
Verna YuOctober 17, 2017
In a zombie world, the good Samaritan would be toast.
Patrick GallagherOctober 17, 2017
Pope Francis answers questions from journalists aboard his flight from Malmo, Sweden, to Rome Nov. 1. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis confessed that while he has “chutzpah,” “I am also timid.”
Gerard O'ConnellOctober 17, 2017
Callista Gingrich, wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, has been nominated by President Donald Trump to be the new U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. She is pictured as her husband speaks at Peachtree Academy in Covington, Georgia, in this Feb. 29, 2012, file photo. (CNS photo/Erik S. Lesser, EPA)
23 senators voted against Ms. Gingrich’s confirmation, a departure from previous nominations that faced little opposition.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 16, 2017