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 Iranian pastor acquitted in Islamic court

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ISTANBUL (BP)--An Islamic court in Iran has acquitted a Christian lay pastor and former army colonel, Hamid Pourmand, on charges of apostasy and proselytizing, declaring, “Under sharia [Islamic law], there are no charges against you,” Compass Direct news service reported May 30.

During a May 28 court hearing in the southern port city of Bandar-i Bushehr, Pourmand’s 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.

Pourmand’s surprise acquittal in a single hearing was reported May 29 by the Farsi-language ISNA news agency, quoting the jailed Christian’s lawyer as its source. “Since then, the news of Hamid’s acquittal has appeared on many well-known Farsi websites,” an Iranian Christian confirmed to Compass.

Even so, the acquitted pastor remains imprisoned, serving out a three-year jail sentence for a separate military court conviction also linked to his religious conversion.


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