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Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is greeted by family as he is released from an Iranian jail. (David Nejat Sabet)

Christian pastor jailed in Iran for 3 years is freed, watchdog group says

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is greeted by family as he is released from an Iranian jail. (David Nejat Sabet)

Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was originally sentenced to death in his native country for his Christian faith, was acquitted of apostasy charges and released from custody.

Nadarkhani, 32, was imprisoned for three years and waiting execution for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. His charges were lowered to evangelizing to Muslims, which carried a three-year sentence. He was released with time served, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, a Washington-based watchdog group that had been campaigning for the pastor’s release.

“Today our sources in Iran reported that Pastor Youcef was acquitted of apostasy and released from prison. After languishing in prison for almost three years, he has been reunited with his family,” Jordan Sekulow, executive director of ACLJ said in a statement to FoxNews.com.

“While we are working on confirming the exact details of his release, some sources report that the court alternatively convicted Pastor Youcef of evangelizing to Muslims, sentencing him to three years and granting him time served.  Pastor Youcef’s story is an example of how the world can join together to ensure that justice is served and freedom preserved.”

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