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St Paul's 'delighted' to hear of Iranian Pastor's release

An Iranian Pastor, who was facing the death penalty in his county for apostasy, has been released.

Yousef Nadarkhani was acquitted of the charge this month and is now at home with his family.

Canon Mark Oakley, Treasurer of St Paul's Cathedral, said: "It is four months since we held a special service to pray for Yousef in the Cathedral. We are all delighted here to hear that he has been released and is now back home with his family. 

"With all the thousands of people who have been remembering him in their prayers and hearts, we thank God for his safety and for his courageous Christian commitment. We also pay tribute to the ministry of Christian Solidarity Worldwide in reminding the Church that when one Christian suffers we all suffer".

Pastor Nadarkhani was arrested in 2009 after questioning the Muslim monopoly of religious instruction for children, which he felt was unconstitutional. He was sentenced to death for apostasy in 2010, a decision that was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2011. The pastor had been expected to face new charges for unspecified crimes, but was instead released.