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Ayatollah Montazeri, the senior leader who spoke up for apostates

Intrepid revolutionary activist before 1979, co-writer of the Islamic Republic’s constitution, and till 1988 the Ayatollah Khomeini’s designated successor, Grand Ayatollah Montazeri who died on Sunday December 20, 2009 was certainly an influential figure. And yet this Grand Ayatollah, more qualified in the interpretation of Islamic law than the present Supreme Leader, opposed punishing those who converted from the religion of their birth. Answering a question put to him in 2005 regarding the issue of apostates from Islam he said: “if a Muslim converted to another religion on his free will and after a careful study, his choice must be respected and his rights protected.” This reply is very significant as it proves that the Iranian authorities do not have to persecute Christians for religious reasons.

Pray for

  • Ayatollah Montazeri’s teaching against persecuting apostates to be accepted
  • Freedom to convert from Islam to be written into the legal constitution
  • Ayatollah Montazeri’s family to be comforted, and to hear about Christ