Lawmakers Unite to Save Iran Pastor Facing Death

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With Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani facing execution any day now unless he recants his faith, Congress has launched a major bipartisan effort to free him.

Lawmakers are urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to "use all the powers at your disposal" for "swift engagement with the international community to advocate for his release."

The effort is being led by Reps. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., and Heath Shuler D-N.C. 

"We must not stand by while the Iranian Regime executes a man who has committed no crime," lawmakers said in a joint letter sent to Clinton.

As of late Saturday, the letter had been signed by at least 39 members of Congress.

The American Center for Law & Justice is calling on people to join Congress in urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to put pressure on Iran to release Pastor Youcef:

The American Center for Law and Justice has also sent a letter to the United Nations calling for pressure on Iran to immediately and unconditionally release Pastor Youcef. Read the letter.

What This Means for Iran

The news comes amidst reports that the Iranian regime is increasing pressure on Nadarkhani's case, even making up charges to justify their actions.

At a court appearance last week, Nadarkhani refused to deny his Christian beliefs.

"Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?" he said.

Religious rights advocates are continuing to speak out for Pastor Nadarkhani.

CBN News spoke with Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Land said the United States has an important role to play in this case.

"I think that part of American exceptionalism is that we have an obligation and a responsibility to be the friend of freedom, to be the friend of freedom of conscience," Land said.

"To help those who don't have it achieve it, and to speak up for those who can't speak up for themselves, such as this Iranian pastor," he said.

Click play for more from ACLJ Senior Counsel Jordan Sekulow, as well as David Yeghnazar, manager of Elam Ministries, a supporter of the church in Iran.

CBN News has started an effort on Twitter to spread the word about Pastor Youcef's case.

  • Follow us @CBNNews, then retweet our post, "Who is Youcef Nadarkhani? A pastor, husband & father who may be killed in Iran for his faith. RT for religious freedom, http://bit.ly/cbnnews."

Christian Solidarity Worldwide is calling for urgent action:

  • Voice your concerns now to the Iranian Embassy here.
  • You can also call the Iranian liaison office in the U.S. State Department. The number is 202-647-6575.

*Originally aired on October 7, 2011.

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