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House Members Speak Up for Iranian Pastor in Peril

The U.S. House of Representatives united across partisan lines to condemn Iran for “its continued persecution, imprisonment, and sentencing of Youcef Nadarkhani on the charge of apostasy.” 

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was sentenced to death by hanging in Autumn 2010 because he had embraced Christianity and protested an Iranian law that would force Islam on his children.  While he appealed his case all the way to Iran’s Supreme Court, his sentence has been upheld and he remains imprisoned pending execution. 

The House bill, sponsored by Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), a leading Christian on Capitol Hill, and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to Congress, demanded the exoneration and immediate release of Pastor Youcef and all other individuals similarly persecuted. The House resolution also “condemns the Government of Iran for its ongoing and systemic violations of the human rights of the Iranian people, including the state-sponsored persecution of religious minorities in Iran, and its continued failure to uphold its international obligations, including with respect to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

  • Read the House resolution here
  • Read NRB’s letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on behalf of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations