Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani continues to suffer in prison. Most recently, he rejected an offer to be released if he publicly acknowledged Islam’s prophet Muhammad as “a messenger sent by God,” which would amount to rejecting Christianity, as Muhammad/Koran reject it.
Today, a friend of mine forwarded me a set of documents which have been circulating around the world. I would like to ensure that as many of us as possible see — and forward — this appeal to anyone interested in writing their respective Iranian ambassador.
It transpires that Pastor Nadarkhani could be executed very soon. Jordan Sekulow from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) wrote the following on February 21, 2012:
We are hearing reports from our contacts in Iran that the execution orders for Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani may have been issued.
Pastor Youcef’s situation – an innocent man convicted and sentenced to death for becoming a Christian – has not been this dire since we first brought his case to your attention last year.
It is unclear whether Pastor Youcef would have a right of appeal from the execution order. We know that the head of Iran’s Judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, must approve publicly held executions, but only a small percentage of executions are held public—most executions in Iran are conducted in secret.
There has also been a disturbing increase in the number of executions conducted by the Iranian regime in the last month.
Iran is actively violating its human rights obligations by sentencing and detaining Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. We call on the Iranian government to release Pastor Youcef immediately.
We are continuing to work to help spare the life of Pastor Youcef, and will provide additional updates on his situation as we are able.
The photo of the Nadarkhani family comes courtesy of the ACLJ. There is more on Pastor Nadarkhani’s story on that page.
Letters should be sent without delay to the relevant Iranian ambassador. What follows are embassy addresses for certain countries:
Embassy of Iran in Canberra in Australia
PO Box 705, Mawson ACT 2607
His Excellency Mr Mahmoud MOVAHHEDI
Embassy of Iran in Vienna in Austria
jauresgasse 9 – A1030 Wien
The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Germany
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Ireland
72 Mount Merrion Ave.
Fax: (003531) 2834246
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Pakistan
St.No.2, Sector G-5/1 Diplomatic Enclave, Islamabad
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the UK
16 Prince’s Gate,
London SW7 1PT
Fax: ( +44)2075894440
United States of America (Iran and the USA do not have diplomatic relations):
Representative Office of Iran in Washington, United States
c/o Embassy of Pakistan
2209 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
A sample letter to the relevant Iranian ambassador follows:
Re: Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani
I wish to bring to your attention the urgent case of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani who was condemned to death in Iran for converting to the Christian faith. Recent indications are that there are grave concerns that Pastor Nadarkhani’s life is in danger.
I request that your government respect its international commitment to human rights, and that Pastor Nadarkhani, and all other persons in your country who are in similar situations, be treated in accordance with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stipulates:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief …
“All people have the right to obey their conscience, which is a work of God, wherever that leads them. People in Islamic countries have as much right to convert to Christianity as westerners have to convert to Islam.”
I request that you pass on this appeal to the Iranian Government as a matter of urgency. Thank you for your attention to this request.
For those of us not in a position to write, let us pray fervently that this pastor is given back his freedom and reunited with his family.
In any event, kindly share his story as a matter of urgency.
Thank you in advance for your kind attention, letters and prayers.