Clinton finally asks Iran to release Pastor convicted for leaving Islam

by Matt Lacy –

After being asked to intervene on behalf of an Iranian pastor facing the death sentence for leaving Islam, the U.S. government has finally decided to call for his release.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was convicted by an Iranian court for the crime of leaving Islam. Nadarkhani says he has never been a Muslim, however according to Islamic doctrine, everyone is born a Muslim.

For weeks, various Christian groups in the U.S. have asked the government to get involved in Nadarkhani’s case. After nearly 200,000 Americans signed a petition asking for intervention, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement late last week.

On Saturday, speaking at the United Nations Clinton said, “Today, we call on every government to release all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally, including Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani.”

Jordon Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice praised the move.

“We appreciate Secretary of State Clinton’s strong statement in support of Pastor Youcef, and continue to urge the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Muslim leaders to speak out about this horrific human rights abuse and pressure Iran for Pastor Youcef’s release.”

Sekulow said they will continue working with the State Department in fighting for Nadarkhani’s release and they hope to hear a decision from Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei later this month.

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