We don't know how good we have it in America.
On the eve of celebrating our independence and freedom in the United States, a man in Iran faces death for being a Christian. In the last few days, the Supreme Court in Qom, Iran upheld the death sentence of Youcef Nadarkhani for converting from Islam to Christianity. His death sentence could be carried out any day.
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani of the Church of Iran denomination was arrested in his home city of Rasht on October 13, 2009, while attempting to register his church. He was arrested because he allegedly questioned the Muslim monopoly on the religious instruction of children in Iran.
Pastor Nadarkhani merely spoke out against an Iranian policy that requires all children, regardless of their faith, to be taught Islamic teachings. When he pointed out that the Iranian constitution grants freedom of religion, local police demanded that he appear before a political tribunal where he was arrested and imprisoned – his charge, unlawful apostasy and evangelism to Muslims.
An Iranian court convicted him and sentenced him to death in 2010. On June 28, 2011, the Supreme Court in the Shia holy city of Qom, Iran upheld the apostasy conviction and death sentence. We know the Iranian regime often enacts death sentences without advance notice to prisoners’ families.
Time is of the essence, and the ACLJ is doing everything within its power to help save Pastor Nadarkhani. We have sent letters to the U.S. State Department, the Iranian Mission at the United Nations, members of the U.S. Congress, and other foreign leaders demanding Pastor Nadarkhani’s release.