After months of waiting, there is news from Iran about our brother Pastor Yousef, and it isn’t good. According to the American Center for Law and Justice:
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.
Sad to say, Pastor Yousef may at this point be a pawn in a game of international political chicken, with the Iranians trying to show Israel and the United States that it will not be coerced on anything, from its nuclear weapons program to its human rights obligations.
Now more than ever we need to be praying for him, and to join efforts to step up the pressure on Iran to do the civilized thing. You can go to the ACLJ and sign their petition asking Congress to get back in the fight. You can also go to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, and use their form to email Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, the Chief Justice of Iran, who is in a position to save Pastor Yousef. Faster, please!