Thursday, September 29, 2011

Franks, Fortenberry, Aderholt Send Letter on Behalf of Christian Iranian Pastor

Washington D.C. - Representatives Trent Franks (AZ-02), Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01), and Robert Aderholt (AL-04) today sent a letter to Iranian Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on behalf of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who has been sentenced to execution as early as today for refusing on four separate occasions to recant his Christian faith.

Congressman Trent Franks:

"I am compelled to remind an ostensibly modernized government that it is shameful and cowardly to kill an innocent person for merely practicing his faith. While Iran's leaders claim to uphold tolerance, the Iranian people deserve to know that their government is hypocritically disregarding one of the most fundamental human rights: the ability of the Iranian people to freely choose a faith of their choice.

"I appeal to whatever semblance of humanity may remain in the hearts of Iran's leaders and urge the Obama Administration to make it clear, through every channel possible, that such grievous human rights abuses will not stand."

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry:

“I am deeply grieved by reports of the apostasy verdict issued in the case of Pastor Nadarkhani.  The scope and nature of religious persecution in Iran is deeply disturbing.  Leaders in the civilized community of nations must speak out loudly and clearly against such a drastic violation of basic and commonly held human rights norms.”

Congressman Robert Aderholt:

“Religious freedom is one of the most important and fundamental rights a person should have. The conviction and sentencing of Iranian Christian Pastor, Mr. Youcef Nadarkhani because of his religious beliefs is very unfortunate and violates basic human rights and Iran’s international commitments. No one should be persecuted, discriminated against or face death because of their faith and it is my sincerest hope that Iran’s leaders do what is right and release Pastor Nadarkhani and all those facing persecution because of their faith.”

The full text of the letter is below, click to enlarge.

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