As Wesley Smith notes below, Iranian Christian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani has refused to recant his faith. Absent any new action on the part of the Iranian regime, this paves the way for death by hanging. I’ve recently raised questions about the Obama Administration’s interest in promoting international religious liberty. Here’s an opportunity for the President or his Secretary of State to state forthrightly where the United States stands. Speaker of the House John Boehner has been clear enough:
Religious freedom is a universal human right. The reports that Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani will be sentenced to death by the Iranian government unless he disavows his Christian faith are distressing for people of every country and creed. While Iran’s government claims to promote tolerance, it continues to imprison many of its people because of their faith. This goes beyond the law to an issue of fundamental respect for human dignity. I urge Iran’s leaders to abandon this dark path, spare Yousef Nadarkhani’s life, and grant him a full and unconditional release.
Yet when I search the White House and State Department websites, I can’t find anything about this case. Perhaps they’re working behind the scenes for his release. One can only pray that’s the case.
I also join Wesley Smith in wondering where the fashionable protestors against U.S. executions are in this case.
UPDATE: See David Nickol’s comment below. The State Department issued a statement back in July. Also, in response to questions about petitions, I suggest that you google the words ”Nadarkhani” and “petition.”