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The White House released a statement Thursday on Iran’s conviction of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. The Christian minister has been sentenced to death by an Iranian court for refusing to to deny his faith.
The Obama administration’s statement:
The White House statement follows the condemnations of other top American leaders, including Speaker of the House John Boehner, and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
The statement of the USCIRF also indicates that the potential execution “demonstrate(s) how the Iranian government is ratcheting up its repression of religious minorities,” confirming the findings of a recently-released International Religious Freedom Report on Iran, from the U.S. Department of State.
According to the commission’s statement, Nadarkhani, who has been imprisoned for nearly two years, “has (this week) appeared daily before an Iranian court demanding that he recant his faith or face execution for apostasy.”
The full State Department report on religious persecution in Iran is embedded below.
As Adelle Banks noted in her story Wednesday for Religion News Service, Nadarkhani’s case has mobilized many Christian communities and activists in the United States.
The National Association of Evangelicals issued this statement late Thursday: