Iran has issued what could be the final execution order for Youcef Nadarkhani, the Christian pastor who was found guilty of renouncing Islam.Read the rest here.
Nadarkhani has been waiting in limbo for this verdict for months. After turning down four separate chances to convert to Islam to save his life, Iranian officials delayed their sentencing, leaving the pastor to await his fate inside a cell in Iran's Gilan province. But now, Nadarkhani could be executed within days.
"They are threatening to execute a pastor who is, in my opinion, totally innocent," said U.S. Representative Joseph Pitts (R. - PA), who is sponsoring a congressional resolution to call for Nadarkhani's freedom.
"He's facing the threat of execution on false charges just because of his religious belief. He's willing to face the hangman's noose over this."
On Monday, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), an international Christian and human rights organization, discovered that Nadarkhani's "life is in imminent danger" and that "the situation has not been this dire" since the organization first learned of his arrest. While that first report did not go into specifics, the organization believes it has confirmed the execution order and that, at least as of Tuesday, Nadarkhani was still alive.