'Tweet for Youcef' Campaign Attracts Thousands to Imprisoned Iranian Pastor's Case

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  • Youcef Nadarkhani
    (Photo: Courtesy of ACLJ.org)
    Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is seen here in prison in Lakan, Iran. Nadarkhani faces execution for refusing to recant his Christian faith.
By Katherine Weber, Christian Post Reporter
February 10, 2012|9:30 am

The "Tweet for Youcef" campaign started by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has successfully drawn international attention toward the plight of imprisoned Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, with his story said to reach 297,292 Twitter accounts daily.

The American Center for Law and Justice began the "Tweet for Youcef" campaign less than two weeks ago and has already garnered a massive following, reaching 160 counties.

According to the ACLJ website, people living in Islamic countries run by Sharia law, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, Libya, and Kuwait, are receiving and tweeting information regarding Pastor Nadarkhani.

"Tweet for Youcef" involves a Twitter application that allows the ACLJ to send a daily tweet regarding Nadarkhani's plight via another user's account.

The daily tweet includes the number of days Nadarkhani has been imprisoned in Iran, facts about his court case, and a link back to the ACLJ's Nadarkhani information page.

Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was arrested in Oct. 2009 and charged with apostasy and attempting to evangelize Muslims. As of Thursday, Feb. 9, he has spent more than 848 days in prison as he awaits his verdict, which currently sits in the hands of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's spiritual leader and highest authority, for final review.

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Although he may face execution unless he recants his Christian faith, Nadarkhani has repeatedly stood strong in his Christian beliefs.

As ACLJ reports, 1,293 people have allowed the ACLJ to send daily Twitter updates from their accounts. Currently reaching 297,292 accounts daily, the ACLJ hopes to eventually reach one million people a day.

Critics agree that Iran, by prolonging Nadarkhani's case for multiple years, is attempting to remove his name from the international spotlight. This is why the ACLJ and other organizations, including The Voice of the Martyrs USA, continue to remind the public that Nadarkhani is still imprisoned and Iran is in stark violation of human rights policies. 

"[We] are confident from our meeting that Pastor Youcef's plight will not be forgotten," Jordan Sekulow, Director of Policy and International Operations of the ACLJ, previously wrote in his blog post regarding his Nov. 2011 meeting with the U.S. State Department. 

After the meeting, the U.S. State Department openly called for Nadarkhani's release. In addition, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Europe Union, 89 members of Congress, France, Great Britain Mexico, and Germany have all publically requested Iran to immediately release Nadarkhani.

Nadarkhani, reportedly in his mid-30s and a married father of two, currently awaits his verdict in an Iranian jail. 

 

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