- (Photo: American Center for Law and Justice)
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has been at the forefront of Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani's court case, and the group's many endeavors, namely its "Tweet for Youcef" campaign and congressional petition, have seen substantial results.
Those who sign up for the "Tweet for Youcef" campaign allow the ACLJ to use their Twitter accounts to post a daily Nadarkhani update, which includes the number of days Nadarkhani has been imprisoned, facts about his court case, and a link back to the ACLJ's Nadarkhani information page.
Since the campaign began in mid-February, it has gained a substantial following, now reaching 1.1 million Twitter users per day in 89 percent of the world's nations.
Of those nations, 35 are mostly Muslim populated or governed by some form of Shariah law -- including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, and Libya, the ACLJ told CP via an emailed statement.
"The ability for people all over the world to express their support for Pastor Youcef is remarkable. We're delighted that the 'Tweet for Youcef' campaign expanded so quickly reaching one million Twitter accounts daily -- truly an important milestone," Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the ACLJ, told CP.
"But, we're not stopping there. The number now exceeds 1.1 million -- a vital tool in providing information, support for Pastor Youcef, and pressure on Iran to release him without delay," he added.
Celebrity icons have pledged their support for Nadarkhani using the ACLJ's "Tweet for Youcef" campaign. On March 1, Matt Hasselbeck, NFL quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, tweeted his support for the Iranian pastor.
Donald Trump, Megyn Kelly, Actress Julie Benz, Michelle Malkin, Rep. Michele Bachmann, and Ann Coulter have also tweeted their support for the ACLJ and Nadarkhani.
Actress Patricia Heaton from "Everybody Loves Raymond" has signed up for the 'Tweet for Youcef' campaign, allowing the ACLJ to use her Twitter account to post Nadarkhani tweets, providing information on his imprisonment and how viewers can do more.
"We're grateful that a number of high-profile individuals -- including those in the business, media, sports and political worlds -- want to help spread the word about Pastor Youcef's plight," Sekulow told CP.
"It's clear this social media campaign transcends all boundaries -- geographic, political and ideological -- all joining together with one goal in mind: stand up for human rights and religious freedom and demand the release of Pastor Youcef immediately and unconditionally," Sekulow added.
The ACLJ also successfully issued a petition to free Nadarkhani, gaining 189,000 signatures in just two weeks. The petition called on Congress to pass House Resolution 556, which condemned Iran for its human rights violations and demanded Nadarkhani's immediate release. The Resolution was passed March 1.
This week, Jordan Sekulow traveled to Brazil to raise awareness for Nadarkhani's plight. There, he spoke with Brazil's Vice President Michel Temer, who promised the Brazilian government will continue to stand in solidarity with Nadarkhani.
Although the ACLJ has confirmed that Nadarkhani was alive as of March 3, there has been no further information on the state of his execution order, which is believed to have been issued in late February.