Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani Still on Death Row; Brazilian Senators Plea for His Life

Brazilian senators have mobilized to support the release of the pastor who is facing execution in Iran because of his faith in Christ.

Paulo Paim, a Brazilian Senator (PT-RS), this week sent a petition of a motion in support of Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani to the president of the Brazilian Senate, Jose Sarney.

"Under the Rules of the House, I require a motion in support of the Iranian pastor Nadarkhani Yousef," he says in the claim.

Pastor Nadarkhani faces execution for refusing to recant his Christian faith although more recent reports have indicated that the charges against him have been changed; saying that he is now on death row for “crimes against national security.”

The mobilization started from an appeal made by another senator, Marcelo Crivella (PRB-RJ) last month. In a speech, he urged his colleagues to call on the Iranian government to release the pastor.

"I would like to ask my fellow senators to make an appeal on behalf of democracy and human rights in particular, to the Iranian Government to save this innocent man's life, who was just exercising his right to express his conscience."

Paim says in the petition, "For Senate Committee on Human Rights is unacceptable and unbelievable that even today, in the twenty-first century, to say that someone will die if he does not deny his faith; that will be killed or have life imprisonment if he does not deny his faith."

Media organizations, human rights groups, Christian leaders and political figures have all been applying pressure for Iran to free the Christian pastor, and the efforts are, apparently, now bringing positive results. According to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which has followed the case closely, the pastor is still alive, despite numerous previous reports saying that his execution was imminent.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide is calling on all Christians to join the prayer day on October 9 for the life of Pastor Yousef.

Iranian officials are set to meet again Oct. 10, in what could be a decisive day for the life of the pastor.

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