Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Raise a voice for Pastor Youcef!

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian pastor sentenced to death for apostasy in September 2010, refused to recant his faith during four court hearings held on September 25-28. He now faces an imminent verdict of the death sentence. "They probably won't kill him today, but they can do it whenever they want," a source said. "Sometimes in Iran they call the family and deliver the body with the verdict."

Please join us in raising a voice on Pastor Youcef’s behalf.
  • Write Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird. Send him an email today at john.baird@parl.gc.ca. You can also mail him postage-free at:
          The Honourable John Baird
          House of Commons
          Ottawa, ON
          K1A 0A6
  • Be sure to copy your local MP on the letter to Mr. Baird. You can locate your MP’s contact information here
  • Write or fax the Iranian embassy in Canada:
          Mr. Kambiz Sheikh Hassani
          ChargĂ© d'affaires, a.i.
          Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
          245 Metcalfe Street
          Ottawa, ON K2P 2K2
          Fax: (613) 232-5712

Use the sample letter below to guide you as you write. For further guidelines on how to write government officials, click here.

Thank you for raising a voice!

* * *
[Date]

[Government official’s address]

Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. [MP’s surname]  OR  His Excellency Kambiz Sheikh Hassani,

I am writing today to express my concern for Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. Nadarkhani, a 34-year-old pastor from Rasht, Iran, was arrested in October 2009 after he protested a government policy that required children, including his eight- and nine-year-old sons, to study the Qur’an in school. Nadarkhani told school officials that the Iranian constitution allows for freedom of religious practice.

As a result of his protest, secret police called him before a political tribunal and arrested him for protesting. The charges were later amended to apostasy and evangelism of Muslims. Nadarkhani was tried on September 21 and 22, 2010, and sentenced to death for apostasy on November 13.

In July 2011, the Supreme Court instructed the Revolutionary Tribunal of Gilan Province to review his case to verify whether he was previously a practicing Muslim. During hearings on September 25-28, the court in Rasht ruled that Pastor Nadarkhani was not a practicing Muslim before becoming a Christian but that he remains guilty of apostasy because of his Muslim ancestry. Pastor Nadarkhani now awaits a written verdict of the death sentence, which can be issued at any time.

Pastor Nadarkhani faces the death penalty solely on the basis of his adopting Christianity. As such, the Islamic Republic of Iran is violating its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 18 includes a provision for the right to “have or to adopt” a religion, which has been interpreted authoritatively by the UN Human Rights Committee as including the right to change one’s religion.

Further, Iran’s constitution sanctions Christianity as a legitimate minority faith and asserts that Christians are allowed to freely carry out their religious rites. Article 23 asserts that no one may be “reprimanded simply because of having a certain belief.”

I am very concerned about Pastor Nadarkhani’s welfare and I respectfully request that you give your attention to this urgent matter. Thank you for your time.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name and address]

7 comments:

  1. I have sent messages to my MP, Mr. Baird and His Excellency Kambiz Sheikh Hassani. We will be praying for Youcef and his family in this very difficult time!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Boyd & Margaret FrenchSeptember 29, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    Letters sent to my MP, Mr. Baird and His Excellency Kambiz Sheikh Hassani ... every voice = 100 ... RAISE your Prayers and Voice in Parliament on behalf of the Nadarkhani Family as if in chains with Pastor Youcef!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello! I would like to send letters to the above people. I am just wondering if it is acceptable for me simply cut and paste the above message (obviously filling in my personal information and the required fields at the beginning and end). Is that what you meant as using this as a guide?
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi! Yes, you may use the above message as is or modify it to your liking.

    Thanks for taking the time to raise a voice!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Pray for the terriost. They need Jesus!

    ReplyDelete
  6. The 5th Commandment says :

    THOU SHALT NOT KILL, hence it is a SIN to do so.

    ReplyDelete