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Congressmen Pitts and Ellison Again Demand Iran Release Pastor Youcef
ICC Note:
What a great thing to see people working together. Here we see two members of Congress, one Christian the other Muslim, releasing a joint statement demanding the release of Pastor Youcef who was re-arrested in Iran on Christmas day.
By Matthew Clark
1/4/2013 Iran (ACLJ)– Representatives Joe Pitts (PA-16) and Keith Ellison (MN-5) released a statement today, condemning Iran for re-arresting Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and demanding his immediate release.
This bipartisan statement by both a Christian and a Muslim Member of Congress in defense of religious liberty sends a clear statement that regardless of faith or political persuasion, religious persecution should never be tolerated anywhere in the world.
Representatives Pitts and Ellison led the charge to pass a unanimous resolution last year in the U.S. House of Representatives demanding Youcef’s freedom.  Today, they recognized that Pastor Youcef, who had been released late last year, was re-arrested on Christmas Day, noting that “it was particularly cruel to imprison him on Christmas Day.”
The Pitts-Ellison joint statement provides:
We were heartbroken to learn that the government of Iran has thrown Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani back in jail. Given its persecution of Pastor Youcef because of his Christian faith, it was particularly cruel to imprison him on Christmas Day.
During his previous imprisonment, Pastor Youcef was mistreated and pressured to renounce his faith and confess to crimes he did not commit. We want Iranian authorities to know that the world is watching his case.
The continued imprisonment of Pastor Youcef for simply practicing his faith is a gross violation of human rights. He should be released to his wife and two young sons immediately.

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