Thursday, February 23, 2012
Those close to the case of a Christian pastor in Iran who's facing a death sentence for refusing to recant his faith now fear he could be killed any day now.
The American Center for Law and Justice warned there is an "increased likelihood" that the execution order against Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been signed and could be carried out at any time.
"The likelihood that the Iranian regime will execute him increases by the day," ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow said.
He added that the situation is more "dire" than ever.
Sign the online petition urging more pressure on Iran to release Pastor Youcef Nararkhani and to dismiss his death sentence.
Meanwhile, several members of Congress have joined the fight to save Nadarkhani's life.
**CBN News spoke with Sekulow more about Pastor Nadarkhani's case. Click play for his comments on the latest developments.
Rep. Joe Pitts and seven other congressmen introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives Feb.17, which condemned the Iranian government for its "persecution, imprisonment and sentencing" of Pastor Nadarkhani.
"Iran has become more isolated because of their drive for nuclear weapons, and the fundamentalist government has stepped up persecution of religious minorities to deflect criticism," Pitts told FoxNews.com.
"The persecuted are their own citizens whose only crime is practicing their faith," he said.
Almost 90 members of Congress previously signed a letter supporting Nadarkhani.
Nadarkhani was sentenced to death for apostasy in November 2011 by an Iranian court. However, international pressure forced the regime to reconsider the verdict.
Despite promises of a decision by Iran's supreme leader, Nadarkhani is still awaiting a ruling while in prison and facing continued pressure and mistreatment from authorities.
He has been in prison for more than two years and has refused to renounce his faith.
Pitts said it is time for Iran to decide whether they will live up to their international obligations as a member of the United Nations and a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Sekulow said the congressional resolution is an important step in keeping the pressure on Iran.