The Iranian government continues to experience international pressure for their refusal to free Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, a husband and father given the death penalty for converting to Christianity. The latest news comes from Jordan Sekulow of the ACLJ. Sekulow reports:
Iran's ambassador to Brazil (pictured left) informed [Brazilian Senator Magno Malta] that Pastor Youcef would not be executed for his faith, but that he 'was convicted of other crimes, theft and prostitution.' The Iranian ambassador also gave Senator Malta an official letter from the Iranian embassy (English translation), claiming that Iran respects the freedom to practice religion and denying Pastor Youcef’s death sentence.Senator Malta promptly returned to the Iranian embassy demanding an explanation for the apparent contradictions in the ambassador's story. The Brazilian media has given extensive coverage to the issue. Continued exposure and increased international pressure give Pastor Youcef hope of still finding freedom.
I met with Senator Malta yesterday morning, and provided him with a copy of the original Iranian supreme court verdict convicting Pastor Youcef to death by hanging for his Christian faith in Farsi and translated into Portuguese (the ACLJ also has English and Russian translations).