ACLJ: Approval of U.S. House Resolution Demanding Release of Christian Pastor Facing Death in Iran "Sends Powerful Message"

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) said today's approval of a resolution in the U.S. House condemning Iran and calling for the immediate release of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani sends a powerful message that human rights and religious freedom transcend political and religious differences. The ACLJ, which heard from more than 180,000 Americans urging House members to approve H.Res. 556, says it's Tweet for Youcef campaign is now reaching nearly one million Twitter accounts worldwide calling for the release of Pastor Youcef.

"The truly bi-partisan support in the House to stand up for Pastor Youcef and demand his release is extraordinary," said Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the ACLJ. "Iran is violating international law with its detention and promised execution of Pastor Youcef. We're grateful that so many members of Congress - from different political and religious backgrounds - understand the importance of standing up for religious freedom, for human rights. As our attention now turns toward a similar resolution being introduced in the Senate, we continue to expand our global social media campaign to free Pastor Youcef. Our Tweet for Youcef campaign is closing in on reaching one million Twitter accounts around the globe, a vital tool in keeping Pastor Youcef in the media spotlight keeping pressure on Iran."

The resolution, H.Res. 556, was spearheaded by Representatives Joe Pitts (R-PA), an evangelical Christian conservative, and Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim in Congress. It generated tremendous support in the House and was approved today. A similar resolution is now being introduced in U.S. Senate and the ACLJ will continue to work to urge members there to stand in support of Pastor Youcef.

Today marks the 871st day of Pastor Nadarkhani's illegal detention. The ACLJ has launched a massive social media campaign - Tweet for Youcef - to generate support for Pastor Nadarkhani. The Twitter campaign now reaches more than 960,000 Twitter accounts in 198 countries and territories. More than 3,500 people have signed on to send one Tweet a day on behalf of Pastor Nadarkhani. The Tweet for Youcef campaign has attracted the attention of celebrities and media representatives worldwide.

International soccer icon Ricardo Kaka, the 17th most followed person on Twitter in the world with over 8.8 million followers, is promoting the Tweet for Youcef campaign. Also lending support to the Twitter campaign: Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, actresses Patricia Heaton and Julie Benz.

Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the ACLJ focuses on constitutional law in the United States and works to protect the religious and human rights in the international arena through its work with global affiliates. The ACLJ is based in Washington, D.C. and is online at www.aclj.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS: 
For Print: Gene Kapp  (757) 575-9520
For Broadcast: Chandler Epp or Alison Geist (770) 813-0000

SOURCE American Center for Law and Justice



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