This morning, the House overwhelmingly passed H.Res. 556, a resolution condemning the government of Iran for its mistreatment and sentencing of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadharkani. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) worked with Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Penn.) to introduce the bipartisan measure.
Youcef Nadharkani was sentenced to death for the crime of apostasy. Iran is a member of the United Nations and a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes the right to change religion and worship freely.
"The case of Pastor Youcef has united us because religious freedom is a fundamental human right," Ellison said. "We find in Pastor Youcef a humble man who refuses to disavow something he has found to be true, even if it means paying the ultimate price."
"As we seek to protect the human rights of Pastor Youcef and all Iranians, we must not pursue a course of action that could degrade their human rights further," Ellison added. "I have been deeply troubled by the recent talk of war with Iran. We must not forget that war is the ultimate human rights disaster. It could seal the fate of Pastor Youcef and so many other prisoners of conscience inside Iran."