Zionica Editorial Note: Christian Solidarity Worldwide has issued an online petition to the Iranian embassy, urging them to intervene on behalf of Pastor Nadarkhani. We strongly suggest you support this effort by signing the online petition here: http://www.e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=88&ea.campaign.id=12209

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Iran is drawing widespread criticism over reports that an Iranian pastor faces execution for refusing to recant his Christian faith and return to Islam.

House Speaker John Boehner issued a statement Wednesday asking Iran to spare Yusef Nadarkhani’s life.

“I urge Iran’s leaders to abandon this dark path, spare Yusef Nadarkhani’s life, and grant him a full and unconditional release,” said Boehner, an Ohio Republican.

“Religious freedom is a universal human right,” Boehner said. He said that the prospects that Nadarkhani could be executed “unless he disavows his Christian faith are distressing for people of every country and creed.

“While Iran’s government claims to promote tolerance, it continues to imprison many of its people because of their faith. This goes beyond the law to an issue of fundamental respect for human dignity,” said Boehner.

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