Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani made international headlines and eventually won his freedom after being imprisoned and sentenced to death by an Iranian court, but several other Christians remain in the Islamic nation’s prisons simply because of their faith.

Advocates of the men and women who refuse to renounce their Christian beliefs in a nation where they are vastly outnumbered by an often hostile population say their best chance for freedom is international pressure. Less than 1 percent of Iran’s population is comprised of people of non-Muslim faith, according to CIA’s World Factbook, and Christians, Jews and Hindi face relentless persecution.

“Iran has amped up its systematic persecution of Christians over the last year, closing churches, burning Bibles, imprisoning believers, and using threats and intimidations tactics to suppress religious expression,” said Tiffany Barrans, International legal Director for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which waged a successful campaign for Nadarkhani’s release.

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