Wednesday October 19, 2011

The Australian Christian Lobby is calling for the Australian Government to make representations to the Iranian Government about a Christian Pastor who has been sentenced to death in Iran.

ACL’s Lyle Shelton said the case is in conflict with the religious provisions of Iran’s constitutional law and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which allows freedom of religion and freedom to change one’s religion.

“We join with many churches and groups nationally and internationally to condemn the death sentence of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani,” Mr Shelton said.

“Whilst we are waiting to hear the judicial decision on Pastor Nadarkhani’s appeal, the Australian Government needs to be doing all it can to communicate to the Iranian Government that religious freedom is something to be recognised by the Iranian government.”

Mr Shelton noted that Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd had spoken out about the lashing sentence given to an Iranian actress as deeply concerning but had yet to comment about Pastor Nadarkhani’s case.

“Both issues need to be raised with the Iranian government. We need to hear from the Australian Government that protection of religious freedom is something to be upheld,” he said.