This week, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments and the private sector, are gathering for the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil to discuss ways to reduce poverty and advance social equality. Among the more controversial leaders in attendance at Rio+20 is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This has provided the Christian community in Brazil the unique opportunity to send a clear message to Iran regarding the release of Pastor Youcef. On behalf of the entire Christian community in Brazil, Congressman Marco Feliciano issued the following letter directly to Iran and in the presence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The ACLJ commends Congressman Marco Feliciano and the Christian community in Brazil for this bold and clear letter calling for Pastor Youcef's release.
"We respect the laws of your country, but in the same way as you have come to Brazil to decide on the Rio + 20 Conference, we allow ourselves to plead for the life of this man, who is our brother"
Mr. President of Iran,
I come to the presence of Your Excellency, with the backing of the entire Christian community in Brazil, to ask for clemency to Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who has been detained and sentenced to death in his country for the crime of apostasy.
At this time, when the world turns to Rio de Janeiro and the occasion of his coming to our country, I submit this Open Letter, together as the humble request of Congressman who is also an evangelical pastor, for the government of Iran review the process that condemned Nadarkhani, to spare his life and return to his home where his wife and children await.
We respect the laws of your country, but in the same way as you have come to Brazil to decide on the Rio + 20 Conference, we allow ourselves to plead for the life of this man, who is our brother.
I've made contact with the Iranian Embassy in Brasilia, and reaffirm the Lord I'm available to the Iranian authorities to address this issue with Brazilian authorities. I promise I'll work on everything in my power, within the laws of my country.
Brasilia-DF, June 19, 2012. Signed: Marco Feliciano - Congressman / PSC-SP