Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Stated Clerk Letter to President Obama Regarding Detained Presbyterian Pastors in Sudan



May 26, 2015

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I write with urgent concern about the Rev. Yat Michael and the Rev. Peter Yen, who are currently held in custody by the government of Sudan. The pastors are members of the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church. They were arrested in Sudan and have been charged with undermining the constitutional system and spying, offenses punishable by death or life imprisonment.

We would be extremely grateful if the U.S. government would use its networks to find out more about these pastors situations and to employ every means at your disposal to urge the government of Sudan to ensure that their human and civil rights are not violated.

Our partner churches in Sudan and South Sudan have asked us to do what we can to secure the protection and release of the Revs. Yat Michael and Peter Yen and to promote respect for religious freedom in Sudan. We know that you share our concerns for religious freedom around the globe.  We urge you to use the resources at your disposal to ensure that the rights of these pastors are respected fully.

Respectfully yours,
Gradye Parsons
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly

cc:   Rabbi David Saperstein, Office of International Religious Freedom
Rep. James McGovern, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
Sen. Robert Menendez, Chair, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
       Sen. Bob Corker, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
       Sen. Chris Coons, Chair, SCFR Subcommittee on African Affairs
       Sen. Jeff Flake, Ranking Minority, SCFR Subcommittee on African Affairs
       Rep. Ed Royce, Chair, House Committee on Foreign Affairs
       Rep. Eliot Engel, Ranking Member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs
       Rep. Christopher Smith, Chair, HCFA Subcommittee on Africa
Rep. Karen Bass, Ranking Member, HCFA Subcommittee on Africa