It has been more than 1,000 days since a Christian pastor was thrown into an Iranian jail for leaving Islam and sentenced to death for, as the U.S. State Department put it, "simply following his faith."
On Monday, the agency once again called on Iran to release Youcef Nadarkhani.
"Pastor Nadarkhani still faces the threat of execution for simply following his faith, and we repeat our call for Iranian authorities to release him immediately," said a statement from State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
His next scheduled court date is September 8.
Nadarkhani, born to Muslim parents in the northern Iranian town of Rasht, converted to Christianity when he was 19.
Later he was ordained as a minister and led a network of house churches in Iran.
He was arrested in October 2009 after he lodged a protest with local education officials after learning his child was being forced to read from the Quran, the Muslim holy book, in school.
He was charged with apostasy and convicted in a provincial court - which sentenced him to death.
He appealed, and during a trial in a lower court, refused to recant his beliefs.
The case made its way to the Supreme Court, which said Nadarkhani's sentence could be overturned if he recanted. The 34-year-old pastor has refused.FULL STORY