An Iranian house church pastor has been released from prison four years after his original arrest.
Pastor Rasoul Abdollahi was a leader in Iran’s house church movement and accused of breaching national security laws. He was arrested alongside several other Christians on December 26, 2010, most of which have seen been released.
One pastor, Farshid Fathi, remains in prison and has had his sentence extended.
An unnamed source told Christian Today that some Iranian judges are beginning to suggest that detained Christians leave the country instead of standing trial. This prevents the government from using money to keep them in prison.
"Our feeling is that at the moment they are pressuring Christians to leave rather than bothering with the hassle of imprisoning them for long periods," the source said.
"They are getting people to leave in fear rather than the expense and international outcry of putting people in prison."
According to a December 2014 estimate, 92 Christians are currently detained in Iranian prisons; only 13 of the detained are serving court-issued sentences.
Publication date: February 20, 2015