Iranian Pastor Released From Prison But Others Arrested Same Day Remain

ICC Note: Iranian Pastor Rasoul Abdollahi was released for prison after being held for more than one year. Yet, even as he left the prison a number of other Christians were detained in another series of raids by Iranian intelligence officers. Estimates are that nearly 100 Christians are currently imprisoned in Iran.

02/27/2015 Iran (World Watch Monitor) After spending more than one year in prison, for ‘collusion against the [Iranian] government’ and ‘evangelism,’ Iranian pastor Rasoul Abdollahi has been released from prison.

Abdollahi, a leader in Iran's house church movement, was arrested Dec. 26 2010 and released last week, Feb. 16. His arrest was the same day as a number of other Christians during a widespread crackdown on church activity.

According to agency Middle East Concern, his release came with strict conditions preventing him from participating in Christian activities; any violation would result in his re-arrest and requirement to fulfil his original sentence.

Initially arrested by Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, he was detained and interrogated for two months before being released on bail and then sentenced to three years in prison in December 2013. Abdollahi, along with Rev. Farshid Fathi and other Christians sentenced at the same time, was then detained in Evin Prison, Tehran.

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The Means of Sanctification

Song of Songs 4:16

Anything is better than the dead calm of indifference. Our souls may wisely desire the north wind of trouble if that is to become the means of our sanctification. So long as it cannot be said, "The Lord was not in the wind," we will not shrink from the most wintry blast that ever blew upon plants of grace.

Did not the spouse in this verse humbly submit herself to the reproofs of her Beloved, only entreating Him to send forth His grace in some form, and making no stipulation as to the peculiar manner in which it should come? Did she not, like ourselves, become so utterly weary of deadness and unholy calm that she sighed for any visitation that would brace her to action? Yet she desires the warm south wind of comfort too, the smiles of divine love, the joy of the Redeemer's presence; these are often mightily effectual to arouse our sluggish life. She desires either one or the other, or both, so that she may but be able to delight her Beloved with the spices of her garden. She cannot endure to be unprofitable, nor can we.

How cheering a thought that Jesus can find comfort in our poor feeble graces. Can it be? It seems far too good to be true. We may even court trial or death itself if by doing so we gladden Immanuel's heart. O that our heart were crushed to atoms if only by such bruising our Lord Jesus could be glorified. Graces unexercised are as sweet perfumes trapped in the bottle: The wisdom of God overrules diverse and opposite causes to produce the one desired result and makes both affliction and consolation produce the grateful aroma of faith, love, patience, hope, resignation, joy, and the other fair flowers of the garden. May we know by sweet experience what this means.

Cairo court lists Hamas as terrrorist organization

(Deutsche Welle) An Egyptian court has declared Palestinian movement Hamas a “terrorist” organization, according to a judicial source. The decision comes one month after Cairo added the group’s military wing to its terror blacklist.

The Cairo court’s ruling on Saturday was in response to a lawsuit alleging that Hamas was involved in recent attacks on Egyptian soil.

“The court ruled that Hamas should be included as a terrorist organisation,” said Samir Sabry, one of the lawyers who brought the case the group.