(MNN) — Police and military authorities in Eritrea jailed 68 more Christians
in three official round-up operations within the last few weeks.
Voice of the Martyr's Todd Nettleton says this is a trend that's causing them
some concern. "For the first time, the government has now arrested
people who were employees at different government offices, simply for being
evangelical Christians, for no other reason than their Christian
For the third year in a row, the U.S. State Department designated Eritrea one of
the world's worst violators of religious freedom. Open Doors has been
keeping tabs on Eritrea
as well. They indicate the country has increased their persecution
efforts over the last five years, when the government outlawed Christians'
freedom of worship.
As evangelism grows, so do the frequency and severity of the
crackdowns. It's WHERE the evangelism happens that's of note, says
Nettleton. "It seems like where a lot of the evangelism is happening is in
the Orthodox Church. It seems like the revival movement there is gaining
momentum, gaining growth. Last year, the government actually took over
the Orthodox Church. It obviously makes them nervous."
More than 2,000 Christians are now under arrest in police stations, military
camps and jails all across Eritrea
because of their religious beliefs. None have been officially charged, or
given access to judicial process, even though many have been incarcerated for
Ironically, the government continues to support its statement issued in May
2003 that "no groups or persons are persecuted in Eritrea for their beliefs or
religion." Pray for believers' strength to stand firm in their faith,
and for those in prison.