Another Christian dies in Eritrean custody

By March 15, 2010

Eritrea (MNN) — Another
Christian has died in an Eritrean confinement center. 

Greg Mussleman,
with Voice of the Martyrs Canada, confirms the report. "Efrem Habtemichel Hagos, 37 years old, apparently died in a
confinement center in Assab. He was
denied medical treatment." 

Sources say the March 2nd
death of Hagos' (HAY-gahs) was caused by the malaria and pneumonia he had been suffering for
the past three months. At the time, he was in solitary confinement
in Adi-Nefase Military camp.

There's
no word on the charges he faced. Up
until his incarceration, Hagos had served in Unit 31 of the Eritrean Defense
Force for six years. Open Doors sources
suspect that Hagos had come to faith while in the military. His remains are buried in the camp.

Musselman says his
death brings to twelve the number of Christians who have died while in
detention. It shows a pattern. "These believers are given the opportunity:
'OK, if you recent your faith, if you leave your evangelical faith and you
return to the state religion, we'll give you treatment.'" 

However, Hagos
refused to recant. Over 2,000 Christians remain under custody for their
refusal to stop practicing their faith. Bars won't stop the Gospel.
"So much of Christianity has difficulty in openly spreading the
Gospel. But I'm always reminded that the Holy Spirit can still work and does
work. That's ultimately how people come to faith in Christ."

At
the same time news of Hagos' death came out, Open Doors learned of the release
of 30 Christians. Those released included at least three prominent church leaders.
 

Pray
for the friends and family of Hagos, as they mourn this loss. Pray that other
imprisoned Christians will gain courage from his example of steadfast faith.
Thank the Lord for the release of the 30 Christians. Pray for the over 2,000
other Christians who remain in custody for their faith in Eritrea.



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