(MNN) — The story of Magos Solomon Semere (MAH-gohs solomon se-MEH-ray) is at
an end. Four-and-a-half years after the
Eritrean regime jailed him for worshiping in a banned Protestant church, Voice
of the Martyrs Canada's Bernie Daniel confirms his death while still in jail.
"He was a young Eritrean Christian, aged 30, and died in a military jail
in the southern part of Assab. He was
sick with pneumonia, and I can assure you that he was being brutally treated by
the military authorities in that southern most part of Eritrea."
Semere was barred
from seeing his fiancé during his prison sentence and was repeatedly offered
medical treatment or release if recanted his faith. However, his former fellow
prisoner said that throughout everything, "Magos was determined to obey
the Lord rather than men."
More than 2,000 Eritrean citizens have been jailed solely
for practicing their faith. Semere is the third known Christian to die for his
faith in Eritrea
since last October. "I would be cautious to put it as escalation because
it came kind of in a time frame distance, but still, it just shows the brutal
treatment of Christians still being perpetuated by local officials in the
military jails. We have to still continue to pray for the body of Christ in Eritrea."
According to Compass Direct, for the past 18 months, President
Isaias Afwerki's regime has extended its religious repression to interfere
openly in the internal affairs of the Eritrean Orthodox Church. The government recently deposed its patriarch
and took over the church's administrative and financial controls.
In its 2006
religious freedom report, the U.S. State Department for the third year in a row
a "Country of Particular Concern," designating it one of the worst
violators of religious freedom in the world.
Please pray for believers in this country. Pray for their wisdom as they share the hope
of Christ with others.