East Africa bloc welcomes back Eritrea

By June 21, 2023
world, unsplash

Eritrea (MNN) — A regional East Africa bloc is welcoming Eritrea back to the fold after the nation left 16 years ago.

Eritrea quit the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in Eastern Africa in 2007 over soured relations with Ethiopia. However, things changed five years ago, when the two nations signed a peace deal.

Eritrea rejoining the bloc now is another move towards peace and stability in East Africa. Yet, there’s concern that this allows Eritrea to brush over severe human rights abuses.

(Photo courtesy of David Mark/Pixabay)

Dr. Berhane Ashmelash, director of Release Eritrea, spoke with Greg Musselman at The Voice of the Martyrs Canada about imprisoned Christians and other religious minorities in Eritrea today.

Ashmelash says the Eritrean government denies imprisoning Christians as religious persecution when asked by international entities. But really, world leaders aren’t often asking.

“The Eritrean president knows how to play the international community and sometimes they forget about the prisoners. There are tens of thousands of Eritrean prisoners. We want more pressure but we don’t get that, so that’s really frustrating and very sad.”

Evangelical Christians are especially targeted by the Eritrean government.

“They found it difficult to control the Evangelicals because we don’t have this central authority,” says Ashmelash. “So even when they thought to shut [down] the Church, they thought, ‘If we arrest the top leaders, the Church will disintegrate.’ But it didn’t because our leaders are not like popes. The top authority for Evangelicals is the Scripture, so the Church continues to grow.”

You can raise awareness for jailed Christians in Eritrea by sharing this story!

And pray. Ask God to comfort Eritrean Christians who are still imprisoned for their faith. Pray for wise and just leaders in Eritrea.








Header photo courtesy of Kyle Glenn/Unsplash.