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Eritrea continues to crack down on evangelicals.

By May 20, 2005

Eritrea (MNN)–Eritrea tops today’s newscast. There are 16 pastors and nearly 900 believers being held in deplorable conditions, arrested for practicing their faith.

None of the prisoners have been charged in court or brought to trial by government authorities, who since May 2002 have refused to legalize religious groups outside the Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran and Muslim faiths.

Despite the fact that the constitutional law of Eritrea guarantees religious freedom, Christians are still facing intolerance and persecution.

Open Doors’ Carl Moeller calls the situation ‘troubling.’ “You can imagine the ‘chilling effect’ it would have on your church if, (at) any moment, government officials could break in to your worship service, haul you off to, not a questioning, but a shipping container on the outskirts of town.”

Eritrea is ranked Number 16 on the Open Doors World Watch List which ranks countries according to the severity of persecution of Christians.

Moeller links the persecution to the record growth of the church. But it is not intimidating evangelistic pursuit. “They are bold in their witness. They continue to place themselves right on the frontlines of faith where it costs the most. Open Doors and other ministries are engaged with supporting this type of work, supporting the church in this community and continue to see God raise up vital churches, despite this persecution.”

A demonstration is planned on behalf of the church, May 25th, in front of the U-S Eritrean Embassy in Washington DC. Open Doors is encouraging people to attend.

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