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Eritrea is becoming more like North Korea, persecution against Christians increasing

By May 23, 2005

Eritrea (MNN) — Last week reported that 916 Christians are being held against their will in the African nation of Eritrea. 16 of them are pastors. Persecution against Christians isn’t getting any better, according to Strategic World Impact’s Kevin Turner.

“The more Eritrea is confronted with this, the worse they get,” says Turner. “They’re just hardening themselves. The church, it’s quite interesting, the people continue to share the Gospel. In fact, a couple days ago there was a believer arrestes in Samara (for) sharing Gospel to people on the bus.”

The situation is getting eerily like North Korea and Saudi Arabia. Turner says, “They’ve actually consulted with some of these other governments for those very issues of how to contain or control the church. At another level, this isn’t just a physical, this is a spiritual battle and so, it boils down to our enemy Satan who is trying to crush or oppress the church.”

The punishment isn’t easy, says Turner. “Eritrea’s taken a pretty hard line toward Christians, arresting even young kids that were at a wedding ceremony and refusing to release them. We have Christians who have been held in 40-foot shipping containers for over two years.”

The church in the west needs to come alongside and help the families where their bread-winners are in prison, suffering for their faith. “If someone’s willing to suffer for the sake of the Gospel, we have to be willing to stand with them. Any bit helps. $5 is a huge amount of money in Eritrea. $100 can support a family for a month.”

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