Eritrean Christians are facing more persecution by the government

By January 12, 2006

Eritrea (MNN) — Christian persecution is again on the rise in Eritrea, where at least 40 Protestant Eritrean Christians have been arrested since December 22.

According to Strategic World Impact, Asmara security police have been searching for leaders of the Church of the Living God, Full Gospel, Rema, Hallelujah and Philadelphia churches. All Christian worship and denominations are banned other than the officially recognized Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran church denominations.

One evangelical leader, Pastor Simon, who escaped after his arrest, is believed to be in hiding. His family has faced harassment and threats by security officials. A board member of his church, the Church of the Living God, and a parishioner have also been arrested.

“I have personally been with these precious believers who are laying it all on the line for Christ. They are truly the heroes of the faith. The Christians are wondering why the government of Eritrea is attacking them as even the constitution of Eritrea, Article 14 is supposed to guarantee freedom of religion, thought and conscience,” Strategic World Impact’s President Kevin Turner said.

The pastor and two lay leaders from Full Gospel have also been arrested along with the pastor and two church elders from Rema Church. One elder was arrested at his photography studio, along with 15 of his employees, most of which are members of Rema Church.

A music shop run by members of the Philadelphia Church was also targeted in the many raids and all 15 people in the shop were taken to prison.

Prior to the December arrests, at least 1,750 Eritrean Christians were reported to be jailed in police stations, military camps and prisons including some members of the government-recognized Catholic, Orthodox and Lutheran churches. Among these 1,750 being held, there are at least 28 clergymen, some being held in underground cells and metal shipping containers living in inhumane conditions for refusing to abandon their evangelical beliefs.

Strategic World Impact is an international ministry that works in areas where Christians are persecuted, the Gospel restricted and areas where due to hostile situations the people face eternity each day. Despite all the oppression people are turning to Christ. Pray for these believers.

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