Eritrean government steps up campaign against believers

By June 9, 2008

Eritrea (MNN) — In yet another
show of force, Eritrea is launching another assault against the church.

Voice of the Martyrs Canada's
Bernie Daniel says a sharp rise in harassment began right around Eritrea's
Independence Day at the end of May. Since
then, "25 Christians were put in
prison in the town of Adi-Kuala. And then we heard these unconfirmed reports
that some of the key leaders of the evangelical church movement in Eritrea may
be accused of treason. That is a
serious concern, of course. "

It has been difficult to get
confirmation on the future of Full Gospel Church leaders Dr. Kifle Gebremeskel
and Haile Naizghi and Pastor Tesfatsion Hagos of the Rema Evangelical Church.  They've  been imprisoned and isolated since May 2004. The government has already gone after
churches and religious groups on "grounds that they allegedly encouraged
insurrection and supported networks of deserters".

Eritrean police also arrested 34 evangelical Christians in Keren,
according to a recent Compass Direct report. The Christians, members of the Light of Life
Church, were meeting in a private home for prayer and fellowship. The women
prisoners have since been transferred to the Adi-Abeyto Military Confinement
facility outside of Asmara.

Daniel says believers in Eritrea
ask for one thing–solidarity from the body of Christ. "I think the thing
we can do most is to pray for them.

The advance of Christianity has
never been easy. It is always through
persecution and opposition that the Gospel has advanced forward. I don't think
in any way this will slow down the advance of the Gospel in Eritrea."

Pray for the release of Eritrean Christians who are imprisoned
for the sake of Christ. Ask God to strengthen and comfort their families.

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