Eritrean police arrest more Christians.

By November 1, 2006

Eritrea (MNN)–Eritrean authorities arrested 150 Christians from at least five of the country’s outlawed churches in the last seven days.

Mendefera police did a house-to-house search for known members of Pentecostal churches and the Orthodox renewal movement.

According to Compass Direct, a total of 38 men and 17 women were incarcerated at the military fort in Mendefera, 30 miles south of Asmara. That puts the total number of incarcerated Christians at 2,078. So far, none of those arrested and detained have been charged or put to trial.

However, eyewitnesses say all have been subjected to varying degrees of physical abuse while in custody. Open Doors is urging prayer for the persecuted church of Eritrea, especially during the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, November 12.

In the wake of this event, Open Doors is sponsoring a prayer campaign for Helen Berhane, an Eritrean Christian singer. She has been incarcerated since May 13, 2004, in a metal shipping container at Eritrea’s Mai Serwa military camp.

For the third year in a row, the U.S. State Department named Eritrea a “Country of Particular Concern” in its annual religious freedom report last month, designating it one of the worst violators of religious freedom in the world. Eritrea is ranked No. 14 on the Open Doors World Watch List.

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