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Why Eritrea can’t be forgotten

By October 15, 2015
Flickr_Muslim women in Eritrea
Metal shipping containers like the ones seen here are serving as prisons for Christians in Eritrea.  (Wikimedia Commons)

Metal shipping containers like the ones seen here are serving as prisons for Christians in Eritrea.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Eritrea (MNN) — Eritrea is in the headlines again. But this time, it’s not entirely about the refugees.

Instead, Greg Musselman with Voice of the Martyrs Canada says focus needs to be on those who stay behind.

They need your prayers, he says, and they need your help.

“We don’t want to forget about our brothers and sisters that are imprisoned for their faith because they are trying to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” states Musselman.

“There are hundreds, thousands perhaps, imprisoned in shipping containers in Eritrea.”

The latest on Eritrea

It’s no secret: Eritrea has a problem keeping citizens inside its borders.

“The economy is terrible; human rights violations are common,” says Musselman, listing hallmark Eritrean challenges.

Eritrean Refugees in Ethiopia receive a package of humanitarian services. (Photo, caption credit: EU/ECHO/Malini Morzaria)

Eritrean Refugees in Ethiopia receive a package of humanitarian services.
(Photo, caption credit: EU/ECHO/Malini Morzaria)

“There’s just a lot of instability within the country.”

Eritrean refugees were the first to be relocated last week in Europe per newly-drawn quota policies. The UNHCR estimates over 400,000 refugees and asylum-seekers are seeking refuge outside Eritrea.

Meet Eric–a living example of how good can come from the hardship of a refugee’s life.

In addition, some of Eritrea’s world-class athletes are bringing the country’s evils to the global stage by refusing to return home.

‘Untold’ stories

Reclusive in nature, Eritrea is often compared to North Korea–the #1 persecutor of Christians, according to the Open Doors USA World Watch List.

Eritrea-3

(Photo Courtesy Open Doors USA)

In similar fashion, President Isaias Afewerki exercises dictator-like authority over Eritrea and its people. The small African nation trails North Korea by 8 on the World Watch List.

Eritrea, like many repressive countries around the world, “view(s) evangelical Christians as linked to America,” Musselman explains.

“They see evangelical Christianity as being a ‘foreign’ religion.”

Hear from Eritrean Christians how they are treated by the government.

What you can do about it

For security reasons, Musselman can’t give many details about how VOM Canada supports persecuted Eritrean Christians.

“But, I can tell you that we are trying to help both Eritrean evangelical Christians inside the country and…also those outside the country,” he says.

Click here to help Eritrean Christians stand firm in their faith through VOM Canada.

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