ERITREA: Over 200 Arrested in 12 Months

10 July 2024

Source: Release International

Eritrea has stepped up its campaign against Christians, arresting 218 in the past 12 months – some along with their children. This latest crackdown means that around 400 Christians are currently imprisoned – indefinitely, without trial or charge – because of their faith.

Sources say 110 Christians were seized between January and May. Reports also state that most were taken from their homes, some in the middle of the night.

In the last round of arrests, some children have been arrested with their parents, and in some cases, the whole family is in prison. Sources are concerned for the physical and mental well-being of the children, some of whom are only two years old. According to sources, most of those recently arrested are being held at Mai Serewa prison, while others have been sent to jails around the country.

Eritrea, in the horn of Africa, is a single-party state headed by Isaias Afwerki, who came to power in 1993. He cancelled elections pledged for 1997 and suspended the country’s draft democratic constitution.

In 2002, the regime banned most Christian denominations. Since then, it has rounded up Christians and jailed them indefinitely without trial.

Some have been behind bars for more than 20 years. A number have been held in steel shipping containers in the heat of the desert. Many have been tortured and some have died from abuse and untreated illness.

Some have been forced to renounce their faith to be released. Eritrea is often described as ‘the North Korea of Africa’.

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    Pray for the nation of Eritrea, asking God to spread His light in this dark nation. Pray that God would turn the hearts of the leaders to bring about the freedom of many believers in this nation.

    Pray especially for the believers in Eritrea, that God may continue to strengthen them as they faithfully serve Him.

    Ask God to comfort and protect those imprisoned and their families, so that they would know God’s nearness and be encouraged even amid their suffering.

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