Visit the new AsenaTv Website

Eritrea: 3 More Christians Die Inside Military Prisons; Toll Now at 21

Three more Christians imprisoned for practicing their faith have died while inside military prison camps in western Eritrea, said officials from an international persecution watchdog group. The number of believers in Christ now dying in the

Three more Christians imprisoned for practicing their faith have died while inside military prison camps in western Eritrea, said officials from an international persecution watchdog group.
The number of believers in Christ now dying in the country while serving time in prison for their belief totals 21, said officials at Open Doors USA.
Terhase Gebremichel Andu, 28, and Ferewine Genzabu Kifly, 21, died as the result of starvation and untreated health problems, confidential sources inside Eritrea told Open Doors. Andu died on Oct. 16 and Kifly died one week later on Sunday.
Both were arrested during a prayer meeting in 2009 at a private home in Tesenai, according to Open Doors. They faced two years of physical torture and were denied medical care inside Adersete Military Camp.
Angesom Teklom Habtemichel, 26, who was imprisoned at Adi Nefase Military Camp in Asab, died at the end of August, officials with the ministry said. He suffered from severe malaria but was “denied medical treatment because of his written refusal to recant his Christian faith.”
All who perished were buried outside the military camps, according to Open Doors.
“Eritrea is a small country that has a bulls-eye on the backs of evangelical Christians,” Open Doors spokesperson Jerry Dykstra told The Christian Post. “President Afewerki denies that persecution takes place but the persecution of Christians, including keeping them in shipping boxes in the hot sun, has been well documented.”
The government in Eritrea outlawed all religious activities outside of the Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran, and Islamic faiths in 2002. Around half of Eritrea’s population is from an ethnic Muslim background, according to Open Doors statistics.
The number of Christians living in Eritrea, which is located in the Horn of Africa, is estimated to be about 2.2 million. Most of the Christians belong to the Orthodox Church, and the total amount represents approximately half of the country’s population.
Evangelical Christians, meanwhile, are struggling. Dykstra told CP, “Small evangelical churches have been closed and cannot be registered.”
Church leaders say that there are around 1,500 believers in prisons specifically for their faith. Christians are arrested and released at different times in waves. Those not suspected of being involved with leadership in the church are often released after signing some kind of agreement.
Church leaders in general are not allowed to leave the country and they feel isolated.
A large number of Christians are involved in obligatory military service and exercise their faith under severe restrictions. Large numbers of soldiers are being converted.
In general, it is risky for the churches to receive literature and other items.
Religious prisoners and their families/dependents are another burden on the already financially weak churches.
Dykstra is asking Christians to “pray for God’s sustaining grace upon those suffering in military prison camps. Pray that they would remain strong in the faith.”
“Pray for victims’ families that they would experience God’s grace and peace. Pray for God’s intervention in His time in Eritrea,” Dykstra asked in an email to CP. “Until He changes things, pray that the reaction of the Church in Eritrea would be an example and encouragement to the worldwide Body of Christ.”
“That international pressure would bring an end to the government of President Isalas Afewerki’s repressive policies,” he concluded.

Source: Christian Post – Alex Murashko

Review overview
  • tegadalay October 28, 2011

    come on men anather lie let me see the propoganda ALSHEBAB ALSHEBAB is not working so now you turn to religion this is trying to dived the eritrean people by CHRISTIAN MOSLEM make it look like ther is aproplem LET ME say some thing if evry on e remeber in the conference in ADISABEBA MELES told those in the CONFERENCE that evry religion have to organaize its people in ather word he told them THE KUNAMA abaout KUNAMA the TIGRE abaout TIGRE that is the only way you can dived the people from the gov but eritrean people are very smart they are not going to dived each ather by this idiatic report way is the opposition despret to distroy eritrea LIKE THE SONG BY WEDI TUKABO HADE SEMBRKIYO DEBRIN MESAGIDEN HADI LIBI HADE HIZBI

  • tegadalay October 28, 2011

    shawel thank you for under standing the power of ESAYAS because he is the lion of africa so no one like to mess with him

  • haben October 30, 2011

    viva tegadalay, look our goventment he very smart and the lion of lions. but our enemy they hope , to be like libya , no no it never will hapen eritrean people they are very smart HADE LIBE HADE HEZBI.