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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
  • The Bee October 26, 2011

    I really don’t understand the mentality of the government? What are they achieving by persecuting fellow Eritreans? Why such cruel punishment? why do they have to be sadistic when they imprison? It has now gone all the way from the top to the bottom guards. It seems everyone is mean to everyone. The evil is on the throne. God have mercy!!! Alah Wakuber! I am not surprised when the young escape the country when ever they get a chance. Eritrea has become a giant prison. Only it is more crowded in the jails.

  • Temesgen Medhanie October 26, 2011

    The irony of this sad chapter in Eritrea’s history is that, most of the PFDJ supporters particularly those with an advanced degrees (Ph.Ds) belong to the evangelical churches which are being prosecuted by PFDJ. I wouldn’t pretend to know much about the Bible but common sense has it that, the faithful is expected to defend the weak and the meek instead of condoning the cruel hands of the prosecutor.

  • Kalu October 26, 2011

    Even though Assena uses religion and regionalism as tool for a personal advantages, of course whoever mix religion with politics and tries to damage a nation beautiful in the name of bible there is no excuse he/she has to get whatever deserves.

    • Temesgen Medhanie October 26, 2011

      First they came for the Jews
      and I did not speak out
      because I was not a Jew.
      Then they came for the Communists
      and I did not speak out
      because I was not a Communist.
      Then they came for the trade unionists
      and I did not speak out
      because I was not a trade unionist.
      Then they came for me
      and there was no one left
      to speak out for me.

      Martin Niemoller (1892-1984)

      • ahmed Saleh October 27, 2011

        Temesgen hawey
        After I read your posting, it took me time to analyze it. I try to dig and dig then I say , WOW.
        The timing is perfect with this topic. As they said: history repeat by it self. When they hunt
        our citizens all these years, we were stupid to wait our turn. For your information hawna
        Issayas got a problem with religion, I don’t know why. After independence he use religion
        to go against moslems, johova wittnes and catholitics, then went so on and on. You know
        what they did to those open minded citizens in lowlands like keren ,Seneafe and Adi-Keyeh
        early before the war of Badme. But I don’t blame them, I blame our self, it was not supposed to be that way. Don’t get me wrong when I said that. I born and raised in ASMARA, Join GEDLI on my young age and I spent the bad and good times with those beautifull and humble hard working
        people who gave us unconditional love and support, I wish I can pay them back if I have power
        to make their life easier from what I saw. Unfortunately it is unacceptable the so called TOWAHDO
        people to sell their PATRIACH to this monster.

        • ahmed Saleh October 27, 2011

          My experience I was talking is with people in in HAMASIEN from Saharti all the way to
          Dembezan. So I iam not less than any Hamasienay practicaly speaking. Because I
          have history in part of my life. And nobody can take it away. It makes me feel blue blood ERITREAN.

          • aderosso October 27, 2011

            You are all seem to be surprised, People being dying in the dungeons of the then EPLF and now Eri Government.IF we have to announce the death of three prisoners a day will take us century to list all the dead.

      • solomon October 27, 2011

        love that!

    • sol October 27, 2011

      The regime wants to subjugate any thing that he thought a threat. he imprisoned and dethrone the Patriarch though it claims itself a secular gov, imprisoned the Jehovah witnesses, deny them every right in the nation, kills Muslim teachers, close and detain evangelic church members.The only thing they care about keeping power under any circumstance but the time is running out for the dictators and they pay a price under ICC.

  • Kalu October 26, 2011

    It hurts, wright? Anything that bothers Assena has to be deleted? Where is the truth then?

    • Tesfa October 27, 2011

      Kalu you should be retarded person to ask where the truth is.
      the truth is Isaia is a killer . any body who seems to oppose or seems
      to know open his and start to see the evil of HGDEF has to be killed or
      inpriseason or persecuted. You remember the spy book EYE OF THE
      NEEDLE who kills any person saw him killing has to kill him, eventually evil continues

  • No Name October 26, 2011

    People , you have to understand the problem and address it in a proper way to resolve the issue . But When it comes to Eritrea anything has to be looked at a suspicion.

    Simply , this shows there is no freedom of religion. why ?

    What is christian , Muslim , budhism ethism and so on…

    It is just a way of belief . So if the PFDJ is strong enough , they have to give the right to beleive anything.

    Eritrea has a long way to go………

  • Barentu October 27, 2011

    Eritrea’s best and brightest are perishing in Hgdef jails and dungeons one by one. Most of these are teachers and professionals that the people of Eritrea badly needs their services but a blood thirsty and idiotic regime has locked them up to die a slow and painful death.
    The only supposed “crime” these thousands of law abiding victims to have “committed” is to carry a Bible and practice their spiritual lives.
    This is happening in a land that is importing substandard Indian teachers because the most qualified Eritreans are either locked up in jail or fled the country.
    These are the topics ato Zemhret Yohanes does not want to discuss, rather he prefers to talk about a non-existent “economic development”.

  • haben October 27, 2011

    assenna you try to separeat eritrean people in many ways in eritrea the belivers only we have 3 religion ORTODXE CATEOLIC AND MOSLEMS other than that we do not know PENECONTUES OR JEHOVA this not our religion. even those pente if they to prision is good . but no body kill them layer but for sure they make the god name for poletical assylem but they get them to the hell you guys you going to them punisement from god first assena pinkpanter

    • Barentu October 27, 2011

      you are so low and immature, I urge you to pee before you go to bed/ shenki deqsi. You are bed wetting and stinking this web site with your low level raw comments. You are abusing the free speech opportunity provided by assenna.
      buzz off!

    • aderosso October 27, 2011

      Haben, as people, we should have the right to worship on what we think is good for us. You can not force people to worship on those three religions u mentioned. As you have every right to support the Eri government, some should have every right to oppose, it is logic. we should tolerate each other.

    • Shawel October 27, 2011

      in your list developed brain you allowed only 3 religions , before going far you can see on assenna TV and, even the 3 religions you have allowed condemning DIA, as well as removing the ORTHODOX PATRIARCHS and punting them under house arrest what about that that is not Eritrean religion ? you must be sick or lost not even to know what is next to you.
      God bless you. but I don’t think you are a believer any religion your religion is based on you political opinion , you must be self impose blind person, so please grow up distinguish the difference between religion and politics.

      Note: region is personal,some time it is pass through generations but politics is optional.

  • sol October 27, 2011

    I am sad today I heard bad news that Eritrean Sewedish journalist Dawit might be dead because he is no more in Era Ero, but no one can confirm that but the news us from trust worthy network.It is really bad for every body how the heart of PFDJ id made if stone and hateful.Even his families try to dissociate themselves from Free Dawit campaign, so as to appease the regime and in the hope he will be release and it is really sad how people support the regime.I think we have to go to court and sue every one who is associated with the regime and even Sewedish foreign affairs some how to take responsibility for failing enough measure to free Dawit.But they run to Ethiopian courts where two white Swedish journalist accused if terrorism-while the latter were caught with the out law fronts crossing the borders from Somalia.Sweden should ban and take appropriate measure its citizens should not pay 2% tax and any body working with tge regime should be considered as a complice of tge crime against humanity.

  • aderosso October 27, 2011

    You are all seem to be surprised, People being dying in the dungeons of the then EPLF and now Eri Government.IF we have to announce the death of three prisoners a day will take us century to list all the dead. Many of whom got no chance that their name to be published.

  • Shewit October 27, 2011

    Has anyone seen this news? How come assenna didn’t post it, yet?

    Please read..Isayas is BEGGING, and crying like a little girl….

    • Shawel October 27, 2011

      He knows he got no friends, the only friend he got is the Sudanese detector Bashir but even Bashir gave him a warning, because, they have unfinished business, DIA sent Eritrean troops to fight and died for South Sudan which led to South secession from North Sudan, creating the east Sudan front to divide Sudan as well as the Darfur opposition where based in Eritrea now they have moved to Uganda.
      So even Bashir knows he is seating with the sneak , when DIA find the opportunity he will bite Bashir again.
      DIA is only interested about saving his neck and staying in power.