Worthy Christian News » Eritrea: Authorities Jail 34 More Christians in House Church Raid

christian news

Worthy Christian News » Eritrea: Authorities Jail 34 More Christians in House Church Raid

Previously arrested 25 evangelicals transferred to military prison.

LOS ANGELES (Compass Direct News) — Eritrean security police cracked down on more Christians again last week, arresting 34 evangelicals gathered for prayer and fellowship in a local home in Keren.

The police raid on Wednesday (May 28) targeted members of the Berhane Hiwet (Light of Life) Church in Keren, Eritrea’s third largest city 200 kilometers (124 miles) northwest of the capital Asmara.

All 24 men and 10 women present were taken to prison, with their children left behind. The next day security officials transferred the 10 women prisoners, all of them married, to the Adi-Abyto Military Confinement facility.

The Keren raid was the second round of arrests last week in Eritrea, where the oppressive regime has outlawed all independent Protestant churches since 2002, closing their buildings and banning gatherings in private homes.

Worshippers caught disobeying the blanket restrictions are arrested and tortured for weeks, months or even years. They are never allowed legal counsel or brought to trial.

Three days after the previous weekend’s arrest of 25 Protestant Christians in Adi-Kuala on May 24, police authorities transferred them to the Wi’a Military Training Center, where they were being subjected to harsh military punishment.

Eyewitnesses in Adi-Kuala confirmed that security police officials were beating the prisoners as they loaded them on a truck to be transported to Wi’a on Tuesday (May 27).

Treason Charges

The new arrests followed a spate of unconfirmed reports that began circulating throughout the capital of Asmara last week, indicating that several leading Protestant pastors jailed for four years without charges may soon face trial for treason.

Full Gospel Church leaders Dr. Kifle Gebremeskel and Haile Naizghi and Pastor Tesfatsion Hagos of the Rema Evangelical Church have been imprisoned since May 2004. Their exact whereabouts remain unknown, with their families and church members refused any access to them.

At least 2,000 Eritrean Christians are incarcerated in local jails, police stations and military camps for their religious beliefs and practices. Some are held in underground cells or metal shipping containers in an effort to pressure them to recant their faith and join one of the nation’s “historic” Christian churches.

The government recognizes only the Eritrean Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches as legal religions, in addition to the traditional Islam practiced by half of the population.

Rated since 2004 by the U.S. Department of State as a “Country of Particular Concern” for its severe restrictions on religious liberty, Eritrea was the first nation subjected to official U.S. sanctions under the 1998 Religious Freedom Act.

President Isaias Afwerki and his government categorically deny that religious persecution exists in Eritrea, insisting such reports are based on “false allegations, exaggeration and baseless fabrication.”

Copyright © 2008 Compass Direct News

Copyright 1999-2014 Worthy News. All rights reserved.

Fair Use Notice:This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

No Comment

Leave a Reply

Make us your homepage

What is Worthy News?

Worthy News is an independent Christian news agency which reports news not covered by other outlets, on key developments in a rapidly changing world. Worthy News reaches both Christians and non-Christians around the globe and strives to be balanced and make a difference in these strategic times.

Worthy News. Reliable-Trustworthy-Cutting Edge

Recommended Links

  • Editor’s Picks

  • Latest News

  • Most Read This Month

  • Most Read Today


  • 1999-2014 Worthy Christian News » Eritrea: Authorities Jail 34 More Christians in House Church Raid