Worthy Christian News » Massive Campaign Launched For Release Eritrea Christians

christian news

Worthy Christian News » Massive Campaign Launched For Release Eritrea Christians

By BosNewsLife News Center

LONDON/AMSTERDAM/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife) — Several Christian rights organizations have launched a massive campaign to highlight the plight of roughly 1,800 Christians in Eritrea who are held in prisons, military camps and even shipping containers, and will release an album of an incarcerated Eritrean Gospel singer, BosNewsLife monitored Saturday, June 3.

UK-based advocacy groups Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and Release Eritrea said they will launch the album of Helen Berhane next week as part of the campaign, which already saw protests in front of the Eritrean Embassy in London this week, and a day of prayer May 21.

31-year-old Helen Berhane is a member of Eritrea's Rhema Church, and was detained in May 2004. She is reported to have been held for some time in a shipping container at the Mai-Serwa military camp after she refused to abandon her faith in Christ and not to participate in Protestant activities.

Investigators say temperatures inside a Eritrea shipping container can increase to 60 decrees Celsius (140 Fahrenheit) and at night to the freezing point, They have also expressed concern over reports of the use of torture against Berhane and nearly 1,800 other Christians in Eritrea who are believed to have been detained for their their religious affiliations.

'PERMITTED CHURCHES'

Members of permitted churches are not immune to persecution in Eritrea, CSW said. "The month of campaigning follows the illegal removal of Abune Antonios, Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, from office in January 2006. He is currently under a stringent regime of house arrest," the group added.

In the Netherlands, another Christian rights group, Open Doors, said it also launched a massive protest action against the ill treatment of Christians in the African nation. "We had enough, it's time for action," Open Doors Spokesman Jenö Sebök said in a statement to BosNewsLife.

Although pressure has increased on the official Catholic, Orthodox and Lutheran churches since 2005, Sebök noted that especially evangelical Christians seem to suffer as they often express their faith publicly.

WEDDING PARTIES

Between 2002 and 2004 even wedding parties were targeted, where the bride, groom and pastor along wit hall quests were incarcerated. Sebök linked the tensions to President Isaias Afewerki's concern over religious extremism at a time of preparations for a possible new war with the country's archrival neighboring Ethiopia.

"Bible-believing-Christians are apparently also seen as extremists by him, Sebök said, adding that they are often "tortured or chained in horrible positions." He said his group has asked Dutch Christians to participate in the "massive protest action" by signing a petition for the release of believers on its Web site.

The names will be printed on "thousands" of "protest postcards" which he said will be handed over to the Eritrean ambassador in the Netherlands. CSW National Director Stuart Windsor told BosNewsLife that his group was "delighted that many Christians have joined our campaigns for Eritrea. The faith of those persecuted in Eritrea is an inspiration to us all. The overall human rights situation in Eritrea has deteriorated markedly and the international community must act before the situation becomes any worse."

Eritrea's government has denied human rights abuses saying that no groups or persons are persecuted in the country for their beliefs or religion and that people are free to worship according to their wish.

President Isaias Afworki has been quoted as saying that several religious groups have been "duped by foreigners" who sought to "distract from the unity of the Eritrean people and distort the true meaning of religion." (With additional reporting in the Netherlands by Eric Leijenaar, BosNewsLife Special Correspondent and Managing Editor of leading Dutch evangelical newspaper Uitdaging (Challenge)).

Copyright 2006 BosNewsLife. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without our prior written consent.

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.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

  • carol marlin
    10 March 2013 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    The USA sends USA tax dollars to all nations that all Christians live in, I wonder if USA leaders/media are only pro-muslim???

  • 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 » Massive Campaign Launched For Release Eritrea Christians