Christian Deaths Climb in Eritrean Prisons

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 | Tag Cloud

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

ASMARA, ERITREA (Worthy News)-- Three Christians imprisoned for the testimony of Christ have died during the past months in Eritrea, including a 42-year-old man in solitary confinement Friday, according to a Christian support organization.

Sources told Open Doors that Mehari Gebreneguse Asgedom died at the Mitire Military Confinement center from both torture and complications from diabetes; Asgedom belonged to the Church of the Living God in Mendefera.

Also in Mitire, Mogos Hagos Kiflom, 37, reportedly died as a result of torture after refusing to recant his faith; a member of Rhema Church, Kiflom is survived by a wife and child.

In October, Open Doors reported the death of Teklesenbet Gebreab Kiflom, 36, at the Wi'a Military Confinement center; he reportedly died after prison officers refused him medical attention for malaria.

With these recent deaths, the confirmed number of Christians who died while imprisoned for their faith in Eritrea totals eight. At the same time, the government of President Isaias Afwerki has ramped-up its campaign against unregistered house churches, thereby earning Eritrea a slot on the U.S. State Department's list of Countries of Concern as one the worst violators of religious freedom.

Back in January, the Eritrean government arrested 15 members of the Kale-Hiwot Church in Keren; 49 leaders of unregistered churches in Asmara were also arrested during Advent, according to Open Doors. Last November, 34 members of the Kale-Hiwot Church in Dekemhare were arrested, including members of the Church of the Living God, Medhaniel Alem Revival Group and the Philadelphia, Kale-Hiwot, Rhema, Full Gospel and Salvation by Christ churches, according to Open Doors.

Church leaders in Eritrea told Open Doors that nearly 3,000 Christians were imprisoned by last December.

Eritrean officials disavow that any religious repression exists in their country, claiming they are only enforcing laws against unregistered churches, but their government has denied all attempts by independent churches to register; those caught worshipping outside the four recognized religious institutions, even in private homes, face arrest and torture.

Copyright 1999-2018 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: 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.

3 thoughts on “Christian Deaths Climb in Eritrean Prisons”

  1. In Eritrea one can simply be arrested for praying or reading the bible. Dr.
    Fitzum is the 1st Eritrean Psychiatrist/Orthodox priest, educated in the UK and
    chose to go back to Eritrea. He is in prison since November 2004, never been
    charged with any offense nor allowed visitation from his family, no reports of
    his whereabouts to this day.

  2. Eritrea leads Sub-Sahara Africa with life expectancy. life expectancy went from 36 average to 66 after independence.
    who, world health organization) this luck? or the Eritrean gov.
    is doing something right? Eritrea's HIV Prevalence nearly declines in
    Half . who, world health organization). Eritrea Declines Malaria Mortality by 83%. Literacy rate has doubled since independence to 67 %. moratality rate is second lowest in sub-sahara africa. Maternal mortality rate is third lowest in sub-sahara africa.,
    are all these things achieved by luck or the gov. of Eritrea is
    doing something right? the amazing thing is that all these achievements
    are made despite the country being under invasion....the Eritrean gov.
    is obsessed with building schools, hospitals, roads, dams and everything
    else that improves people's living standard with the resources it has.
    We all know the invasion of Eritrean territory by Ethiopia has caused
    our economy great harm. thanks to our leaders back home,
    Eritreas economy is rebounding by a 17 % this year. THE FASTEST GROWING
    ECONOMY IN THE WORLD! now, i know the invasion of Eritrea has made life
    more difficult to the youth in Eritrea compared with life before the

    • I don't know how to better defend Eritrea from invasion, but arresting and imprisoning unregistered church goers who often languish in prision until they die IS NOT THE SOLUTION TO YOUR NATION'S PROBLEMS.

Leave a Comment