Dozens of Christians have been detained in Eritrea in the latest government crackdown on devoted believers, advocacy representatives said Friday.
Leading rights groups and church officials will hold Thursday their annual protest and prayer vigil against the reported massive persecution of Christians in Eritrea for the first time online, amid ongoing coronavirus lockdown restrictions in Britain.
Christian aid groups, along with pesticide-wielding UN troops, are deploying to eastern Africa to fight a locust swarm that experts say is the worst to hit the region in 70 years and could grow by 500 times between now and June.
An escapee of Eritrea’s prison camps and pastor recently spoke with persecution relief agency Barnabas Fund about the horrible conditions facing imprisoned believers there.
Thirty Pentecostal Christians were arrested in the Eritrea Capital of Asmara recently, continuing a trend of government crackdowns on non-organized religion in the East African country that saw 141 more Christians arrested on May 10th.
Eritrean police have arrested 32 Christians in the capital, Asmara, this month, including a newlywed couple and ten of their guests.
An Eritrean Christian has opened up about the 13 years of suffering he underwent for his faith in prison, including being punished for months at a time in a confined cell where he could not even stretch his limbs. Despite the suffering, he refused time and time again to renounce his faith.
Last month, Sudanese authorities deported at least 442 Eritrean refugees.
Eritrean Christians are being forced to choose between living under a dictatorship that imprisons believers for their faith, or risking their lives by escaping Eritrea by way of Sudan.
On Saturday the UN’s Human Rights Council created a commission of inquiry into Eritrea, one of the world’s most repressive states, according to International Christian Concern.
Four senior church leaders in Eritrea have published an open letter criticizing the African state as “truly shameful and unacceptable,” according to Barnabas Aid.
Eritrea even persecutes its own officially recognized religions.
Just last week, five Christians about to be ordained in Eritrea’s state sanctioned Evangelical Lutheran Church were arrested instead, according to Morning Star News.
Eritrean security forces recently raided yet another prayer meeting, arresting about 150 Christians in a suburb of Asmara, the African nation’s capital, according to Religion Today.
Eritrean authorities are punishing 39 Christian high school students by subjecting them to beatings and hard labor, according to Open Doors.
Human Rights Watch described it as “a giant prison” and Reporters without Borders called it “the most repressive nation on earth”.
Religious persecution in Eritrea is at its highest ever and getting even worse, according to World Watch Monitor, the news outlet of Open Doors, a Christian charity that ranked Eritrea 10th on its World Watch List.
There was uncertainty Tuesday, March 5, about the situation of 125 Eritrean Christians who were “beaten and detained” in western Eritrea as part of a new government campaign against Christians worshiping outside the state-backed churches, rights investigators said.
Because of its repressive policies, Eritrea has been dubbed the “North Korea of Africa”: currently more than 2,000 Christians are believed to be imprisoned there for their faith.
Activists from Britain and Ireland were taking part in a protest outside the Eritrean embassy in London on Thursday, May 17, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of mass detentions of Eritrean Christians, organizers said.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended that the Secretary of State name Pakistan as a Country of Particular Concern in its 2012 Annual Report.