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(Compass) – A group of Sunday school teachers and students were arrested last weekend in the Eritrean capital of Asmara . The 27 members of the Medhane Alem Orthodox Church in Asmara were apprehended during their Christian instruction classes on Saturday morning, February 19. Most of the students are young people, who remain jailed with their teachers at a local police station. As part of the Orthodox Church, the Medhane Alem group has normally been exempted from the Eritrean government’s harsh crackdown against Protestant Christians, some of whom suffer imprisonment in metal shipping containers or underground cells for refusing to renounce their faith. Last weekend’s arrests make a total of 214 Eritrean Christians arrested by police authorities in the past two months alone.