Christians Held in Eritrean Prisons, Military Confinement Camps and Shipping Containers
Djibouti (HAN) -The reasons for rising tensions between the Ethiopia and Eritrea , may seem trivial. The two Christian nations are on the verge of restarting the bloodiest interstate war in the Horn of Africa in recent memory, ostensibly over a border town called Badme.
But dig deeper into the precarious internal situation both regimes face, as well as the region’s interlaced alliances, and it’s clear the dangers of a reignited war are not great for the region than the Eritrean governments severe religious violations and Government’s Crackdown on against Christians.
The Eritrean government is intensifying its efforts to crackdown on Christianity, jailing nearly 2,000 Christians held most indefinitely and without charge.
The small East African nation of Eritrea was recently listed by Open Doors USA as one of the top three countries this year for Christian persecution, along with North Korea and Indonesia . According to a recent estimate, about 1,778 Christians may currently be detained in Eritrea , reported Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).
Persecution of Christians has increase to the extent that even the government-sanctioned Orthodox Church has been affected. Its Patriarch, Abune Antonios, was stripped of all administrative duties and placed under virtual house arrest this year, primarily for refusing to close down the Medhane Alem Church , CSW reported.
In addition, the government in October unexpectedly asked the Indian pastor of St. Georges Anglican Church in Asmara to leave the country when the church had begun to draw large numbers of young Eritreans to its services.
Many of the Christians detained in Eritrea are held at military bases.
In one case, Full Gospel Pastor Abraham Belay has reportedly been transferred to Wia, one of the hottest places on earth to undergo military training despite the fact that ministers of the gospel are meant to be exempt from military services.
Should war commence, it is feared that these Christians will be conscripted into the army and may face the prospect of being placed in the most dangerous areas of any frontline in order to both test their loyalty and ensure their deaths, CSW warned.
Christians who fought in the last war with Ethiopia indicate that this has happened and was common practice.