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ICC NOTE: Pray for Christians in Eritrea. They are living under a government who is consistenly ruthless in oppressing the Christian Church, which recently is also affecting the Orthodox Church as well.

Religious Crackdown in Eritrea underway?

American Chronicle

January 16, 2007

The Horn of Africa has appeared on the radar of many specialists. Most have been watching with awe as the Ethiopian Military has assisted the Somali Transitional Government move its base from Baidoa to Mogadishu . But what about the other source of tensions for Addis Ababa ?

One of the fears that some people had failed to materialize. This was the fact that Eritrea would intervene on behalf of the Islamic Militias that were controlling the majority of Somalia . There were claims that at least 2,000 Eritrean Soldiers were actively assisting the Islamists in the struggle to remain in power. But there is another reason of concern for Activists.

According to the Religous Advocacy Group Compass at least 2,000 Christians are detained for practicing their religous beliefs. This number includes 150 people that were detained in an October crackdown on 5 unauthorized chuches. Human Rights Groups such as Amnesty International have adopted some people as Prisoners of Conscience.

The Orthodox Faith has come under attack recently. First they force the previous prelate out of his office and then went to take several controversial steps. First they demanded that all tithes and offerings be turned over to the State so they can adminster the funds and pay the priests. Next they put a cap on the number of priests allowed in a parish. If a parish had too many priests then the excess number were sent to Military Camps for service.

Another Church was forced to close and turn over all assets to the Government. This means the building itself along with Schools, Vehicles and other things. Others have been arrested and alledgedly tortured. So the question becomes when will others start raising awareness of the plight of those suffering in Eritrea ? And more importantly when will Freedom of Religion be honored by this Government