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Open Doors strongly urges monitoring of aid money

ICC Note

Eritrea is one of the top Christian persecuting countries in the world. The country could receive millions of dollars in aid from European commission. Open Doors USA urged the EC to monitor the aid it gives to Eritrea.

04/08/2009 Eritrea (MNN) ― In the open deserts of Africa, thousands of people are suffering in military prisons, labor camps, and metal shipping containers. Open Doors USA reports that mass arrests in Eritrea brought the total number of imprisoned people to almost 3,000 last October.

Despite these ongoing human rights violations, the European Commission could release over $161 million dollars of aid money to the country. Human rights are an important factor in the EC’s foreign policy, and four organizations are concerned that this significant funding won’t reach Eritrea’s people.

Ranked ninth on International Christian Concern’s Hall of Shame, Eritrea follows North Korea, Iraq and Iran on a list of ten nations having the worst Christian persecution worldwide.

Except for the Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran, and Muslim faiths, all religions were banned in May 2002. Since then, anyone outside of the approved denominations have been imprisoned, forced underground, or evicted from the country. Three believers were martyred last year after severe torture.

Open Doors reports that thousands of non-believers are also held without charge or trial. Believers are asked to pray for the church in Eritrea to stand firm, and for approved denominations to speak out on the behalf of persecuted believers.

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