ICC Note: Eritrea represents one of the toughest places on earth to be a Christian. The following report from Christian Today recounts testimonies from believers who suffered through extreme torture for their faith in Christ and stood firm without denying Jesus. Eritrea imprisons Christians who worship outside of the four legal state religions and treats them as enemies and spies. Believers face tortures such as being tied to trees and overexposed to the elements. They are beaten, mocked, locked into metal shipping containers to face extreme temperature fluctuations, and sometimes murdered extrajudicially. Because of such testimonies Eritrea has earned itself the title: “North Korea of Africa.”
By Carey Lodge
4/29/16 Eritrea (Christian Today) – More than 300 Christians are believed to be languishing in Eritrean jails, while tens of thousands have fled the country’s brutal regime.
Located in the horn of Africa, Eritrea is run under a one party political system – President Isaias Afwerki of the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice party has been in power since independence in 1993, and the formation of other political groups is forbidden. For more than a decade, the government has been persecuting Christians, who make up around half of the population, and other vulnerable groups. According to persecution charity Release International, all evangelical and independent churches have been closed, and many Christians tortured for their faith.
Last year, Eritreans were the second largest group to risk the perilous journey across the Mediterranean in the hope of a better life in Europe. The largest group were from Syria, where a five-year civil war is dragging on.