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ICC Note

Eritrea has long been a persecutor of Christians. Since 2002, every form of Christianity besides three denominations have been banned from worshipping or practicing their faith. In the past this has meant that when groups of evangelical Christians are caught in church, bible studies or prayer groups, they have been arrested and held for long periods of time. Often this is in the worst conditions imaginable, shipping containers with no electricity or plumbing. Now however, the government has started arresting entire families accused of being Christian in their own homes. They raid and seize the families and their property. They then separate children from parents and ensure that the Children are not able to gain support from other Christians. We pray that this can end and families can be reunited.

2017-12-01 Eritrea (MissionNewsNetwork) Eritrea (MNN) – Roughly half of the population of Eritrea is considered to be of the Christian faith. A very small percentage of that group would be considered evangelical. And it’s these Eritreans who are under the heavy hand of persecution.

Todd Nettleton of the Voice of the Martyrs USA says, “The Evangelical Church has been outlawed in Eritrea by the government. Any kind of public church meetings are illegal, other than those in the approved denominations by the government.

“So anytime Christians gather together, they face arrest, they face persecution and imprisonment. Many times those imprisonments are in horrible conditions, even being held in shipping containers which have no plumbing. They have very limited air supply, they’re closed off, they’re [hot] in the summer, they’re very cold in the winter.”

New persecution strategy

But there’s been a disturbing development. Nettleton says who is arrested and how they are arrested is changing:

“Since May of this year, nearly 200 Christians have been arrested. The interesting thing about this—they have shifted tactics… Instead of just raiding church services or Bible studies, now the government is going to the homes of Christians, and they’re arresting the whole family. Even children have been put under arrest if they’re part of a Christian family.”

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