ICC Note: The Eritrean Government is currently hunting down and arresting Pentecostal Christians who greeted a visiting pastor. The pastor gave an impromptu sermon on the newly opened streets of Asmara. Peictures were taken of the crowd that listened to him. Now people are being arrested for listening.
08/30/2018 Eritrea (BBC) – Security agents in Eritrea are hunting for Pentecostal Christians who attended an informal sermon given by an Ethiopian evangelist last month.
Preacher Surafiel Demssie had travelled to the capital, Asmara, on the first Ethiopian Airlines flight to Eritrea after the two countries ended their 20-year feud.
Eritrea only has four religions – Orthodox Christianity, Sunni Islam, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Evangelical-Lutheran church of Eritrea. Other religious groups are considered illegal.
So far, five of those who welcomed the preacher have been arrested in Asmara and others have gone into hiding fearing arrest.
One person, who is believed to have hosted the preacher, was arrested at the airport and taken away by security.
Security agents dressed in civilian clothes picked up some of those arrested.
“At first the police said they were arrested for blocking a road and would be released soon,” said a relative of one of those arrested.
But later it transpired it was the National Security Agency who had arrested them, he said.
For interviews with Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]