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05/24/2019 Eritrea (International Christian Concern) – Today is Eritrea’s Independence Day. They gained independence from Ethiopia in 1991 after years of fighting. Despite the holiday, Release International reported that 141 Christians were arrested and thrown in prison this week in Asmara. Included among those currently arrested were 14 children. The government has spread police throughout the streets of Asmara and is looking for any signs of protest. This includes gatherings of Christians which are illegal outside of registered churches.

These Christians were arrested for the crime of gathering and worshipping without being registered under the government. This is a crime that has seen thousands of Christians arrested over the past two decades. Many of those who are arrested are kept in horrible conditions like shipping containers or underground cells without light. They have even been known to keep some of those arrested for more than 10 years or until they die in captivity without official charges.

Despite Eritrea ending the war with Ethiopia and opening their borders, the government of Eritrea is still hateful of religion. As a strong communist dictator, Isaias Afwerki has ensured that he has complete control over all media, internet, phones, and travel in Eritrea. Up until 2017, Eritrea ranked as the worst violator of Freedom of Press in the world, even beating out North Korea. They still currently rank in the top ten worst persecutors of Christians in the world by Open Doors World Watch List.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].