Eritrea Closes Religious Schools Following June Closures of Catholic Health Facilities
09/10/2019 Eritrea (International Christian Concern) – The Eritrean Government has again earned its name of “North Korea of Africa” again over the past few weeks. In June, report came out that the government of Eritrea was forcing all Catholic run health facilities to close. They were saying that there are already National run health facilities, and that the Catholic facilities were discriminatory and used to proselytize. The Catholic church denied the discrimination and evangelism claims, saying that they provided their services to all people, especially the poor who could not afford the expensive national facilities. They also said that they did not evangelize to anyone, but just served them with healthcare.
Now, there are reports that the government has closed a total of 7 Catholic run schools. The government is claiming that religious groups do not have the right to “actually conduct developmental activities in areas of their choice as this is fraught with discrimination” and they are not “allowed, to solicit funds from external donors.” Asmara is using a 1995 regulation to defend this position. The government severally limited the activities of religious institutions under this regulation. If nothing is done, they are likely to stop all religious run schools over the coming months.
Please continue to pray for the Christians of Eritrea, who live under one of the worst most restrictive regimes. They continue to have to hide their faith as it is viewed as traitorous. Thousands of our brothers and sisters remain in captivity in underground prisons or shipping containers. Eritrea ranks as number 7 on Open Doors’ World Watch List.
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