Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

09/03/2022 Eritrea (International Christian Concern) – The government of Eritrea has taken over a Catholic-run technical college, according to the BBC. To support this encroachment, Eritrea cites a 1995 regulation giving it authority over religious institutions in the country.

Known as the worst governmental violator of religious freedom in Africa, Eritrea has seized other Catholic-run educational institutions in the past, including a number of religious secondary schools and healthcare facilities. It is set to take over the Catholic-run Don Bosco Technical School in Dekemhare later this month.

Analysts believe the recent seizures are in retaliation for the Catholic church’s calls for reform in the country, according to the BBC.

Eritrea has long operated as a pariah state for its blatant disregard for human rights, including religious freedom. Though it occasionally releases prisoners of conscience, it is known to keep a large number of Christians and other religious minorities in abysmal conditions. Survivors of Eritrea’s several prison camps report the worst abuse imaginable, including severe torture and grossly inhumane living quarters.

Me’eter Prison, located near the Red Sea between Larora and Massawa on Eritrea’s east coast, is the customary holding place for Eritrean prisoners of conscience and is notorious for its regular use of torture, including to induce religious recantations. Prisoners at Me’eter Prison are kept in metal shipping containers on the open desert floor.

In 2021, the European Union sanctioned Eritrea for its “serious human rights violations in Eritrea, in particular arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances of persons and torture committed by its agents.”

Eritrea has a well-documented history of treating its prisoners inhumanely and targeting religious minorities for particularly harsh treatment. The United States did not join the EU in its sanctions on Eritrea in keeping with its years-long policy of conciliation rather than confrontation, though it did designate Eritrea as a Country of Particular Concern for particularly severe violations of religious freedom in a November 2021 announcement.

For interviews, please contact [email protected].