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03/06/2024 Eritrea (International Christian Concern) – After seeing the rise of oppressive governments, ICC’s Africa Regional Team created a comprehensive report on a repressive regime that mainstream media often forgets: Eritrea.  

Eritrea is north of Ethiopia and Somalia on the Horn of Africa. Eritrea is often not covered in the news due to its lack of natural resources or strategic location. Despite the lack of interest from many international politicians, Eritrea holds value because of its rich history of Christianity. Tracing back to Semitic tribes living in Eritrea in 1000 BCE, Eritrea was home to some of the world’s first Christians. Through years of conflict and devastation, Eritrea has found itself governed by a dictator who commits egregious crimes against the people of his nation.  

Holding the presidency of Eritrea since the country’s independence in 1993, Afwerki has reached his 31st year as president. Under his rule, thousands of people have died during a 30-year war, been imprisoned because of their religious beliefs, and fled the country to escape the oppressive regime.  

Conditions in the “North Korea of Africa” have deteriorated with no acceptance of blame from Afwerki. The report conducted by ICC provides a concise yet robust historical and current overview of Christian persecution, two case studies of Christians in Eritrea, and policy recommendations. Through this report, ICC intends to raise awareness of the plight of Christians in Eritrea and recommend ways government leaders can alleviate their suffering.  

Throughout his presidency, Afwerki has clamped down on political and religious freedoms. Those who worship outside the narrow confines established by the government face severe penalties, including torture, imprisonment, and even death.  

Two case studies in the report document stories of persecution perpetuated by the Eritrean government. Stories such as that of Pastor M and Dr. K (pseudonyms are used to protect their identities) provide an up close and personal examination of the violence Christians face daily in Eritrea.  

The report aims to provide a deeper understanding of the lives of Christians who have their voices silenced. The forgotten nation of Eritrea provides further knowledge of the person of Jesus through the knowledge of his people.  

We pray that this report will expand the worldview of Christians globally. Because of this expanded knowledge, Christians will unite to pray for their brothers and sisters who suffer in Eritrea. We pray that the Christians in Eritrea will tangibly feel the effect of the prayers spoken on their behalf.  

To read the full report, click here.

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