Eritrea: 20 Underground Christians Arrested

Dan Wooding | ASSIST News Service | Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eritrea: 20 Underground Christians Arrested

October 30, 2008

(ANS) -- The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) -- – says that it has learned that Eritrean officials imprisoned about 20 Christians belonging to the underground Faith Missions Church on Sunday, October 12, 2008, in Deki-Zeru, a town 30km away from Asmara, the capital.

“The Christians were holding a Sunday morning worship service when Eritrean security forces raided the church,” said an ICC spokesperson. “The Christians, including some elderly, are still in prison.

“This is not the first time that the Eritrean officials arrested members of the Faith Mission Church. On eve of Christmas in 2007, Eritrean security forces arrested 35 members of the Church in the port city of Massawa. All the 35 Christians were later released on February 16, 2008.”

According to ICC, Faith Mission Church has been carrying out evangelistic and development activities in Eritrea for over five decades. The church was forced to go underground after Eritrean officials issued a decree in 2002 in which they required all churches to register. The officials then allowed only three Christian denominations to be registered. The three registered Churches are: the Eritrean Orthodox Church, The Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea.

Officials of Eritrea have been persecuting members of both the registered and the unregistered churches. So far, more than 2000 Christians have been imprisoned in metal shipping containers, military barracks and prison cells.

ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church.

“Please pray for all imprisoned Christians in Eritrea,” concluded the ICC spokesperson. “Please also call Eritrean officials in your countries and politely ask them to release the imprisoned Christians.”

Copyright 2008 ASSIST News Service