Eritrea Releases Dozens Of Evangelicals

Monday, February 25, 2008

By BosNewsLife News Center

ASMARA, ERITREA (BosNewsLife) -- Dozens of evangelical Christians spend another day in freedom in Eritrea after they were unexpectedly released from prison by security authorities, Christians said.

Those released reportedly included 10 members of the Full Gospel Church, who had been incarcerated for five years in Assab’s notorious military prison. The seven men and three women had been transferred from Assab to the Adi-Abyto prison six months ago, reported Compass Direct News, a Christian news agency.

In addition some 35 evangelical Christians in the port city of Massawa were reportedly released last Saturday, February 16, after they were held in custody for six weeks at a local police station.

They were reportedly members of the government-banned Protestant Faith of Christ Church. The 35 men and women had been worshipping in a private home on January 6 when security officials apparently raided the house and arrested those present.


The group was allegedly denied visitation rights while in police custody, although official charges were never filed against them. However rights group have cautioned that Eritrea still has over 2,000 Christians imprisoned in what they describe as "inhumane conditions".

Many have reportedly been held in military prison camps and even in containers. All have allegedly been denied legal counsel or trial, with no written charges filed against them.

Other religious groups also suffer. Compass Direct News quoted local sources as sating that the leader of some 70 Eritrean Muslims, Taha Mohammed Nur, has died in prison. The Eritrean government continues has denied religious persecution, saying "no groups or persons are persecuted in Eritrea for their beliefs or religion." (With reports from Eritrea).

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