Eritrean Officials Arrest Eleven Christians in the Latest Crackdown

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

By Joseph C. DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

Washington, D.C. (Worthy News)-- Eritrean government officials arrested 11 Christians on Oct. 20, taking them to undisclosed locations.

Eritrean security officials took the Christians from Mendefera, Dekemharre and Dibarwa on orders from Mustafa Nurhussein, governor of the Southern Zone (province), who demanded a crackdown on Christians living in his province.

Most of the Christians were members of the Full Gospel Church that was banned back in 2002; Eritrea only recognizes four religious groups: Islam, the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea. However, even members of recognized religions havn't escaped persecution: in May 2007, Eritrean officials put Abune Antonios, patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, under house arrest, where he still remains today.

Eritrea officials have arrested thousands of Christians, holding them inside metal shipping containers, barracks and underground dungeons where many have died from torture and other harsh conditions.

"We are saddened to hear about the detention of the 11 Christians," said Jonathan Racho, International Christian Concern Regional Manager for Africa. "Eritrean officials have continued to mistreat Christians in the country for choosing to practice their faith. We ask Eritrea to immediately release the 11 Christians and the more than 3,000 others who are illegally detained."