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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Eritrea: 160 Christians Arrested in Government Crackdown

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2017 Jun 29
  • Comments

Christians in Eritrea are facing increased persecution since the government began a concerted crackdown on the Christian population in May.

According to The Christian Post, at least 160 Christians have been arrested by government authorities in the past month or so.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports that 33 women of the 160 or so Christians are being held at Nakura, which is “"a notoriously harsh prison island in the Dahlak Archipelago that was created by Italian colonialists in the late 19th Century to crush political dissent."

In addition, some of the women’s children are with them in prison. The youngest child is reported to be only two months old.

"Unbelievably more than 30 children have been left without parents or guardians and the security police are monitoring them to make sure they do not get support from the Christian community," says a report from Release International.

Eritrea ranks number 10 on Open Doors’ 2017 World Watch List of countries where Christian persecution is most severe.

“The Eritrean regime is authoritarian and intolerant towards any form of association, dissent and free expression,” notes Open Doors.

Human rights advocates have called on the international community to hold the country’s leaders accountable for their human rights abuses.

"It is time to prioritize accountability for human rights violations; thus we reiterate our call for the international community to facilitate justice for victims of atrocity crimes, and to maintain pressure on the Eritrean regime until every prisoner of conscience is freed without precondition,” stated CSW Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas.

 

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/Mark Rubens

Publication date: June 29, 2017