Eritrean Christian Refugees Describe Horror of Persecution

Eritrean Christian Refugees Describe Horror of Persecution

Tens of thousands of Eritrean Christians have fled the nation in search of refuge from persecution. Christian Today reports the African nation forbids Christianity, though Christians make up half of the nation’s population. 

Researchers from Release International recently visited a refugee camp in Ethiopia, where many Eritrean Christians fled to escape the persecution of their homeland. They heard stories of brutality and torture. 

A refugee named Dawit said,  "There is no law and no justice. When I was living in Eritrea I was arrested because of my Christian faith. That's why I left. In Eritrea almost every Christian faces imprisonment.” 

Another refugee called Asmelash said, "Eritrea is like a giant prison. The country is filled with jails, concentration camps and prisons. And it is like North Korea, but in Africa."

Eritrea is governed by a one-party political system, under the presidency of Isaias Afwerki. Citizens are not permitted to form other political parties. It is common for Christians to be sent to prison or labor camps. 

A refugee named Elsa described her time in prison with her sister. 

She said, "We didn't get much to eat and there was no medical treatment. The guards offered to let us go, but only if we renounced our faith in Jesus. We said no."

Elsa was beaten in prison, along with her sister. One night her sister was beaten to death. 

"I will never forget hearing the screams of my sister," she said. "I never saw her again.” 

Publication date: April 28, 2016