Since 1993 the country’s regime, under the leadership of President Afewerki, has become synonymous with absolute authoritarianism and is doing everything to maintain its power. Christians have been arrested, harassed and killed because they are considered agents of the West and therefore a threat. Many Christians have fled. Others have been held in miserable prison conditions for years or kept in shipping containers in scorching temperatures. Evangelicals and Pentecostals have been at particular risk since a 2002 law was passed prohibiting Churches other than the Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and also Sunni Islam. Meanwhile the Eritrean Orthodox Patriarch Abune Antonios has been under house arrest since 2007.

 

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UN finds gross human rights violations in Eritrea

A new UN report finds Eritrea’s government may have committed crimes against humanity, including a shoot-to-kill policy against its own people trying to leave the country. The report, which details extrajudicial killings, sexual slavery and enforced labour, says that the situation in the country has prompted thousands of people to […]

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Christians jailed alongside Eritrean constitution

A surge in arrests of Christians worshipping outside of Eritrea’s government-sanctioned Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical Lutheran churches indicates Christians should not expect greater freedom from a new Constitution recently announced by Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki. These arrests are also affecting children. On 6 June, authorities arrested a Christian woman from […]

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Eritrean bishops describe life there “desolate”

Four Eritrean Catholic bishops have published a letter criticising life in the country, describing the country as “desolate” because so many people had fled or were in prison or the army. Even though the letter-writers were careful not to directly condemn the government their move is risky and rare as […]

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Eritrea turns 21

Eritrea turns 21

The tiny state of Eritrea, flanked by Ethiopia on one side and the Red Sea on the other, celebrated its 21st birthday May 24, its Independence Day a public holiday. Yet beneath the official festivities, Eritrea’s 6 million people live under a regime that has earned a reputation as the […]

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In Eritrea, ‘persecution greater than ever and getting worse’

In Eritrea, ‘persecution greater than ever and getting worse’

Religious persecution in Eritrea is at its “highest level ever and getting worse”, an Eritrean Christian leader, who cannot be named for security reasons, has told the Christian charity Open Doors International. Thirty-seven Christian students from the College of Arts and Social Sciences in the town of Adi Kihe, and […]

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The suffering of an Eritrean refugee

Philemon Semere, an Eritrean refugee, tells the BBC’s Mike Thomson about the terrible suffering he experienced, which included electric shocks, beating, burns and death threats, after being kidnapped in Sudan. “God brought me out of the deepest darkness and only he knows what lies ahead for me now,” Semere said. […]

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Anniversary of Eritrea crackdown

It’s been 11 years since Eritrea outlawed all Christian churches except those belonging to the Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran denominations. Eritrea is currently ranked 10th on the World Watch List, an annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians are most under pressure for their faith. To mark the date, […]

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