Just a while ago (3 June 2019), 30 more Christians were arrested in Eritrea. This after a couple of weeks before, 141 Christians were arrested in the capital city of Asmara. Hundreds of Christians have been arrested and are in prison with no way out, some have been imprisoned for 15 years.
In 2002, the current President declared all independent Protestant Churches as official “enemies of the state.” The government sees Christianity as one way that foreign influence enters the country. It is viewed as a threat to the authority of the government. It is hard to understand why literally thousands of Christians have been arrested over all those years. Not a single Christian has been formally charged with a crime. Not a single Christian has had an actual trial, Nettleton from Voice of the Martyrs explained.
Once arrested, some Eritrean Christians wind up in shipping containers, where they languish for years in extremely cold winters and unbearably hot summers. Others simply disappear. A container is not a jail. It’s not a place that was built to house people or house prisoners. It is simply a shipping container that can be locked, with very little airflow and with no bathroom inside it.
Hebrews 13:3 says, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (NIV)
Let us remember our persecuted family in Eritrea. Nettleton says there are things we can do to help. First, we can pray.
- Pray for the Christians who have just been arrested. Pray also for their families as they are separated from them.
- Pray for the encouragement of these Christians, for their sustenance, and their health.
- Pray for the salvation of many Eritreans in the midst of these evils.