Since late November, about 100 Christians, men, women and children, have been arrested by Eritrean authorities, VOM Canada reported. The wave of house arrests began in northern Eritrean cities and moved to southern regions before reaching the capital, Asmara, on Dec. 12. Some of the detained Christians were reportedly transferred to a military facility and were severely mistreated. Local sources indicate that an unspecified number may have died due to untreated injuries sustained in detention.
The Eritrean government persecutes Christians, often placing believers in metal containers that are extremely hot during the day and cold during the night. Nearly 1,800 Eritrean Christians are believed to be under arrest because of their religious beliefs. They are being, held in police stations, military camps and prisons in 12 known locations across Eritrea. It is believed more than 28 clergymen are being held.
Jailed Christians are routinely subjected to physical beatings and severe psychological pressure to deny their religious beliefs. Police and military authorities continue to demand the prisoners return to one of the three “official” Christian denominations recognized by the government. But even the legally recognized denominations – the nation’s historic Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches – have come under government disfavor in recent years, incurring threats and even imprisonment.
The Voice of the Martyrs provides assistance and encouragement to persecuted believers in Eritrea. VOM has supported the families of martyred believers through VOM’s Family of Martyrs fund. VOM encourages you to pray for these detained believers. Ask God to comfort those who have lost loved ones. Pray that Eritrean Christians will continue to follow Christ’s example of faithfulness, even at great cost. Pray that Eritrea’s leaders will repent and come to faith in Christ.