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Eritrea: Christian Dies in Prison

On July 23, Yemane Kahasay Andom, a Christian imprisoned for his faith in Eritrea died after authorities denied him medical treatment, according to Compass Direct News.

Yemane is the third Christian to die in prison this year. He died at Mitire Confinement Center from complications with malaria and was reportedly tortured while in prison. It is believed his body was secretly buried at the camp. 

According to Compass Direct, two weeks prior to his death, Yemane was allegedly weakened by continuous physical torture and solitary confinement because he refused to sign a recantation form.  Though Compass reports it is not clear what the contents of the recantation form were, most Christians interpret the signing of such a form as the denouncement of their faith in Christ.

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 Families of Martyrs fund. VOM encourages you to pray for the Andom family and believers in Eritrea. Ask God to comfort others 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.

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