September 2017 – Christians in Eritrea, a small country on the eastern coast of Africa, are no strangers to persecution. The country is the 10th harshest persecutor of Christians according to Open Doors, an international ministry focusing on Christian persecution.
The latest reports in May from Eritrea reveal the government has arrested almost 100 Christians and locked them in storage container jails.
These prisoners, some of whom were arrested at a post-wedding gathering, are deprived of basic food and necessities.
“They often get sick from lack of hygiene in these places, and often don’t get the food they require to stay nourished,” Emily Fuentes, communications director for Open Doors USA, said.
Turkey is also well-known for not recognizing the religious freedoms of minority faiths. In July, President Recept Tayyip Erdogan confiscated 50 churches. The Mor Gabriel Monastery, a religious institution since the 4th century, was among those taken by the government.
cbn.com, 7/3/17; christianpost.com, 7/5/17; mnnonline.org, 6/2/17
Helen Berhane, a Christian singer, (photo above) was imprisoned in a metal shipping container in Eritrea for 32 months. She was regularly beaten and tortured for sharing the gospel with other prisoners and guards. Near death, Berhane was released. Eventually, she and her daughter Eva were granted asylum in Denmark.
• Leader: President Isaias Afwerki
• Population: 5,482,000 (approximately 50% Christians)
• Main Religion: Islam, Christianity
• Government: One-Party State
• Source of Persecution: Dictatorial, Islamic Oppression