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Eritrea: 185 Arrested for Praying

Discussion in 'Prayer Requests & Praise' started by Revmitchell, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Feb 18, 2006
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    Nearly 200 Christians were arrested at a prayer meeting in late October in Eritrea’s capital city, Asmara. As concerns increase about the refugee crisis in Eritrea, a group of 185 people had gathered for a prayer meeting in Maitemenay, a northern suburb of Asmara. While praying for their country, security forces raided the building and arrested everyone in the group, including around 80 women and children.

    According to VOM sources, at least 83 people from the underground church group known as Hiyaw Amlak (Living God) have now been released. All were sternly warned against meeting with other believers in the future. Before they were released, they were made to sign an agreement indicating they would not meet again.

    However, the men in the group as well as anyone who refused to sign the agreement not to meet remain in detention. VOM contacts fear those of military age will be sent to military training centers and detained there.

    The Hiyaw Amlak underground fellowship is just one of many that have been forced to operate illegally since 2002, when the Eritrean government banned all but the Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran denominations. While the Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches may hold worship services, they operate under severe restriction and also suffer persecution.

    It is believed that around 3,000 Christians are currently detained in Eritrea because of their faith. Many have fled the country following arrests or detainment. Those in underground fellowships are concerned that more arrests like this one in Maitemenay will continue to occur.