Unrest in Eritrea

Published April 1, 2005

Minority Christian groups in Eritrea are facing arbitrary arrests and detention, according to reports reaching Nairobi about the country in the horn of Africa.

“Many have been persecuted. They have been arrested at worship, weddings and other functions,” a source at the Association of Evangelicals of Africa told Ecumenical News International.

The source, who requested anonymity, said Eritrea’s leadership, which had its roots in socialist philosophy, felt threatened by a Christian revival said to be sweeping the country.

Eritrean independent Pentecostal and Charismatic churches as well as Presbyterian, Assemblies of God and Methodist-linked churches are reported to be targeted.

The British-based religious freedom group, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, has said that more than 100 children, aged between two and 18 years, attending Christian classes in Eritrea’s capital, Asmara, were rounded up by police last February.

Children younger than 14 were later released while the remaining group of 30 children were still being detained, the group said.


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