31 Christian prisoners in Eritrea regain their Freedom

Christian persecution is one of the facts in the Bible. However, it is still thriving in modern times. One country that has joined in the persecution of Christians is Eritrea. Eritrea has banned any form of religious gathering by persons who do not belong to either of the following: The Lutheran Church, The Eritrean Orthodox Church, Sunni Islam, and the Roman Catholicism. 

Despite the governments support for the gathering by these religious bodies, the government still keeps a close tab on them. Churches that are not registered do not have a place in Eritrea. People who deem it fit to worship in these unregistered churches are assumed to be violating the laws of the land. More so, they are considered enemies of the state. In 2002, the government made this decree to limit the religious centers.

Freedom came for at least 31 Christians who were recently released from prison. Eritrea restricted their freedom for more than 10 years. The decision by the government to release the prisoners may not be unconnected with the fact that they are trying to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Greg Musselman of Voice of the Martyrs Canada has lent his voice to the situation in Eritrea. In his words, he said that Eritrea was created from Ethiopia. After the country got its independence, the gospel of Christ Jesus grew rapidly.

Also, Musselman admitted that the churches that grew more were the evangelical missions. It is also paramount to note that many persons did not see the need to attend the state church anymore. They preferred to become evangelicals. Perhaps, this was what angered the state church.

The government will not accept the evangelical churches to grow while the state church reduces in membership. Hence, they began to close down the evangelical churches. The closure of the evangelical churches meant that the members will not have where to worship anymore. However, these Christians were not deterred. Inasmuch the evangelical churches were closed, they still had a way of reuniting and worshiping their God. This action displeased the government. Hence, plans were made to arrest the worshippers.
The prisoners were held in shipping containers

The Eritrean government sometimes put the prisoners in shipping containers. The prisons are often overcrowded. In addition, the prisoners are subjected to abuse and beatings. These containers subject them to heat during the day. At night, they are exposed to cold. These harsh conditions often lead to the death of the prisoners. Christians who do not want to get arrested flee the country.

According to Musselman, only a small number of Christians have regained their freedom. However, he is hopeful that the remaining prisoners will be released soonest. It will be recalled that 22 Methodist prisoners regained their freedom on July, 22, 2020.

The Need to Pray

Musselman also talked on the need to embrace prayer; it is our last resort for a degenerated society. The society needs thorough healing; hence, there is a need for constant prayers. Some Christians have died in the prisons after staying for so long. 

Also, he prayed that the Lord Jesus will give strength to those who are still in the prisons. He gave an assurance that they will soon be released. He made mention of the letters of invite from people about the Christians in the prisons. The persecution they are facing has not deterred them from preaching the gospel of Christ and spreading the good news. There is hope for the Christians who have not deterred from their faith. According to Musselman, respite is coming their way soonest.

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