Published: 00:01 GMT Standard Time - Saturday 03 March 2012
Lent Prayer - Eritrea
Project(s): 12-996, 12-863, 12-954
Country/Region: Eritrea, Middle East and North Africa, Africa
|Many persecuted Eritrean Christians
try to flee across the Sinai desert
to find refuge in Israel
Source: Marc Ryckaert / Florian Prischl
The government of Eritrea regards Christians as a threat to national unity because they give their ultimate allegiance to God. Only four Christian groups are officially recognised, and members of non-registered groups are relentlessly harassed. All their churches have been closed; some of their leaders and members have been imprisoned for more than eight years; and they lose their jobs and are prevented from leaving the country. Even the recognised churches are subject to extensive control. The country is ranked among the few worst persecutors of Christians.
Every month hundreds of Eritrean Christians leave their homeland to escape this persecution and make the arduous journey across the Sinai desert to seek safety and freedom in Israel. Some die along the way; others are shot dead at the border; still others are taken hostage for ransom by nomads; and those who are caught may be sent back to Eritrea. Those who claim asylum in Egypt may be thrown into prison, while others end up in the hands of traffickers. They can suffer rape, harassment, torture, beatings or even slavery.
It is important to draw the suffering of persecuted Christians to the attention of our political leaders, and one way of doing this is to write to your Member of Parliament or other elected representative. Your letter need not be very long: just ask your MP if s/he is aware of the persecution experienced by Christians in many parts of the world (perhaps you could include some of the examples in this booklet), and request him/her to approach the relevant government ministers on their behalf. Ask for a reply telling you what s/he has done.
UK readers can find out who their MP is by visiting http://findyourmp. parliament.uk/. They can write to him/her at House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.
Barnabas Fund projects include:
- Eritrea General Fund (Ref. 12-996)
- Aid for prisoners’ families and pastors (Ref. 12-863)
- Eritrean refugees in Egypt (Ref. 12-954)
This article is taken from
“Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2012” -.