Thursday, May 25, 2006

WEA RLP: Eritrean Persecution Increasing


Eritrea's Protestant Church has been severely persecuted since mid-2002 when the government closed all but the 'official' Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches. During 2005 the persecution extended to include some Catholic and Orthodox members. In January 2006 the government took control of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, sacking the non-compliant Patriarch Antonois and replacing him with a compliant layman. Compass Direct wrote, 'Nearly 1800 Christians, including 28 pastors and priests from both Protestant and Orthodox churches, are now under arrest in police stations, military camps and jails all across Eritrea because of their religious beliefs.'

Prison conditions are appalling and torture is routine. Several evangelical leaders including Dr Kifle Gebremeski, Chairman of the Eritrean Evangelical Alliance, remain 'disappeared'. The suffering is immense. Please pray for the Church in Eritrea.


* to humble Eritrea's President Issayas Afewerki so he will repent and fear God (Daniel 4), or may God at least turn his heart (Proverbs 21:1) so he will stop persecution of the Church.

* to bless Eritrea's persecuted and imprisoned believers with enduring faith, a powerful sense of his loving and sustaining presence, and ultimately with justice.

* who is three but one, to create by his Spirit deep bonds of brotherly love, identification and solidarity between all Eritrea's Christians; may the politically powerful Orthodox Church and the spiritually rich evangelicals become a blessing to each other, to their nation and to the world.

' . . . I pray . . . that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.' Jesus, John 17:20-23"

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