Friday, August 24, 2007

Christian Persecution Intensifies in Eritrea

Christians in Eritrea confirmed yesterday that a pastor in Asmara who disappeared 11 days ago remains missing. Pastor Leule Gebreab of Asmara's Apostolic Church failed to return home to his family on August 12. "His wife is greatly distressed about his disappearance," a local source told Compass Direct News. Gebreab, 35, is married with two children.

In a separate development, Eritrean authorities issued an ultimatum to Catholic church leaders on August 16, ordering that all the church's schools, clinics, orphanages and women's vocational training centers be turned over to the government's Ministry of Social Welfare and Labor.

More than 2,000 Eritrean Christians remain locked up and subjected to severe torture for their religious beliefs. A Kale Hiwot Church pastor and 20 members of his congregation arrested in the town of Dekemhare in late May and early June have yet to be released from custody...