New and targeted wave of arrests against underground church leaders
(Asmara 24-01-2013) news coming out of Eritrea confirms that the government has started a renewed and targeted imprisonment of Underground Church Leaders. So far over 20, leaders from various churches including Mesrete kiristos and mulu wongel (Mennonite, Full-Gospel) have been arrested over a few days period starting Thursday 17th of Jan 2013.
The arrests which took place from the respective residences of those detained, were well orchestrated and meticulously planned following what must have been a concerted period of spying on the church leaders and their activities.
The situation is causing concern to the entire believer’s community as it represents a renewed threat.
Just before the New Year the government deliberately spread rumours of mass releases that generated a sense hope amongst Eritrean Christians inside the country and in the diaspora; however in the event the government released only 36 Christian prisoners of faith, mainly college students who were arrested for refusing to take part in an Independence Day. Celebration in May 2006. Meanwhile a New Year’s prayer event was disrupted and 12 people were arrested in Dekemhare (some 24 miles south of Asmara) and only one has been released from that group.