“I learned three things from the bible when I was young that we must be wary of. Greed, arrogance and materialism, or the love of money. Satan tested Jesus with these three things, he passed the test. The values we want to live by.” (President Issias Afwerki’s interview with the Swedish journalist Donald Boström, published on 10/11/ 2010 in Swedish.} 

….most of the way through the google translation of the above interview I kept checking to see if this was a satire of some kind…someone is pulling our legs here…surely! And they pulled a really good one on us… as with much of the stuff that comes from that one man institute called ‘the government of the state of Eritrea’ this would have been really comical if it weren’t serious. If this isn’t a perfect specimen of a delusional mind at work, I really don’t know what is! 

To top all the denials, nonsensical analysis and pointless bravado IA saved his best for last and told us that he is a good little Christian who has learnt much from his bible class days when he was younger (much like you President Obama… was the phrase between the lines hidden untactfuly by the goons who are supposed to be polishing his PR machine!!) The thing is now what we all want to know is which bible he was referring to? 

It most defiantly isn’t the bible that was preached in Eritrean churches since the birth of Christianity itself , with the word being carried right through the generations and arriving at the leadership of Abune Antonios… in the Orthodox church and adhered to by thousands of other believers that he has incarcerated in container cells… it is not the same bible that many young people were asked to recant at the point of unimaginable torture… it is not the same bible that my Friend, Helen Berhane was beaten to near death for believing in…it is not the same bible that several young people died refusing to recant even with their last breath!... for if it was IA would have learnt that the bible equates arrogance with lack of wisdom and tells us: 

My child, learn what I teach you and never forget what I tell you to do…You will become wise, and your knowledge will give you pleasure. Your insight and understanding will protect you and prevent you from doing the wrong thing. (Proverbs) 

The number of wrongs that IA has committed are too numerous to list (the incarceration of people for reading the bible… he hasn’t read at all is one in a rather hefty book of litanies of things he has done wrong so wrong! 

Clearly he has not read the bible that would have taught him to: 

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves (Philippians) 

The very interview where he said he has learnt ‘humility’ from the bible and as Jesus practiced it on the mount of temptations says it all, about how humble he is and how his heart is amenable to correction from others… does he even know that the bible considers listening to others and mending your ways is the humility it teaches? 

People who listen when they are corrected will live, but those who will not admit that they are wrong are in danger. (Proverbs) 

For as long as IA is not prepared to listen to the whole world telling him he is wrong…and especially when one of his wrong doings was pointed out by the Patrirach of the very church that is supposed to have taught him the ‘humility’ he is now preaching… it makes him a hypocrite and an arrogant one at that… and perhaps just like he missed the real meaning of arrogance as the bible tells it, he may have missed what the bible thinks should be done to arrogant people… 

I would simply ask IA when was the last time he listened to people telling him he was wrong? It was definitely not when he incarcerated his colleagues and friends…it surely wasn’t when he humiliated and disregarded (sending some to untimely grave!) elders of the country trying to dissuade him from this and it isn’t even as the international community continues to relentlessly get him to see the errors in his ways…according to the bible he says he has learnt from he is arrogant and hence unwise to the core! And of this the bible says: 

Arrogance should be punished, so that people who don't know any better can learn a lesson. If you are wise, you will learn when you are corrected. (Proverbs) 

So the double edged sword that IA unwisely picked to wield against the world the other day has already indicted him as a fool who refuses the correction of others and hence continues to do wrong and unleash disorder on the people he was put in charge of…in direct contradiction to what the bible teaches: 

 …Just as shepherds watch over their sheep, you must watch over everyone God has placed in your care. Do it willingly in order to please God, …don't be bossy to those people who are in your care, but set an example for them…everyone should be humble toward everyone else. The Scriptures say, "God opposes proud people, but he helps everyone who is humble." (1 Peter) 

I am not sure if IA was mentioning the bible in vain…in order to win favours from Christians out there… and I am not sure if anyone out there would be fooled by the biggest opponent of Christianity in Eritrea telling us he ‘learnt’ wisdom and humility (not to mention, generosity and virtues) from the bible… but the bible itself stands as the main witness to his sheer arrogance and lack of wisdom to correct his ways…and passes its verdict on him… 

If they were true to their bible, religious leaders in Eritrea would tell their president…’the God of wisdom and humility… the God worshiped by the people you have incarcerated for reading and obeying their bible… the God who will stand by the humble people who tried to tell you the errs in your ways… the God who abhors the pride and sheer arrogance that you have made your signature opposes you, but will help the countless humble Eritreans!’