Tuesday, November 5, 2013
185 Christians arrested in Eritrea -Clerical Whispers:
Hundreds of Christians have been arrested in Eritrea following a raid on a prayer meeting near the capital, Asmara.
Eritrean security forces arrested 185 worshippers, most of whom are women, who had gathered to pray for the thousands fleeing the country, where a "shoot to kill" policy is allegedly in place to target those who try to leave.
Harsh persecution of Christians has increased in Eritrea in the past decade.
In 2002, the Government shut down all churches that did not belong to Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran denominations. Some 1,500 Christians are currently detained because of their faith.
The mass arrests could herald a new clampdown on Christians, the Chief Executive of Release International, Paul Robinson, warned.
"The arrest has alarmed underground church leaders, who fear that this may be a sign of things to come," he said.
This past week the African bishops made a statement blaming hardship, poverty and a lack of freedom on the continent for driving hundreds of migrants to risk their lives making the perilous journey to Europe.