In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. – 1 Thessalonians 3:4
Female prisoner dies in Eritrea for refusing to renounce faith in Christ
By ALLIE MARTIN
A ministry, which informs Christians about the plight of persecuted believers worldwide, says persecution is on the rise in Eritrea, a small African nation located along the southwestern coast of the Red Sea.
Open Doors USA has recently learned of the death of Eritrean prisoner Migsti Haile. The 33-year-old woman was a Christian who was imprisoned, tortured, and then killed for refusing to renounce her faith in Christ.
Haile was among a group of ten single Christian women who had been arrested at a church gathering and then spent a year-and-a-half imprisoned under harsh conditions. Dr. Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, says the Eritrean government is scared of religion and its influence.
“It’s incredulous for most Americans to think about a small country like this, taking out such aggressive violence against Christians — and for what reason?” he questions. “They have a quasi-Marxist government there that is power centric and … afraid of the force of religion in their country.”
He says Open Doors is maintaining an “active campaign” to raise awareness of these types of situations to European, U.S., State Department, and human rights officials. “We have programs where people can, of course, get informed about what is happening, because you’re not going to see this in the New York Times or CNN,” he states.
Moeller points out that four Christians have died in Eritrea during the past year as a result of persecution. And currently more than 2,000 Eritrean Christians are imprisoned and tortured because they refuse to renounce their faith in Christ.
Haile is the fourth Christian killed in Eritrea in less than a year. She and 10 Christian women were arrested at a church gathering and spent 18 months under severe pressure. According to Compass News, Haile was killed for refusing to sign a letter recanting her faith.
Compass Direct says that more than 2,000 Eritrean Christians are imprisoned. Not a single one of them has been formally charged or had a public trial, and all have been denied legal representation. Amnesty International released a report last week that said most of the more than 2,000 imprisoned Christians have been held for more than two years in harsh conditions, with little or no medical care.