Eritrean Government Releases 36 Christians jailed for their faith

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki

36 prisoners from the Christian Evangelical and Pentecostal denominations who had been detained because of their faith have been released by the Eritrean Authorities.

14 of the released prisoners had been detained for the past four years in the Dahilik island while twenty-two others were arrested last month.

In the year 2002, the Eritrean government introduced a new law that forbids all churches except for the Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran denominations.

According to religious freedom campaigners, this saw many Christians get arrested with many still in detention.

This is because, the Eritrean government accused Pentecostal and Evangelical Christians of being instruments of foreign governments.

However since last year, the government has been releasing people imprisoned because of their religious affiliation.

In the month of September more than 20 Christians who had been detained for years were released.

In December, 28 members of the Jehovah’s Witness were released after serving long prison terms.

The country which is alleged to be highly militarized, has been ruled by President Isaias Afwerki since its independence from Ethiopia in 1993.

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