The Chronicles

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Eritrea Has Four Legal Religions…. For Now.

Posted on | November 15, 2017 | No Comments

ICC Note

Eritrea’s government continues to interfere in the lives of the Religious community in their country. There are only 4 legal relious groups in Eritrea, which include the Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Eritrean Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church and Sunni Islam. Outside of these four groups, people are treated as criminals and traitors. They are arrested without charges, held for years in captivity and even tortured. Now the government is even going after their four allowed religions. Recently, they tried to shut down an Islamic school, and they did shut down a Catholic school. They also arrested the head priest and a nun from that school. The location of those two is still unknown.

  

2017-11-14 Eritrea (ChristianPost) The Eritrean government is escalating its crackdown on religion, persecution watchdog groups have said, as both a Catholic and a major Islamic school were recently targeted by officials, prompting violent clashes with security personnel.

Khataza Gondwe, Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s team leader for Africa and the Middle East, told The Christian Post in an email interview on Friday that the Eritrean government “appears obsessed with controlling every aspect of the lives of its citizens.”

“In pursuit of this, it has attempted to control every religious community up to and including the four permitted ones, ever since it won independence from Ethiopia,” Gondwe said.

The government recognizes the Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Eritrean Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church and Sunni Islam, but heavily persecutes practitioners of underground Protestant churches.

As CSW and other sources reported, the government has been stepping up its efforts in controlling the permitted Islamic and Catholic institutions, however.

It arrested on Oct. 20 the honorary president of Al Diaa Islamic School in Asmara as part of its ongoing attempts to force the private school to become nondenominational and be open to the public.

 

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