Date: May 30, 2020
My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. (Isaiah 51:5a)
We may be locked down, but we won’t be silenced. Our Eritrea protest has taken place each year for the last 17 years and we are still finding a way to protest, despite the restrictions. The verse above assures us that our God is a God of righteousness and justice, and his salvation is on the way for Eritrea.
On Thursday we gathered online to pray for Christians and other prisoners of conscience in Eritrea. It was an incredibly moving and inspiring service. We really felt the strong presence of the Holy Spirit as we worshipped God for his righteousness and faithfulness, and asked him to deliver the people of Eritrea from oppression.
In May 2002 Eritrea effectively outlawed religious practices not affiliated with the Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran or Orthodox Christian denominations, or Sunni Islam, and it’s that date that we commemorate in our protest every year.
Since 2002 thousands of people belonging to both forbidden and permitted religious communities have been detained without charge or trial in inhumane, life-threatening conditions, where they may experience torture or even death.
Abune (Father) Antonios, the legitimate patriarch of the Orthodox Church, has officially been under house arrest since 2007. He was removed from office in 2006 for repeatedly objecting to government interference in ecclesiastical affairs.
Severe repression persists in countless forms throughout the country, and every month thousands of Eritreans risk their lives fleeing the country to escape this repression. Please continue to pray for God to deliver Eritrea.
In summary, please pray:
- For the health of the elderly Patriarch Antonios, who is severely diabetic and has high blood pressure, and that he would quickly be freed from house arrest and reinstated.
- For God to soften the hearts of the Eritrean authorities so that they are moved to release all those who, like Patriarch Antonios, are unjustly detained.
- For God to work a miracle of righteousness and justice for the sake of the Eritrean people, who have suffered decades of oppression.