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News – Vigil for Eritrea

August 2010

Vigil for Eritrea


Christian human rights campaigners from the UK and Eritrea held a prayer vigil outside the Eritrean Embassy in June.

     The vigil, organised by Irish organisation Church in Chains and supported by Open Doors, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Release International, the British Orthodox Church, Human Rights Concern Eritrea and Release Eritrea, marked the eighth anniversary of the forced closure of many churches in this African nation.

     The campaigners presented a letter to the embassy calling for imprisoned Christians to be set free. At least 12 have died behind bars while at least 2000 others are in appalling conditions, kept in airless shipping containers in the desert or left to rot in underground prison cells.

     Many thousands have fled to Ethiopia or neighbouring countries and live in deep poverty. According to Release International, Eritrea has banned most religious organisations and persecutes Christians aggressively.

     David Turner of Church in Chains said, ‘We were reminded that the Berlin wall had fallen, apartheid had ended, and that this injustice too would end. Love conquers hate, light conquers darkness and hope conquers fear’.