On 15 May 2002, all churches except those belonging to the Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran denominations were effectively banned and the era of mass arrests of Christians began. Over 2,000 Christians are currently detained in Eritrea without charge or trial, often in life threatening conditions pending denial of their faith.
CSW will join six organizations from the UK and Ireland in a protest vigil against human rights abuses in Eritrea outside the Eritrean embassy in London on Thursday 30 May, which will be followed by an evening of prayer for the nation.
Eritrea is one of the world’s most repressive regimes, often likened to North Korea. It is a single party state dominated by a dictatorial president, and the military pervades every aspect of society, including the economy. The regime demands total allegiance, thus Christians are perceived as a threat to national unity due to their ultimate allegiance to a higher being.
On 6 July 2012 The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted its first resolution on Eritrea, approving the mandate for a Special Rapporteur who will report to the HRC and the UN General Assembly on the human rights situation in Eritrea.
CSW’s Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston said, “CSW is pleased to join with the British Orthodox Church, Church in Chains-Ireland, the Evangelical Alliance-Wales, Human Rights Concern-Eritrea, Release Eritrea and Release International to protest the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Eritrean government on its people. We will continue to stand in solidarity and work alongside Eritreans who long for justice until they and their fellow citizens are able to enjoy all of the rights and freedoms enshrined in the nation’s constitution.”