Eritrea — Ten Christian leaders have been arrested in the East African country of Eritrea.
The persecution watch group Open Doors USA states that there have been several systematic arrest efforts in recent years, but this instance is particularly concerning to citizens as they believe that the government is seeking to “eradicate the underground church by targeting its key leaders around the country.” All of the arrests dealt with churches that have been banned in the nation.
As a result of the incident, several church leaders have gone into hiding. Despite the fears that they face, Christians in Eritrea are stated to be in good spirits and are carrying on in the face of upheaval in the land.
The arrests took place just days before a coup attempt, where approximately 100 soldiers marched to the Ministry of Information offices and forced the director to read a statement that called for the release of the nation’s political prisoners. According to reports, following the announcement, the broadcast signal cut out and troops loyal to the government came and beat back the soldiers.
As previously reported, Christian persecution is said to be on the rise in Africa as Open Doors added a number of African countries to its “World Watch List” that had not been included in years past, and other nations moved up on the list. The “World Watch List” outlines the 50 most dangerous places to live as a Christian.