Homes. Graveyards. Shipping Containers.
These are the meeting places of the Eritrean church. Over 100 believers have been arrested in Eritrea during the last month, but Greg Musselman of Voice of the Martyrs Canada says the recent crackdown is nothing new for the nation.
Fifteen years ago, the evangelical Church in Eritrea was growing. “The government was very paranoid and they saw evangelical Christianity as destabilizing the country,” said Musselman. “They thought the church would bring an American agenda to Eritrea and cause all sorts of problems.”
The Eritrean government had a close relationship with the Orthodox Church, and the number of Christians leaving the Orthodox Church to join evangelicals was starting to grow too quickly. New laws were passed. Lutheran, Catholic and Orthodox churches were allowed to remain, and Islam remained virtually untouched, but evangelical churches were shut down and forced to register.