Posted by: becketfund | September 8, 2006

Eritrea: Religious Prisoner Count Tops 1,900

World Wide Religious News reports that new statistics suggest around 1,918 Eritrean citizens are currently imprisoned and subjected to torture and forced labor on account of their religious beliefs.  Among the prisoners, 95% are believed to be Christian, mostly Evangelical Protestant or Orthodox, including a total of 35 pastors, priests and church elders.   69 Muslims have also been imprisoned for opposing a government-appointed mufti, and 27 Jehovah’s Witnesses for objecting to compulsory military service.   Eritrea has banned all religious groups not belonging to Orthodox, Muslim, Lutheran or Catholic confessions since May 2002. Since then, the only religious prisoners who have been freed were those who signed statements recanting their beliefs.

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