Eritrea (MN) — Voice of the Martyrs Canada says the Eritrean government has expelled thirteen missionaries connected with the Catholic church.
Reports from missionary news agency MISNA indicate the group had to be out of the country by November 20.
Two years ago, the government reportedly told some missionary groups to prepare for a planned exit of foreigners from the nation.
VCM quotes journalist Habtom Yohannes as having stated that the Eritrean government has established a task force specifically to eradicate all "menfesawyan" ("spirituals" – a term often used to describe charismatic Christians) from the country by the end of 2005.
The Voice of the Martyrs believes the dictatorship plans to destroy or control Christianity. Despite this open persecution, the government continues to support its statement issued in May 2003 that "no groups or persons are persecuted in Eritrea for their beliefs or religion."
More than 2,000 Eritrean Christians are imprisoned in Eritrea. All have been denied legal counsel or trial, with no written charges filed against them.
Amnesty reported that most of the more than 2,000 imprisoned Christians have been held for more than two years in harsh conditions, with little or no medical treatment.
Pray for the many who are in prison because of their religious work.