Eritrea Releases 21 Christian Women from Prison Amid Accusations of Attacking Churches in Ethiopia

Members of Amhara region militias ride on their truck as they head to face the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), in Sanja, Amhara region near a border with Tigray, Ethiopia November 9, 2020.(Photo: Reuters/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo)

Eritrea has freed 21 female Christian prisoners but the country’s forces stands accused of attacking churches in the troubled Tigray region of neighbouring Ethiopia.

The women, all reportedly young mothers, had been held in an island prison on the Red Sea since last August.

They were arrested in 2017 after a series of raids on underground churches by the Eritrean authorities. Many of their husbands were conscripts, leaving their children without anyone to care for them, human rights group Release International Reports.

They are the latest Christians to be freed from prison in a string of unexpected prisoner releases over the past half year.

Last month, 70 Christians from evangelical and orthodox backgrounds were freed, and another 27 last September. In total, 171 Christians have been freed since last August.

There are still around 130 Christians in Eritrean prisons and an unknown number of army conscripts locked up for practising their faith. A further 150 Christian prisoners are believed to be detained by the army, but little is known about them, Release said.

Although the charity has given a cautious welcome to the prisoner releases, it warns that this good news is being overshadowed by attacks on churches in Tigray by Eritrean forces.

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SOURCE: Christian Today

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