Eritrea: Convert To Christianity Jailed For His Faith Dies In Prison After Harsh Treatment, Sickness
Hebrews 13:3, “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.”
Mission News Network – “Open Doors USA recently learned about the death of another Christian in an Eritrean prison.
Yosief Kebedom Gelai, a recently converted single Christian, died in Medefera July 5.
Sources told Open Doors that Yosief, 41, had been sick for a long time, but that the harsh treatment at a secret Medefera incarceration center aggravated the effects of the unknown disease.
Eritrea ranks #10 on the Open Doors World Watch List of countries with the worst persecution of believers. Yosief is the 24th reported death connected to punishment for religious activities outside of the government-sanctioned Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, Lutheran Church, and Islam.
However, because of the government’s secrecy surrounding prisoners and denied access to watchdog organizations, there may be many more deaths and burials that have not been reported.
Yosief was originally from Asmara. He went to Mendefera to teach at a primary school some time prior to his arrest. Six months after his arrival, Yosief came to faith in Christ. His devotion to Bible study and prayer caught the attention of representatives of the ruling Eritrean People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (EPRDF) at the school.
Authorities arrested him in December and took him to the secret incarceration center in Mendefera where he was kept incommunicado. Sources told Open Doors the center holds many other religious prisoners whose whereabouts were previously unknown to family members and churches.
‘Christians should be hugely encouraged to see how God through His Holy Spirit enables His children even new–and isolated ones like Yosief–to remain firm in their devotion to Christ no matter the circumstances,’ commented an Open Doors team member.
Please pray for other Christians incarcerated in Eritrean prisons. Pray for the Holy Spirit to give believers strength and peace.
Flashback: Eritrea: Christian Persecution Is Now ‘At Its Highest Level Ever And Getting Worse’ – ““A Christian leader in Eritrea says that religious persecution in the northeast African country ‘is at its highest level ever and getting worse,’ World Watch Monitor (WWM), the news outlet of Open Doors, a Christian charity reports… The total number of Christians arrested in Eritrea this year has risen to 191 after the detention of 37 students from the College of Arts and Sciences Adi Kihe and five men from the Church of the Living God in Asmara, according to WWM. Up to 3,000 Christians are imprisoned because of their faith in Eritrea.” Read more.