Teenage Christians jailed for having Bibles (Eritrea)

More than 60 teenage Eritrean students caught with Bibles at a compulsory military training camp were arrested and subjected to severe punishment earlier this month. Military commanders at the Sawa Military Training Camp ordered a search of students personal effects.

On August 19, they confiscated Bibles from 35 Protestant students, put them under arrest and subjected them to severe torture. The following day, another 27 teenage believers were incarcerated with them. The youths are reportedly locked in metal shipping containers with no light, high temperatures and a limited oxygen supply.

These arrests bring to 213 the known total of evangelical Christians currently jailed for their faith in Eritrea, due to a harsh government crackdown launched last February. Independent Pentecostal and charismatic churches now have some 20,000 adherents, most of them emerging from a mushrooming renewal movement begun five years ago within the Orthodox Church. (Compass)