Eritrean mother of three dies in desert prison

Our sister Fikadu has died in an Eritrean prison camp within three months of her arrest.

Her three children do not have their father to care for them either: he was detained with Fikadu, along with every single member of their church, as our partners working in Eritrea reported in May.

Fikadu was detained during a mass arrest in Adiquala, part of an ongoing crackdown on evangelical Christians across Eritrea. By last week, she had died.

Please ask God to comfort Fikadu’s children and her husband.

The crackdown on Eritrea’s Christians continues. A total of 210 believers have been detained since April, mostly in raids on their own homes. In the first week of August, 23 Christians were arrested in Asmara. In July, 16 teenage girls on national service were detained in the same camp as Fikadu – as were other Christians and relatives who tried to visit them.

There have been reports of female prisoners having their hair shaved off. One woman arrested in June in Nefasit has reportedly become ‘mentally ill’ due to harsh prison conditions. The cause of Fikadu Debesay’s death is unknown but Metkel Abiet, the desert camp where she was held, is known for its extreme temperatures.

  • Ask our heavenly Father to comfort Fikadu’s children and her husband, and reassure them of His unfailing love.
  • Pray for the release of all 210 Christians detained since April – and the many other Christians behind bars in Eritrea. Some pastors have been detained indefinitely.
  • Lift up the Eritrean authorities in prayer, and ask God to touch their hearts. Pray for an end to their restrictive policies.
  • Join our Pray173 prayer campaign to help bring freedom for long-term prisoners of faith in Eritrea.

(Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

UPDATES
Our Chinese brother, Gao Zhisheng, has gone missing: please pray for his safe return. The Beijing lawyer has not been seen since Sunday, when he disappeared from his home in north-western Shaanxi province. The much-persecuted human rights defender has been under house arrest and strict surveillance since 2014; previously, he had been imprisoned several times and severely tortured. (Source: China Aid)

Please pray for our Iranian sister Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh, the wife of Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz. Shamiram, who has been charged with ‘acting against national security’, has had her court hearing postponed until August 21. Her husband, Victor, has launched an appeal against a ten-year sentence handed down in July for his church activities.
(Source: Middle East Concern)

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