ERITREA. The Eritrean government are closing down all Catholic run health facilities in the country according to the Catholic bishop in the country.

The Catholic health facilities that have been closed are three hospitals, two health centres and 16 clinics together serving 170 000 persons every year. The government security officers have removed the staff and closed the premises leaving soldiers guarding them. The patients were ordered from their beds and told to return home. The four bishops main concern is what will happen to those in need of help as the services the Church provides to Eritreans could’nt be construed as an act of opposing the government. These closures coincided with the arrests of five Eritrean Orthodox priests from a monastery in the country’s Northern Red Sea Region who were detained for allegedly protesting against government interference.

The Catholic health facilities have helped the poor and needy for many years as the government run venues are much more expensive and have a lower standard of health care than their Catholic run counterparts. Some of them have been active for more than 70 years. But the government now say that they have to sign over the ownership of the land of the clinics even though most of them belong to monestaries. Most are said to have refused to do this.

In May an Eritrean Catholic nun said in an interview that the government has some, but not total, control over the Church in the country and that it is a “closed” church. They were always “looking over their shoulders” when they served people and that they lacked the freedom the Catholic Church have elsewhere.

The rulers of this communistic regime controls all services and, as usual, they care more about power and control than the peoples well-being. The state have destroyed the nuclear family by promising a complete loyalty to the state. For Christians this pledge means a promise to not proselytize, a promise to not pray or read the bible outside their homes or churches and promise to turn anyone in who is evangelizing. The government has also seized control of these organizations by placing governmental heads over them. 

Eritrea blames the low standard of the country on the war with Ethiopia without taking any responsibility for what the part their communistic ideology have in it. It’s estimated that about 50 000 people flee the country every year. You are lucky if you can even try to escape. Eritrea blames the low standard of the country on the war with Ethiopia without taking any responsibility for what the part their communistic ideology have in it. It’s estimated that about 50 000 people flee the country every year and with the tight control you are lucky if you can even try to escape.

Read more about the situation in Eritrea here.

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