September 17, 2020

ERITREA: 31 Christian Prisoners Released

Eritrean women praying - Photo: World Watch Monitor
Many Eritrean believers are compelled to pray in secret.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

The Eritrean government has released 31 Christians from Mai Serwa prison who were detained without charge or trial for years. It is believed there were 21 men and 10 women in this group, and that none of them were church leaders. At least two of the women were minors when first imprisoned -- one was only 12 years old (age 28 today); and the other was 16 (now 30). This action follows the release of 22 Methodist Christians from another prison in July.

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CHINA: Summer Camp Raided

Raid of house church - Photo: ChinaAid
Raid of Gushi house church summer camp.
Photo: ChinaAid

A church-run summer camp was raided on August 23rd, resulting in the confiscation of personal and church property, as well as the temporary detention of the pastor and his wife. The police and religious bureau officials claim that the church in Gushi was organizing religious events without authorization. According to one church leader, Wang Guangming, the students were learning music theory when the raid occurred.

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PAKISTAN: Zafar Bhatti Recovers from Heart Attack in Prison

Zafar Bhatti
Zafar Bhatti

Zafar Bhatti has been in prison since 2012 after being charged with sending blasphemous text messages. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2017. Diagnosed with diabetes, the 56-year-old Christian had two minor heart attacks in 2019 and suffers from eyesight problems. It was recently reported that he had another heart attack on September 3rd. Though he received swift medical attention in prison, there are ongoing concerns for his physical and mental health, as well as apprehension over the medical care he is receiving outside of the hospital setting.

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