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An Eritrean torture victim
Photo: CBN News

From the west coast of Africa to the deserts of Sinai, Bedouin tribes are conducting a human trafficking trade on a massive scale. According to CBN News, the trade reaps millions of dollars and deals with human misery. It could be stopped, but so far no one has dared.

“Philip,” one Eritrean torture victim, explains how he lost the sensation of his hands: "It was a result of the accumulated torture but mainly because (both) of my wrists were tied up so tightly. (As I was hung) from the ceiling for three days, the blood was cut off from my hands...."

A 35-year-old Eritrean woman named Segen, who is five months pregnant, speaks of her own horrific experience. The news reporter interviewing her said that you could hear the strain in Segen's voice as she recounts what took place: "They are asking for money every minute and they hit us.... They hang us the way (Jesus) was hanged.... "

These are just two examples of this widespread modern-day slavery, kidnapping and torture trade in the Sinai desert. Shahar Shoham, director of Physicians for Human Rights, has documented more than 1,300 cases of torture. And the vile treatment of these victimized refugees is considered diabolical. Thankfully, there are survivors who have eventually made it to Israel. (To learn more about the hardships facing fellow believers in Eritrea, go to the Eritrea Country Report.)

In addition, what the Bedouin tribesmen demand from the Eritrean victims' poor families is an unattainable amount. "The ransom fees can go up to $40,000 for an individual and even $50,000," the news report states. "And until the ransom fees (are) paid, the people will not be released." Shahar surmises that "the financial burden on the families is devastating." Many of the captured Etritrean refugees, like Segen and Philip, are Christians. Sadly, many don't survive.

May God mightily intervene on behalf of these Eritrean believers who are going through much tribulation while fleeing persecution in their own troubled country. Ask the Lord to place a hedge of protection around them and their families, keeping them safe from the evil one who roams about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Pray that their perpetrators will experience an encounter with the Living God so they will have the opportunity to turn from their wicked ways...and instead discover the joy of serving Him and His people as instruments of blessing.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
6,147,398 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Tigrinya (50), Tigre (30), Saho (4), Afar (4) Kunama (4), Bilen (3), other (5)

Religion (%)
Islam (47.4), Christianity (48.8), other (3.8)

Leader
President Isaias Afworki (1993)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system of civil, customary, and Islamic religious law

Sources: CIA World Factbook, Operation World

Pray for Eritrea

Ask the Lord to provide imprisoned Eritrean believers a means of escape and a place of safe refuge. Pray for Him to also work deeply in the hearts of the country's governing officials so they will grant His people the freedom to worship Him and glorify His matchless name. Mindful of their own human frailties, may these political leaders realize the need to make Jesus their own personal Saviour and Lord by accepting His gift of eternal salvation.

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Eritrea News

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    Click to view video.

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    Georgio Gebreab and Samuel Okbamichael
    Photos: Church in Chains

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    Photo: Church in Chains

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