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Irish government calls out Eritrea for arbitrary imprisonment of Christians

In response to concerns over international religious freedom raised in the Irish parliament, Irish Minister of State at the Department Foreign Affairs Colm Brophy stated on the 23rd of September that religious freedom is, “a priority for Ireland’s human rights engagement at both multilateral and bilateral levels.”


The recent dialogue in Ireland over international religious freedom was sparked by a series of arrests made in Eritrea. According to Release International, fifteen Christians were arrested in the African nation for their faith in mid-September.

All fifteen had been previously imprisoned for their faith, most having served sentences between five to six years while some served up to sixteen years in prison. The Christians were rearrested after “the discovery of a list of Christian contacts,” according to Release, and were sent to the country’s maximum-security prison in Mai Serwa. This comes on the heels of the arrest of two elderly pastors from the Full Gospel Church of Eritrea back in July.

In late September, Peadar Tóibín, member of the Irish Parliament and leader of the Aontú Party, asked the Irish government what actions it “is taking to address the recent re-arrests of Christians in Eritrea who were previously imprisoned in violation of their right to freedom of religion and belief; and if [there will be] a statement on the matter.”


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