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World News

Catholic nuns evicted from health centres

by Eno Adeogun

According to local sources, around 25 men went to the health centre on Tuesday and removed beds, cupboards, chairs, tables and other property belonging to the health centre before loading everything onto a lorry.

The incident follows the arrest of a Catholic nun just over a week ago who was detained in Keren. Sources have claimed other nuns have faced evictions recently and have been left to "fend for themselves".


In May 2002, Eritrea introduced a registration policy that effectively outlawed all religious practices not affiliated with the Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran or Orthodox Christian denominations and Sunni Islam, and began a campaign of arrests targeting unsanctioned denominations that continues to date, and that also affects the officially sanctioned religious communities.

In 2002, Eritrea outlawed Christian denominations not affiliated with the Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran or Orthodox Christian Church or and Sunni Islam, and began shutting down Evangelical and Pentecostal churches.

Christians who worship in unregistered churches can face punishment and any believers in the armed services caught practising can be imprisoned.

Facebook/Wedi Eri South

Christian Solidarity Worldwide's Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: "The forcible eviction of nuns from these facilities demonstrates once again the necessity for the Human Rights Council to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur.

"On a daily basis Eritrean citizens experience egregious and comprehensive abuses, including of the right to freedom of religion or belief. Continued human rights monitoring is essential.

"We urge the Eritrean authorities to allow the nuns to return to the health centres immediately and without condition, to restore all property confiscated from these facilities, and to allow the Catholic Church to continue its important work of providing vital medical assistance to vulnerable communities in remote areas of the country."

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