Closure of Religious Institutions in Eritrea “hatred against the faith”: Bishops Decry

Flag of Eritrea

The systematic closure and seizure of religious institutions by the Eritrean government has been condemned by the Catholic bishops who have termed the move “hatred against the faith.”

“If this is not hatred against the faith and against religion what else can it be?” the bishops questioned in a letter addressed to the Minister of Public Education, Semere Re’esom. 

Seven religious’ schools, among them four Catholic-sponsored, have so far been nationalized, according to media reports.

The Eritrean government has also seized Church-run health facilities.

"The actions that are being taken against our educational and health institutions are contrary to the rights and to the legitimate freedom of the Church,” the Catholic Bishops have lamented in a letter to the Vatican’s Agenzia Fides.


The Prelates would like that the Church continues to provide education and health services to the inhabitants of Eritrea.

The Bishops have been cited inviting the government to prioritize discussions around issues saying, “If there are situations that need to be corrected or adjusted, not only is it good, but even the only viable way, in order for this to take place in a context of an open and constructive dialogue.” 

The Catholics in Eritrea make approximately 4 percent of the population. It is one of the four religions permitted to practice alongside Evangelical Lutheran, Eritrean Orthodox, and Sunni Islam groups.