Denmark grants asylum to Christian singer fleeing oppression and torture

.- An Eritrean Christian gospel singer who faced torture and unjust imprisonment in her homeland has been granted asylum in Denmark, BBC News reports.

Helen Berhane was imprisoned in a metal shipping container and beaten in an effort to make her recant her faith.  She was forced into torturous physical positions, and now uses a wheelchair because of the injuries caused to her legs and feet.

A member of an unregistered Rema Church, Ms. Berhane had just released a cassette of gospel music before she was arrested in the Eritrean capital in May of 2004. 

The Eritrean government recognizes four religions:  the Orthodox, Catholic, and Lutheran Churches and Islam.  90% of Eritreans belong to these groups.  Ms. Berhane was among the estimated two thousand detained members of the country’s various illegal evangelical church groups.

In testimony collected by Release Eritrea, a religious freedom group, other prisoners have claimed they are routinely subjected to extreme heat and cold and denied water and sanitation.

Ms. Berhane was released in 2006 after an international campaign for her cause.  She found sanctuary in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, where her daughter Eva later joined her.  She first applied to asylum in the United Kingdom, but after seven months she applied to Denmark.  After one month Denmark determined she was a genuine asylum seeker.

Dr Berhane Asmelash, Director of Release Eritrea, said "We are relieved that Helen and Eva are finally safe and would like to thank everyone who has supported them."

Christian Solidarity Worldwide's Chief Executive, Mervyn Thomas, added his gratitude and concern: "We are thrilled that Helen has now finally found refuge for herself and her daughter after so many years of suffering," he said.  "We cannot forget, however, that 2000 other Christians still languish in Eritrean detention centers simply for holding on to their faith."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon

Liturgical Calendar

July 28, 2014

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:31-35


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 13: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 13: 31-35

Saint of the Day

St. Victor I, Pope »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:31-35


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: