Asmara, Eritrea, Jul 24, 2019 / 09:37 am
The Eritrean government’s recent closure of all Catholic-run health clinics in the country will have devastating effects for the people of the country, warned the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need.
Sources in the country told the agency that the situation is dire and denounced the international indifference and lack of response.
“They are preventing us from offering what little we could give, in places where no one cares for the population, not even the state,” a source told Aid to the Church in Need, according to Vatican News.
“What will the people do?”
Last month, military forces arrived at the Church's 22 health care clinics, telling patients to return to their homes, and subsequently guarding the buildings.
The government justified its seizures of the property under a 1995 decree restricting social and welfare projects to the state. The decree has been used intermittently since then to seize or close ecclesial services.
According to the BBC, analysts believe the recent seizures were retaliatory, after the Church in April called for reforms to reduce emigration. The bishops had also called for national reconciliation.
When the government interrupts the work of the Church, it is the people who suffer, Aid to the Church in Need said.