For an alleged preaching the Gospel of Christ outside a Mosque in Saudi Arabia, an Eritrean Christian, Mussie Eyob, may probably face a death sentence.
This fact in contained in a report by the United Kingdom (U.K) based registered Christian charity organization, Release International, (www.releaseinternational.org) stressing that Eyob, a relatively new Christian, is currently being held at a high-security prison in Jeddah after Saudi officials arrested him at a mosque in the Haya Roda area on February 12.
It noted that Saudi officials presumed initially Mussie must have some mental health issues – but a medical examination found him to be in good mental health.
According to the report, from Release Eritrea, it noted that that Mussie is being treated well and is in good spirits – and his family were able to visit him on March 20 adding that Release Eritrea is calling on Christians in the UK to pray that Mussie will be shown clemency and released.
It observed that through its international network of missions, Release International serves persecuted Christians in 30 countries around the world by supporting pastors and Christian prisoners, and their families; supplying Christian literature and Bibles; and working for justice.
It would be noted that the population of Eritrea is about equally divided between Christians and Muslims i.e. 34,700,310 people, representing 47.5% of the total population of 5,939,484 (July 2011 est.)
Again the Jehovah's Witnesses and other religious groups that the government has not granted recognition are daily facing persecution.
It needs to be noted also that the Italians brought to Eritrea a huge development of Catholicism and by the 1940 nearly one third of the Eritrean population was catholic, mainly in Asmara where many churches were built.
Further to that, after World War II, Eritrea was annexed to Ethiopia and then in 1991 the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) defeated the Ethiopian government. Eritrea officially celebrated its 1st anniversary of independence on May 24, 1992.