Young Christian Dies In Eritrea Prison Camp
by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos
ASMARA, ERITREA ( BosNewsLife)– A young Christian woman has died in one of Eritrea’s military prison camps after she was reportedly denied medical treatment for malaria and severe anemia.
Senait Oqbazgi Habta, 28, died April 23 in the Sawa Military Training Centre in Eritrea where she had been detained for some two years for attending a Bible study group with 15 other university students, explained Open Doors, a well-informed Christian advocacy and aid group.
She and other students were imprisoned in large metal shipping containers where they suffered suffocating heat during the day and freezing temperatures at night, Netherlands-based Open Doors said.
“Our local sources say that Habta was offered freedom and medical care in exchange for abandoning her Christian faith. She refused and paid the ultimate price as she died because of that decision,” added Open Doors spokesman Jan Vermeer.
He suggested that she was deliberately brought too late to the medical post in the camp, where Habta passed away.….(article linked here)
As a child, I was made keenly aware that there are those Christians in this world who are called to make the ultimate sacrifice of their life, for their faith in Christ. Perhaps because my parents knew of such things happening in China and Eastern Europe, I was reminded that this could happen to me even in America.
No Christian is a total stranger to persecution in one form or another, in fact I have come to the conclusion that sometimes the devil puts on skin and comes to church to inflict pain and slander on others – I’ve shaken her/his hand and looked into his/her eyes on occasion, but no one has ever physically attacked or threatened my life due to my Christian faith. Elsewhere of course, the killing continues.
Thus this story of young martyr Senait, Oqbazgi Habta, is very personal. Though young, determined, and possessing strong convictions, she was still so vulnerable to brute force. What must it have been like, to suffer the heat in hard metal boxes during the day and then freeze at night, eventually becoming so weak with anemia and malaria that she would finally slip away? That her captors callously promoted her death by standing back, makes me angry. Yet for Christians, allowing anger to fester and grow, is sin. Thankful her enemies can’t punish her any more, I will remain disgusted that she was so senselessly murdered. Her death is a call to speak and act in ways that might inform those in power to spare people all over the world who are going through their own faith ordeal.
Meanwhile, we pray for all the Senaits, wherever they are. Not only that they may endure, but that we would tirelessly continue to speak up and defend the oppressed and defenseless.