Mute and without opinion – eritrean Churches

I think decades of Marxist style oppression has left the Eritrean Churches mute and without opinion. Even on some of the most common sense topics. I am especially disappointed about the evangelical and growing churches of Eritrea as they are, in my opinion, the most confused in this regard.

“The church must be the guide and the critic of the state and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)

Some social and political issues are somewhat grey. It can be controversial on whether the church should herald its views and opinions or not. But there are other issues that are clearly within the Churches domain. Like openly condemning the Holocaust or the Rwandan genocide. Or  the arbitrary arrest and torture of Eritreans.

I’m like the majority of Eritreans in thinking that any Church should not side with any political organization. But that does not mean the Church should not have a stand or an opinion of things. Shouldn’t Eritrean Churches abroad be writing petitions for the release of religious prisoners, at least?

Another important thing, there is a distinct difference between a “Church” as an organization, and a church member- a christian person. No one has to be a bad christian to be a good citizen. And this is I think what a lot of Eritreans evangelicals don’t understand. A christian can be active in social, economic and political aspects of daily life.They can join political and social organizations. Or even better, a good christian can lead a political organization. If a christian has not learned to respect, tolerate and work among people of all religions, he/she is not a good christian at all.

I remember many congregations in Eritrea praying for a converted, God-fearing head of state. I believe in miracles. I also believe there are some things you have to work and earn. We should encourage God-fearing men and women to inspire us and join arms for social and political justice.

I hope to hear most of our churches praying  for those people who  invest their time, money and  talent  fighting for social and political improvement in Eritrea.

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