Benji endured over three years in Eritrean jails, beaten and tortured to deny his Christian faith. He recently escaped, walking hundreds of kilometers to relative safety in Ethiopia.
Benji told us of being locked in a suffocatingly hot metal shipping container in the middle of the desert with only two slices of bread and a cup of tea a day. Many fellow prisoners died.
He related one particularly evil session of mental torture when guards had 18 prisoners dig their own grave. One by one, they were brought out in front of the freshly dug graves. Each was told to deny Christ. The guards shot over each prisoner’s head, removed him to yet another prison, and then filled in the next empty grave, repeating the sadistic process for every prisoner. Each prisoner saw the filled graves and assumed the previous person had been killed. Threatened with death, each prisoner faced what he thought was an opportunity to save himself by denying Jesus. Of the 18 men brought out that day, only 1 did as the guards commanded.
Right now according to Open Doors, in Eritrea, more than 2,800 Christian men and women remain imprisoned for their faith. All evangelical churches have been closed by police.
UPDATE: We just found out Benji is suffering from Typhus and Malaria as well as severe malnutrition. To directly support Benji, you can give here: www.swi.org
UPDATE 2: Received an email in the middle of the night saying that Benji was beaten and robbed of the money, cell phone and malaria meds we gave him. Even worse, his refugee ID card was stolen. If you are the praying type, please pray. He is in a very desperate situation.
Video of his story will be shown soon on this blog.