Source: Avveniere Italian
In Eritrea il governo chiude gli ospedali cattolici. Colpiti i più poveri (Google Transformation)
The government of Eritrea has ordered the Catholic Church to hand over to the state all the health centers managed by the Church, signing a document for the transfer of property. Fides reports this. Faced with the refusal, the government has closed the health centers, vacating the personnel. "It seems to have returned to 1982 when the regime of terror of Mengistu Hailemariam confiscated many assets of the Catholic Church, including convents, schools, medical centers, with the use of brute force - underlines Father Mussie Zerai, Eritrean priest, president of the Agency Habeshia -. Even the current regime appeared in the convents of nuns where many of these medical centers were located, it put seals, throwing out staff, patients and terrorizing religious men and women who tried to defend their service offered to the people ".
A law of 1995, never entered into force, provided that all social structures (schools, medical centers) were managed by the public authority. Then between 2017 and 2018 eight Catholic clinics were closed. The poorest are affected, such as the Afar, a nomadic population of Danakil. Last year they were deprived of the only medical center in the region run with courage and determination by some Ursuline Sisters. Observers interpret the decision to close medical facilities as a sort of retaliation for Isaias Afewerki's regime against the Catholic Church. Last April, the Catholic bishops, in the wake of the peace agreement signed with Ethiopia, had called for "a process of national reconciliation that would guarantee social justice" for all, after years of rigid autarky. However, these words were not well received by the regime's leaders.
The Catholic Church manages about 40 hospitals and health centers in Eritrea, all at the service of the population, without any distinction of ethnicity or religion, which almost always provide free treatment. "In expressing our profound bitterness at what is happening before our eyes these days, we declare that we will not hand over our institutions and what is part of their endowment - the local bishops wrote -. Depriving the Church of these and similar institutions means affecting its very existence, and exposing its servants, men and women religious and laity to persecution ".