Dr Berhane Asmelash
Dr Berhane spent eleven months in prison because of his Christian work, and saw friends and fellow–prisoners led away to execution. He was working as a medical doctor in Eritrea when security authorities came to the hospital and arrested him. Dr Berhane now lives in London with his family and is director of Release Eritrea an organisation that supports Eritrean Christians, including those exiled in other countries, and campaigns on their behalf. Currently almost 200 Eritrean Christians are in prison for their faith; none of them has been charged or tried.
‘When I was arrested during my early Christian life, I was placed in the same room with the person who was responsible for my arrest. All the prisoners said he is your enemy; he is the one who brought you in here. But this scripture came into my heart. I cannot hate him. Jesus is commanding me to love him. He is my neighbour. We were sharing everything, the same room, the same shower, and we were together for 24 hours. Initially, he was not responding to my generosity, I tried to show him my love in action. I was sharing my food with him and he was sick all the time and I was helping him with everything he needed. After two months he became my best friend and we started to pray together and share from the scripture. I made a best friend out of an enemy’.