You should see the hot new place where some Eritrean newlyweds are spending their honeymoon these days.
Their warm and fuzzy little bungalow is a steel-shipping container, complete with 100-degree heat, rotting air and little water. As for privacy, forget it. It's packed with other Christians who are paying the price for their faith.
Welcome to Eritrea, a small African country on the Red Sea, where saying, "I do" can land a couple behind bars or, worse, inside a sweltering metal box.
"It blows your mind. There is no sanitation. The conditions are appalling, yet these people want nothing other than to worship God," said Dr. Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, an outreach ministry that is working to help end the persecution of Eritrea evangelical and Pentecostal Christians.
Sometimes it takes a shocking story to get the real story out. Such is the case in Eritrea, a fairly new nation in northeastern Africa, and a country of which most Americans have no clue.
Where is it? What is it? Who are they? These are the questions that Moeller and others like him, including Voice of the Martyrs news service director Todd Nettleton, hear most often.
But of more immediate concern is answering the question of how to stop the Eritrea government from harassing and imprisoning Christians - sometimes by crashing weddings to remove anyone professing Christ as Savior.
"At this point, they're not executing people, but people are in the prison system who haven't been heard from. It's not clear if they're still alive," said Nettleton, who visited Eritrea a year and a half ago. "In the last two years, they've just starting arresting people."
Not just any people, but evangelicals and Pentecostals, who the authorities consider to be a threat to the state. Thus, everything from church cell groups to wedding ceremonies are cause for government concern - and discipline.
"The churches see an opportunity to get together, but it's a wedding, not a worship service," Nettleton said.
Eritrea's political history includes a complicated mix of rebel resistance, communist influence and mistrust of religion in general, evangelical Christianity in particular.
The country of 4.4 million people was part of Ethiopia until 1991, when rebels won independence for their new nation. Until 2002, there was, for the most part, religious freedom.
But during the last three years the authorities have clamped down on evangelicals. In May of 2002, the government announced that all churches other than Muslin, Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Lutheran were to be immediately closed. Since then, more than 900 evangelicals have been arrested for what authorities are calling "a new religion."
Recently, however, even the Orthodox Church has come under suspicion. Last month, the church's leader was relieved of his duties by the government for not toting the party line as fervently as officials wanted.
"It's now clear that the government is saying, 'You can remain open as long as you do what we say,'" Moeller said.
The government denies any wrongdoing, as do many of the religious authorities, Moeller said. But evidence to the contrary continues to mount.
Nettleton noted that an increasing number of Eritreans who have left the country have been sending letters to government leaders expressing their concerns.
The letters have been mostly ignored, prompting a more global approach.
"They heard nothing back (from the Eritrean president) so they have shifted what they're doing," Nettleton said. "Now it's 'OK, we're going to tell everyone.' They want the whole world to know."
The United States obviously knows. The State Department this year named Eritrea a country "of particular concern."
"The question now is, 'What do we do?'" Nettleton said.
A few options: First, pray.
"That's the most significant thing," Nettleton said.
Prayer concerns include an end to the persecution, particularly as it relates to interrupting weddings, and that other countries would become more aware of and burdened by the plight of Eritrea's Christians.
Open Doors USA also is promoting the wearing of blue bracelets, representing freedom, that can help bring attention to the cause. The ministry also offers a citizen's kit that includes items important to getting the word out.
Another way to help is by passing along the testimonies of those still practicing the presence of God in Eritrea.
"We heard some great stories while we were there," Nettleton said. "One woman, who was persecuted, spoke of how in prison God had built her up and she came out a better person. As one pastor said, 'Persecution is not sweet, but it is useful.' It's not sweet when you're going through it, but at the same time, they see results and like what they see."
That's not to say they would not prefer to enjoy more religious freedom.
"The last night we were there, one of the pastors made popcorn for us," Nettleton said. "He made coffee for us, and he had a little baby. Now he's in prison and they don't know why. It's just frustrating to know he's in there."
Frustrating, too, that more do not know.
An estimated 200 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with another 200 to 400 million facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors, celebrating 50 years of service to the Persecuted Christians in 2005, serves and strengthens the Persecuted Church in the world's most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (524-2535) or go to their web site at www.odusa.org.