Behind the Name

What comes to your mind when you think of Philadelphia? If we are all thinking the same, one of the first things that comes to mind is the glamorous Northeastern city in the United States. Hence till recently its most perplexing to me when I read some Prisoners of Faith in Eritrea were members of the Philadelphia church. Why of all things they chose to relate to Philadelphia? This is bearing in mind that there is severe "CIA paranoia" inside the mind of the Eritrean regime. The pieces of the puzzle simply didn't fit together.

However, things are not always what they seem. One quick and careful search will tell us that the origin of the name Philadelphia did not come from within the United States. But rather it originated from the name of a city in Asia Minor mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament Bible. The name of the city meant "brotherly love" from Greek φιλεω (phileo) "to love" and αδελφος (adelphos) "brother".

Moreover, we read that out of the Seven Churches in Asia Minor which are mentioned in Revelation, it is only the church in Philadelphia without any criticism or fault or blemish. The church was also under horrendous persecution like the others churches in its era.

By now I believe that we all might have some understanding why that specific church in Eritrea was named "The Philadelphia Church". Therefore, you may also kindly pray for those all in Eritrea's tyrannical authority, that they may know this truth and be set free.

Love and blessings

Brehane-meskel Araya