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Eritrean evangelicals have been imprisoned in shipping containers like these for weeks.

On March 20, Eritrean police launched an investigation into the activities of a group of young adults involved in a renewal movement within the Eritrean Orthodox Church. According to Compass sources, the office in downtown Asmara where the group met on Sunday afternoons was sealed by police and the lay leader was arrested but then released the next day.

The renewal movement, known as Medhane Alem, functions as a Sunday School for young adults. The Orthodox priest leading the movement is under investigation but not yet arrested. When the group gathered at a new location on March 21, two security officers video taped the meeting, claiming it was ordered by the president's office.

Evangelical Christians in Eritrea have faced terrible persecution since the government outlawed all but four religions with "historical existence" in the country in May 2002. The April edition of The Voice of the Martyrs Newsletter features Eritrea. To subscribe to this free newsletter, click here.

For more information on Eritrea, click here.

Pray that the Christians in Eritrea will be able to withstand the pressure placed on them by the government as well as the Orthodox Church. Pray that they will be a bold witness for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray also that there will be freedom in Eritrea to worship the Lord in spirit and truth.

Country Information


6,147,398 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Tigrinya (50), Tigre (30), Saho (4), Afar (4) Kunama (4), Bilen (3), other (5)

Religion (%)
Islam (47.4), Christianity (48.8), other (3.8)

President Isaias Afworki (1993)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system of civil, customary, and Islamic religious law

Sources: CIA World Factbook, Operation World

Pray for Eritrea

Ask the Lord to provide imprisoned Eritrean believers a means of escape and a place of safe refuge. Pray for Him to also work deeply in the hearts of the country's governing officials so they will grant His people the freedom to worship Him and glorify His matchless name. Mindful of their own human frailties, may these political leaders realize the need to make Jesus their own personal Saviour and Lord by accepting His gift of eternal salvation.


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Eritrea News

  • Christians Arrested During Prayer Meeting
    Several rusty shipping containers - Photo: VOMC
    Prison officials continue to hold detainees in cramped, unsanitary shipping containers.
    Photo: VOMC

    In mid-March, 29 evangelical Christians were arrested when Eritrean security forces raided a home prayer meeting in Asmara. According to reports, 17 women and 12 men were taken to the Mai Serwa prison

  • Fifteen Christians Rearrested
    Video: Kidane Gebremeskel Gedion
    Click to view video.

    Eritrean authorities recently arrested 15 Christians during a series of raids on their houses in the capital city of Asmara. All 15 believers had been previously imprisoned for their faith – some for up to 16 years.

  • Three Elderly Pastors Arrested
    Georgio Gebreab and Samuel Okbamichael - Photos: Church in Chains
    Georgio Gebreab and Samuel Okbamichael
    Photos: Church in Chains

    Three semi-retired pastors in the Eritrean capital of Asmara were arrested towards the latter part of July. Since they were all over 70 years old, and only occasionally conducted funeral or wedding services, it is unclear why these elde