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Last week, the Persecution and Prayer Alert reported on a series of arrests made against Eritrean Christian businessmen, starting on December 22. Recent reports from Compass Direct and Strategic World Impact have provided further details on the arrests and the continuing oppression of Christian leaders in Eritrea.

During the initial police raids, one pastor named Simon from the Church of the Living God managed to escape from security forces shortly after his arrest and, at last report, he is still in hiding. His family and his congregation have suffered greatly as they attempt to protect him from harm. Simon's family has faced almost daily threats and harassment from officials. One member of his board, a government worker named Mr. Tesfagabiet, has been arrested. Another member of his congregation and the owner of Gazella Shoe Factory named Mr. Yemane was also arrested. Police are also reportedly searching for Pastor Simon Tekie of the Philadelphia Church.

Pray that the gospel will continue to go forth despite the government's intense effort to silence it. Ask God to surround Pastor Simon and Pastor Simon Tekie with His protection. Ask the Lord to work in the hearts of officials to release not only Mr. Tesfagabiet and Mr. Yemane, but also the thousand plus believers suffering in prisons across Eritrea.

For more information the persecution of Christians in Eritrea, click here. Video reports from Eritrea are also available on VOMC's multimedia website, www.vomcanada.com.

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

  • More Church Leaders Detained
    Church building
    A church in Eritrea

    In 2002, the government of Eritrea outlawed every religion except for Sunni Islam, Eritrean Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism. Since then, the oppression against other religious groups has been severe. Even those within the approved faith groups have been at risk of op

  • Twenty Years of Oppression
    Eritrean Bible
    Photo: VOMC

    In May 2002, the Eritrean government closed all unregistered churches and established legislation outlawing any religious community except for Sunni Islam, Eritrean Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism. Government oppression and control was strongly instituted, even within these

  • 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