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Eritrean authorities have arrested and detained 150 Christians, according to an October 30 report from Compass Direct.

The large-scale roundup began at approximately 6:00 a.m. on October 25, when security officers in the town of Mendefera started to arrest local Christians whose names were on a list of known Christian church members. A total of thirty-eight men and seventeen women were incarcerated in the town's military fort where they have reportedly been subject to beatings and other physical mistreatment. Eyewitnesses claim that at least ten of the detained Christians were nursing mothers who were forced to leave their infants behind.

The following morning, October 26, the roundup continued and an additional ninety-five evangelical Christians were placed under arrest.

Those arrested included members of Eritrea's five outlawed Protestant churches -- The Church of the Living God, Kile Hiwot, Full Gospel and Rema churches -- as well as active members of the town's Orthodox revival group. At least 162 Christians have been arrested over the past month. These recent arrests push the confirmed number of Eritreans presently imprisoned for their religious beliefs up to 2,078, almost all of them Christians. None of them have been brought to trial.

Pray that the imprisoned believers will find comfort in the promise that God is with them in their afflictions. Pray that they will be a faithful witness for Christ to their fellow prisoners. Ask that God protects the children left without their parents' care and that the parents will feel reassured in the knowledge of God's promise to care for their little ones in their absence (Psalm 68:5).

Video interviews from Eritrean believers on the persecution being suffered in their homeland can be found on https://www.vomcanada.com/. For more information on the persecution facing Eritrea's Christians, click here.

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