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Three Eritrean church leaders were unexpectedly released on bail in late January, according to a February 15 report from Compass Direct. Two of the men, Pastor Simon Tsegay and Gebremichel Yohannes, had been in custody since September. They had been arrested when their church continued to use a church building in the town of Adi-Tezlezan after it was sealed by government order. Tsegay was the pastor and Yohannes was the administrator of the church. Pastor Fanuel Mihreteab of the Full Gospel Church has also been released on bail after serving two years in prison. All three men were forced to turn over property deeds as bail guarantee.

At last report, more than 2000 Eritreans are jailed solely for their religious beliefs. The majority are Protestant Christians.

Thank God that these men have been released on bail. Pray that they will not face imprisonment again. Pray that they will remain faithful to God's call on their lives (1 Peter 5:1-4). Pray that the tide of persecution in Eritrea will turn and believers will once again be free to share Christ with others.

For more information on the persecution of Christians in Eritrea, click here. Video reports on Eritrea are available on VOMC's multimedia website, https://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

  • 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