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On February 15, Eritrean Christian, Magos Solomon Semere, died from physical torture and pneumonia in the Adi-Nefase Militant Confinement facility just outside Assab, according to a February 22 report from Compass Direct. VOMC was able to confirm his mistreatment that led to his death at the hands of the military authorities.

Semere, a member of the Rema Church, was first jailed in the fall of 2001 after he was arrested for evangelizing and starting worship meetings with six other Christians. He was released after eighteen months but was re-arrested in July 2002. When Semere fell seriously ill in prison, he was pressured to sign a statement renouncing his faith in order to receive medical treatment but he refused to do so. One of Semere's former fellow prisoners said, "Magos was determined to obey the Lord rather than men."

On February 18, in an unrelated incident, ten Eritrean Christians were taken into custody by security police in Asmara. The Christians had been paying a social visit to a private home to congratulate a newly married couple. Seven of those arrested were members of the Eritrean Orthodox Church and three were members of the Full Gospel Church. Six of them were women.

Pray that those who mourn for Magos will find comfort in the fact that those who die in Christ will be raised with Him (1 Corinthians 15:50-58). Ask God to give comfort and strength to the imprisoned believers. Pray that all Eritrean Christians will echo Peter's sentiment and determine to obey God regardless of what man says (Acts 5:29).

For more information on the persecution of Christians in Eritrea, click here. Video reports on persecution in Eritrea are also 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