(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)
Asmara, Eritrea
Asmara, Eritrea

There were several recent incidents of persecution of Christians in Eritrea, according to an August 23 report from Compass Direct.

Reverend Leule Gebreab (35), who pastors the Apostolic Church in Asmara, has been missing since he failed to return home to his wife, eight-year-old son and infant daughter on August 12. His whereabouts are unknown despite inquiries to the local authorities.

On August 16, Eritrean authorities issued an ultimatum to Catholic church leaders ordering that all of the church's schools, clinics, orphanages and women's vocational training centres be turned over to the government's Ministry of Social Welfare and Labour. Four Catholic bishops reportedly sent a letter of protest to the government the following day. At last report, they had not received a response. The Faith of Christ Church received similar orders to relinquish control and possession of all its social aid institutions. The orders were allegedly based on a 1995 government decree requiring non-governmental welfare initiatives to obtain specific permission from authorities.

On August 19, ten members of the Full Gospel Church who had gathered in a home were arrested by the police in the suburb of Kahawata, Asmara. The four women and six men were accused of worshipping together and detained at the local police station.

Pray that Pastor Gebreab will return home safely. Pray that Christians will have boldness of faith in the face of government opposition. Pray that those detained will be released and that, during their detention, they will share the light of Christ with others.

For more information on the persecution of Christians in Eritrea, go to the Eritrea Country Report.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
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)

Leader
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.

end

Select a Region

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

    ...
  • 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.