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Sawa Military Camp
Sawa Military Camp

Pastor Oqbamichael Tekle-Haimanot, a well-known and senior leader of the Kale-Hiwot Church in Eritrea, was arrested and imprisoned on October 1, according to VOMC sources. This is the second imprisonment for Pastor Oqbamichael in the last two years. In January 2005, he was arrested at a Christian wedding in the western town of Barentu. He was released after nearly ten months of imprisonment that included solitary confinement and hard labour in the Sawa Military Camp. The arrest of Pastor Oqbamichael follows the recent imprisonment of Evangelist Mussie Ezaz, who is also a minister in the Kale-Hiwot Church.

Pray for the Lord's grace to sustain and strengthen Pastor Oqbamichael as he again endures prison time for the Name of the Lord (Ephesians 6:19, 20). Pray that his family and congregation will focus their eyes on Jesus to find strength and comfort in Him (Hebrews 12:1-3). Pray for Eritrean Christians as they continue to suffer severe persecution.

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

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