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Helen BerhaneGospel singer Helen Berhane (32), who was released from prison in November 2006 after being detained in Eritrea without charge for two years, has been granted asylum in Denmark. She and her daughter arrived in the country safely on October 19. For the past eleven months, Berhane had been maintaining a low profile in Khartoum, Sudan, where she and her sister fled in December 2006. Berhane's health remains extremely poor due to the physical suffering she endured during her detention. She is currently unable to walk without assistance. During her detention she was held for extensive periods in shipping containers and tortured several times by authorities in an effort to force her to recant her faith.

Praise God with us that this faithful servant of Christ has found refuge in a safe location! Pray that He will continue to protect and strengthen Helen, providing for her every need (Phil. 4:19). Ask God to give her wisdom and discernment so that she will continue His work (James 1:5). Pray for God's love and grace to abound in our Eritrean brothers and sisters who are suffering for Christ’s sake in prison.

For more information on the severe 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