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President Isaias Afewerki
President Isaias Afewerki

The Eritrean government has ordered the expulsion of thirteen Catholic missionaries, according to reports from the missionary news agency MISNA and the Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA). Expulsion orders were issued on November 6 to four Comboni fathers (two Mexicans, a Filipino and a Kenyan), two Comboni sisters, two Pavonian fathers, two Filipino Pius Teachers, two nuns of an unspecified congregation and a lay Italian missionary who works as secretary for the Bishop of Barentu. They were told that they had fourteen days to leave the country.

The reasons for the expulsion remain unclear but sources told MISNA that two years ago the government gave notice to some missionary institutes to prepare local personnel in anticipation of a planned exit of foreigners from the nation. The Voice of the Martyrs believes that this expulsion is part of a wider plan by the Maoist dictatorship of President Isaias Afewerki to destroy or control Christianity in the east Africa nation.

Please pray for Eritrean Christians as they continue to suffer harassment at the hands of the Eritrean government. Pray for the many who are in prison because of their religious work.

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