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On February 5, 12 Christians who were held at the Adi-Nefase military camp in Assab, Eritrea for the past two years were released on bail. The believers, who are members of the Kale-Hiwot Church, were only teenagers at the time of their arrests. Upon their release, they were warned that they will be executed if they are caught participating in Christian activities.

Two other Christians, Aklilu Tesfamichel and Gebru Tesfayon, were released on bail on February 15 from the Mitire Military Confinement Centre. The men, members of the Rhema Church in Adi-Kuala, had been detained in the camp for the past year and a half after they were caught witnessing about Christ to fellow military soldiers. Upon their release, they were sent back to the military units where they had served before their arrests.

Elsewhere in the country, Eritrean security officials arrested seven Christians gathered together for prayer in a private home in Asmara on February 18. The seven believers, Nagassi, Dawit, Nahum, Ghebreab, Alem, Eden and Rigbe, were taken to an unknown location.

Christian sources inside Eritrea estimate that over 2,000 Christians remain incarcerated in harsh detention centres for their refusal to stop worshiping outside of the government sanctioned religious communities. Among the detained believers are at least 38 leaders of underground churches who remain in prison without formal charges. Seventeen of them have now spent more than five years in prison. (Sources: Open Doors USA, International Christian Concern)

Thank the Lord for the release of the 14 believers. Pray for the Lord's guidance for them as they adjust to life outside prison. Pray for the peace and mercy of Christ to sustain the thousands of other Christians who remain detained in Eritrea.

For more information on the severe persecution facing Eritrean Christians, 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.

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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

    ...
  • Recently Arrested Christian Prisoners Released
    Nakura prison - Photo: Church in Chains https://www.churchinchains.ie/
    Nakura prison
    Photo: Church in Chains

    Earlier this month, it was reported that 23 women had been arrested at a prayer meeting in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, along with 12 others in the city of Assab. (To review a previously posted report, go to our country report, where there is also a link to

    ...