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Eritrean officials arrested 30 Christians on January 2 for praying at a private house in Asmara, the nation's capital. Some of the Christians were just recently released after being detained for their faith. International Christian Concern (ICC) reported that security officials arrested the Christians and took them to the police station. The detained Christians are members of the Philadelphia Church, an evangelical church outlawed in Eritrea.

Several churches have been forced to go underground in Eritrea since 2002, when officials required all religious groups to register. The officials only recognize four religious groups: Islam, the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea.

Currently, more than 3,000 Eritreans have been detained for their faith in Christ. Most are kept in underground dungeons, metal shipping containers and military barracks. Several Christians have died while imprisoned due to torture and lack of medical attention.

Please pray for church unity and genuine religious freedom in Eritrea. Commit to the Lord all believers in this nation, especially those suffering in prison. Pray for the Lord's strengthening presence, and pray for their release.

Read more about the persecuted Church in Eritrea at 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

    ...