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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.