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It has been reported by Release International ministry partners that more than 20 Christians have been arrested in the Eritrean capital of Asmara within the past few weeks. The arrests took place at the homes of the accused, indicating that they were planned in advance by the city's authorities. These government officials have been targeting church leaders of various denominations, including the Full Gospel Church and the Mesret Kristos (Mennonite) Church.

Since this East African nation's independence in 1993, and the repressive leadership of President Isaias Afewerki, there has been a notable increase in political uncertainty. Relations with its neighbouring country of Ethiopia have become even more strained since the death of Ethiopian Premier Meles Zenawi in August of 2012. More recently, a group of non-conformist soldiers tried to gain control of the Ministry of Information, in an attempt to bring about political change. To learn more about Eritrea's history, check the Eritrea Country Report.

Pray for God's peace and protection over His people during Eritrea's politically uncertain times. As these spiritual leaders earnestly seek His wisdom and guidance for their congregations and communities, may they find themselves drawing closer in relationship with Him and, as a result, in unity with one another. Overall, may there be a greatly needed breakthrough in the struggle for increased religious freedom.

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

  • New Arrests and Prison Releases
    Eritreans worshipping
    Photo: VOMC

    According to a recent report, 30 Christians were arrested in mid-March while gathering for worship at a believer's house in the Eritrean city of Keren. Unfortunately, no further details are available at this time. The recently arrested followers of Jesus join more than 400 other Christia

  • 44 Christians Arrested; Three Others Released
    Large church
    A cathedral in Asmara.
    Photo: Wikipedia / KH (cc)

    According to a recent report, 44 believers have been arrested from private homes in Eritrea by governing officials since the beginning of 2023. The group – consisting of 39 women and five men – are being held at the Mai Serwa prison on the outskirt