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Twen Theodros - Photo: VOM U.S.
Photo: VOM USA

Twen Theodros has spent 13 years behind bars in Eritrea. Despite having suffered brutal treatment, this young woman, who is described as a "precious, lovely Christian" by those who know her, is more concerned about others than for her own well-being. Those familiar with Helen Berhane may know Twen as "Esther."

Imprisoned in the same shipping container, Twen would care for Helen, washing her wounds, feeding her, even taking beatings in her place. VOMC's ministry partner, Release International, had recently managed to find out through contacts how she is doing in prison and request specific ways we can pray for her. Twen's reply was simple yet deeply humbling. She had only one prayer request, and that was for God to be glorified in Eritrea!

Twen, who is in her 30s, as well as other Eritrean prisoners of faith, need our prayers. Pray for their release, but also that they would remain in unity while awaiting freedom from imprisonment. At times, there can be conflict among the prisoners, simply for being locked up together in such a confined space for 24 hours, day after day, while enduring inhumane conditions.

To learn more about Twen, and even write her a letter, visit Prisoner Alert. A book featuring Helen Berhane's biography is also available for purchase here.

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