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A market in Keren, Eritrea - Photo: Flickr / David Stanley
A market in Keren, Eritrea.
Photo: Flickr / David Stanley (c)

A recent wave of raids against Christians has taken place, with at least 150 arrested in the past two months. On June 23rd, 70 members of the Faith Mission Church of Christ in Keren were arrested (see this report). The believers were taken to the Ashufera prison which, according to reports, consists of a series of tunnels in a remote area outside of the city. Prisoners there are forced to dig more tunnels when additional space is needed.

Also in Keren, six Christian government employees were taken to court on August 16th where the judge ordered them to renounce their faith. All six refused, saying they would not "negotiate their faith." Two days later, 80 more Christians were detained by security officials in Godayef, an area near the Asmara airport. Those detained had been taken to a police station where they were still being held at last report. For more information on the suffering facing Christians in Eritrea, go to our online country report.

Praise God for the ongoing testimony of these believers who are standing firm in the midst of trials. May their faith and endurance be a source of encouragement to other followers of Christ and a testimony to those in need of His eternal salvation -- including their captors. Ask the Lord to also continue ministering to the many Eritrean Christians suffering deplorable prison conditions in other parts of the country because of their beliefs. May He mediate on their behalf as well, miraculously making a way for their safe release.

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

  • 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