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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.

Over the past year, numerous Christian prisoners in this East African nation have been released, leading to some speculation that a change in policy may be imminent. However, these recent arrests, together with that of three elderly pastors in late July, demonstrate that the persecution of Christians is still taking place in the country. (A previously posted report on the arrest of the pastors is available here.)

All 15 of the recently arrested followers of Jesus had been released last summer, but they were apprehended again after a list of Christian contacts was discovered by the authorities. These rearrested believers were all taken to the Mai Serwa maximum security prison in Asmara. There are now an estimated 160 Christians being held captive in prisons throughout Eritrea.

VOMC's Minister-at-Large, Greg Musselman, was privileged to recently interview Kidane Gebremeskel Gedion, an Eritrean pastor who endured imprisonment for two-and-a-half years. To view their televised conversation, which was aired on the 100 Huntley Street program, please go to this page. A more extensive report and interview with Pastor Kidane may be viewed here.

Continue to remember the many Christians who are presently suffering for their faith amid the inhumane conditions of Eritrea's prisons. Also prayerfully uphold their families who must endure years of separation without being permitted to visit their imprisoned loved ones or even verify their state of health and well-being. Ask God to mightily intervene on behalf of these families, stirring the hearts of the country's governmental leaders who need to realize the importance of treating all citizens justly and with respect, which includes granting them rightful freedom of religion. Furthermore, pray for the ongoing efforts of evangelists who, despite the risks of ill-treatment and imprisonment, continue to courageously share the "Good News" of the Gospel throughout the nation.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
6,081,196 (July 2020 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Tigrinya (55), Tigre (30), Saho (4), Kunama (2), Rashaida (2), Bilen (2), 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

  • 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

    ...
  • 35 New Arrests
    Video: Interview with Andrew Boyd regarding recent arrests
    Click to view the video.

    In recent months, we joyfully shared the good news that dozens of Christians had been released from prisons in Eritrea (see our country report). However, any hopes that the string of releases signalled a change of heart towards Christians in the oppressive regime were dashe

    ...