WORLD WATCH LIST

Eritrea

#6

Following Jesus could have you imprisoned without trial.

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“Our brothers and sisters are still in prison. While we eat, they have no food. While we are free, they are in chains. But if we are hand in hand, we can do more.”

– Helen Berhane, imprisoned for sharing the gospel

Country
Profile

Region
Africa
Sources of persecution
Dictatorial Paranoia
Population
5,555,000
Christian population
2,611,000
Religions
Islam
Leader
President Isaias Afwerki
Score
88
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What Does Persecution Look Like?

Almost half the population of Eritrea identifies as Christian, but the government only recognises three denominations—Orthodox, Catholic, and Lutheran. Those not part of these groups are at risk of severe persecution from the state.

There are possibly more than 1,000 Christians imprisoned in Eritrea, with none formally charged. The conditions in prison can be inhumane. Some pastors have been locked up for over a decade and have faced solitary confinement.

Who Is Most Vulnerable To Persecution?

Christians not recognized by the state are especially vulnerable to everyday surveillance with phone calls monitored, bandwidth kept slow, and a network of citizens tasked with spying on their neighbours. This intrusive level of monitoring has led to Eritrea holding the infamous title of “Africa’s North Korea.”

Christians who have converted from Muslim or Orthodox backgrounds are also more susceptible to persecution.

PRAY FOR ERITREA

– Pray that imprisoned Christians and their families will be sustained by God’s grace and presence.

– Pray for wisdom, discernment, and boldness for believers as they gather despite surveillance.

– Pray that Christians from Islamic and Orthodox backgrounds will be encouraged to stand firm in the faith.

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