We serve Christians around the world whose brave faith in Jesus means they are, beaten, threatened, imprisoned, tortured, falsely accused, disowned and hated.

The Church is growing fast…

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Imagine if simply going to church or your church youth group was outlawed by the police. Would you still go? Watch these videos to meet and hear from secret Christians in Eritrea, a country in Africa where many Christians know that gathering together could mean arrest and punishment.

Why are Christians persecuted in Eritrea?

The situation in Eritrea is confusing – just under half the population are Christians, but many followers of Jesus face extreme persecution. Why? It’s a good question. The answer is, you have to be the ‘right’ kind of Christian. The government only recognises three types of church: Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran. Those not part of these groups, which would include many styles and streams of church we have in the UK, are at risk of severe persecution from the state who monitor meetings, raid gatherings and arrest believers. The government believe Christians from evangelical and house church backgrounds are enemies of the state – potentially even spies for Western governments who want to overthrow the Eritrean regime.

As a result, some pastors have been imprisoned for over a decade. There are believed to be more than 1,000 Christians imprisoned in Eritrea, with none formally charged. While some are released, many of these are moved to military service – which is no freedom at all – or house arrest.

Since most underground church leadership positions are held by men, any arrests among them cause a leadership vacuum, as well as financial distress to families where they are the breadwinner. Detained Christian women are acutely vulnerable to gender-based violence whilst held.

A secret prayer meeting

In such a climate, unregistered churches meet in secret – just like the ‘illegal’ prayer meeting that was filmed below.

But despite all the pressure and intolerance, the underground church in Eritrea is growing! Amazing.

PRAY NOW...
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Heavenly Father, we pray for all our brothers and sisters currently imprisoned for their faith. May they and their families find strength today in Your peace ‘which transcends all understanding’ (Philippians 4:7). Thank You that some Christians have been released in recent months; intervene to bring about the release of more. Provide fellowship for all believers, and protect gatherings from the watchful eyes of the state. Work in the heart of President Afwerki, to bring him to repentance and to show him the valuable role Christians play in Eritrean society. Amen.

DO SOMETHING…
  • 1
    Learn more and pray:

    Get our free glow-in-the-dark World Watch List Map and find out more about the places where faith costs the most.

    Get your map here...
  • 2
    Pray regularly:

    Every Monday night at 7pm we'll be praying one prayer for one minute for the one in seven Christians around the world who face persecution.

    Set an alarm and tune in...
  • 3
    Choose to Lose:

    Raise money by getting sponsored to lose something you love for a short time.

    Sign up and we'll send you a fundraising pack...
  • 4
    Send a message of hope:

    Imagine getting a letter from a Christian on the other side of the world who'd heard about you and was praying for you - encouraging right? Well, you can send encouragement now to young Christians facing persecution.

    Do that here now...

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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