ERITREA: 15 Christians re-arrested

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The Eritrean authorities recently arrested 15 Christians in raids on their houses in the capital Asmara. All have previously been imprisoned for their faith – some for up to 16 years.

This latest wave of arrests of men and women from different churches aged from their late 20s to their 60s, puts paid to any prospect of a softening of policy towards Christian prisoners in Eritrea after a number were recently released. Some have already served up to 16 years behind bars while others have been imprisoned for between five and six years. They were released last summer, but rearrested following the discovery of a list of Christian contacts.

The believers were all taken to Mai Serwa maximum-security prison in the capital.

In July, the authorities re-arrested two elderly pastors, Girmay Araia and Samuel Gebrewleldi. Both are in their 70s and leaders in the Full Gospel Church of Eritrea. No reason has been given for their arrest.

It is estimated that there are now about 160 Christian prisoners in Eritrea.

‘There was lots of good news last year when some Christians were set free,’ says Release partner, Dr Berhane Asmelash. ‘We live in hope, but the government has yet to change its policy. We have been here before.’


  • That those arrested would remain strong in their faith and that they would know God’s presence and provision while they are detained.
  • That God would make a way for all Christians behind bars for their faith in Eritrea to be released.
  • That there would be a genuine and long-lasting change in policy by the government towards Christians.


  • Give thanks to God for our partner SAT-7’s 25 years of serving the Middle East and North Africa! From a two-hours-a-week broadcast from a rented studio in 1996, its ministry has expanded to 24/7 output on four satellite television channels and numerous digital media platforms. Their Farsi-language channel, SAT-7 PARS, joined the SAT-7 family in 2006 to support the people of Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan in their challenging contexts of discrimination and persecution. Since then, it has provided consistent Gospel witness, discipleship training and support for vulnerable groups such as women and young people. Pray that it may continue faithfully to support beleaguered but faithful Christians in the Persian-speaking world.