As a small, East African country with little significance on the world stage, the one-party government of Eritrea has one of the worst records of abuse of human rights in the world today, with Christians often used as political targets.

Ever since a 2002 Eritrean law was passed which limited gatherings of Christians to strictly state-registered churches, the government has been forcing the shutdown of dozens of churches and simultaneously arresting hundreds of our Christian brothers and sisters. Eritrea’s prison system is notorious for its egregious human rights violations and its arbitrary detainment of prisoners for years, even decades.

Shipping containers are used to imprison Christians in Eritrea (PC: World Watch Monitor)

Prisoners are routinely tortured and hidden away in unventilated shipping containers in the desert until they die from lack of nourishment, disease, or wounds suffered at the hands of the state’s prison guards and security police. From the beginning of May to June this year, World Watch Monitor reports that over 160 Christians were arrested as a result of government-directed raids on several Christian house churches. The prisoners include families with children as young as 2-months-old. Heartbreakingly, 12 children are incarcerated along with their parents.

A consequence of this government hostility towards its citizens is aptly captured by Elizabeth Chyrum of Human Rights Concern-Eritrea. She says, “Sixty thousand Eritreans flee their country every year – more than from any other African country – and yet the world’s media … continues to call them “migrants”, shutting its eyes to [Eritrea’s] imprisonment without trial, torture, persecution of believers, and, above all, lifetime National Service for every young man or woman over 18 years of age, condemned to endless years in the armed forces, or “slave”.”

Many Eritrean Christians have been forced to flee their country (PC: AFP)

“Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”— Hebrews 12: 3

Pray —

8/16 — Pray that God’s Word will be made available to those Christians imprisoned in Eritrea that His Word might dwell continually in their hearts, lifting their spirits in joy and sustaining them with the richest fare. (Isaiah 55:2)

8/17— Pray for Eritrean believers to be comforted in the knowledge that Christ identifies with each of their sufferings, Himself being falsely accused and tortured.

Eritrean Christians who have to meet in secret (PC: World Watch Monitor)

8/18 — Pray that Christians in Eritrea will be filled with His strength to endure, and take up their Cross and follow Him.

8/19 — Petition the Lord who came to set the captives free for the release of more than 160 Christians falsely imprisoned in Eritrea today.

8/20 — Ask God, who has infinite compassion on little children and serious rebuke for those who abuse them, to send His angels to guard the children of Eritrean Christians.

8/21 — Pray for God to intervene on behalf of His severely oppressed Church in Eritrea and bring those into authority who will fight for to defend the persecuted.

8/22 — Pray for the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to minister to the families of martyrs and prisoners in Eritrea.

8/23 — Pray that Eritrean Christians will brandish the Sword of the Spirit, claiming their identity as co-heirs with Christ, every time that Satan seeks to attack their spirit.

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