Persecution Update, June 2015: Eritrea

The tiny country of Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia in 1993. Now known as the “North Korea of Africa” and listed in the top ten of the harshest persecutors of Christians, Eritrea’s predominant religion is Sunni Islam. However, the primary agent of persecution has been the Marxist president, who claims to be an Orthodox Christian and who has ruled over the country with an iron fist for over twenty years. Dire economic conditions and government oppression are so bad that Eritrean citizens have been fleeing the country for years. The suffering for evangelical Christians—who number only about 128,000—has been horrific. It is estimated that somewhere between 1,000 and 3,000 evangelical Christians are in concentration camps, where they are tortured and housed in crowded metal shipping containers with no ventilation in spite of the extreme heat. Some believers have spent more than ten years in such camps! Yet, an Eritrean church elder recently said, “God is working mightily; the church is growing.” Pray for sustaining grace for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Eritrea who suffer for the Gospel’s sake.