(Voice of the Persecuted) Before praying for Eritrea, we want to pray for: Leah Sharibu and Alice, made slaves for life by Boko Haram.
Population: 5.2 million, Christians 2.5 million
Horrific prisons and human rights atrocities. Since 1993, President Afwerki has overseen an authoritarian brutal regime that rests on massive human rights violations. During the 2019 World Watch List reporting period, government security forces conducted many house-to-house raids and imprisoned hundreds of Christians in inhumane conditions, including small shipping containers in scorching heat. Protestants, in particular, face serious problems in accessing community resources, especially social services provided by the State.
06/07/2019 30 Christians were arrested on Monday, June 3, while praying at nondenominational churches in three different locations in Asmara, Eritrea. This news comes shortly after the arrest of 141 Christians in Asmara in early May. According to local reports, the arrested individuals will be freed only if they disavow their faith.
The current Eritrean government only recognizes four religious affiliations, including Sunni Islam, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Eritrea, the Catholic Church, and Orthodox Christianity, even though the constitution proclaims religious freedom. Consequently, religious minorities outside of these four groups face consistent opposition from government bodies.
Eritrean police officers are known to carry out raids on private homes where devotees of unrecognized religions, especially Pentecostal Christians, meet for community prayer. In this week’s raid, Pentecostal Christians were targeted while they prayed in their community churches. The condition of the jails these Christians are sent is most troubling. Eritrea is known for imprisoning dissidents in metal shipping containers in the heat of its desert climate.
At least 10 prisons around the country are holding hundreds of prisoners who have been detained for anywhere from a few months to 20 years, according to Release Eritrea, a U.K. charity that highlights Christian persecution in the country. Among them is the former Patriarch of Eritrea Orthodox Church,
Abune Antonios, who is in his 80s and has been under house arrest and incommunicado since 2007. He was deposed after complaining about the government’s interference with the church.
Pray for endurance for brothers and sisters detained in horrific conditions and ask God to give them perseverance in their faith, some of whom still, remain in prison after more than 10 years.
Pray that the International community will focus, shine the light, on the inhuman prison conditions and that will lead to improve the life of prisoners.
Pray for President Afwerki, that God would work in his heart and reveal the truth of the gospel.
Pray for cooperation among the Christians of Eritrea, that they would be one. Tragically, the Orthodox Church in Eritrea sometimes acts as an agent of persecution against other Christians.
Pray to the Lord for Bibles and discipleship materials to be readily available.
Pray to the Lord that He opens the doors to evangelism, that believers can boldly share the Gospel.
Pray to the Lord that that the internet is easily accessible and minister to both believers and non-believers.
Pray that the evangelical churches will be recognized and become legitimate centers for Bible teaching and worship.
Pray for the growth of the church and that the powers of darkness will not prevail.
Andy, Prayer Team Moderator
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What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin has led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also serves as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted.
On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.
Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ.
Meet you on the call!