Flag of Eritrea Rank: 12
Score: 72/100
2013 Rank: 10
Leader: President Isaias Afewerki
Government: One-party state
Main Religion: Islam/Christianity
Population: 5.9 million (Christians 2.7 million)
Source of persecution: Dictatorial paranoia/Islamic extremism

Christian Persecution in EritreaThe repeated tragedy of migrant boats capsizing in 2013 has drawn attention to the repressive circumstances for Christians in Eritrea. Those in the Coptic Church enjoy relative freedom, but Christians of other denominations suffer house raids, arrests and systematic torture. Gabriella is an influential Christian in the underground church who was interrogated, tortured and kept in solitary confinement – but she never denied Christ. She describes her time in prison as ‘a honeymoon with Jesus’.


  • Give thanks for the resilient faith of Christians like Gabriella; remember those imprisoned in harsh circumstances.
  • That the Lord would comfort the grieving and broken-hearted families who have lost loved ones.
  • For the protection of Open Doors work in providing relief assistance to families in need.

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NOTE: Comments which use inappropriate language, harass or attack any individual based off of religion, ethnicity, belief etc will be removed.

  • Edith Kurie

    Heavenly Father, thank You for these Your children and beloved. I pray for them, their families and their persecutors. You can do anything Father. I pray Your protection and love over each of these, now and always, in Jesus’ name, amen.

  • Katya Pledger

    Lord I pray for those suffering in Eritrea that you would comfort them and give peace to them. Sustain them Almighty God. You are the LORD of LORDS and the KING of KINGS forever and ever amen!
    King Jesus thank you for those who are on fire and are passionate about You like Gabriela. May those who are bold for you increase in number. For the coptic Christians set a fire in their souls for You and may they be bold and passionate about You. Lord continue to be with our brothers and sisters in Christ and fill them up with your love and protect them. In Jesus’ name , AMEN!

  • Amy

    Lord, I come to You this morning on behalf of the nation of Eritrea and all of the Christians who are suffering so badly there. Whatever troubles and difficulties I am going through are nothing in comparison to what I’ve seen and read about today. I know that Your grace will be sufficient for both the Eritrean believers and also for myself. I first want to lift up the family of Wehazit as they are mourning her death. Please be their comfort and their encouragement during this time… I know that there are no human words or actions that can soothe them in their mourning, but I know that You are able to get to places in their hearts that no one else can reach. Please be their comfort and just be so close to them during this time… help them to be able to constantly feel Your presence around them, giving them grace and strength to endure.
    I also pray for Yohannes and his family. I pray for Your strength for them and Your protection. I am assuming that he has gotten out, and I pray for Your continued physical and emotional healing over him and his family because of the circumstances of his imprisonment. I ask that You would provide for their needs and that You would give them vision and direction for their future and for their baby’s future. Your plans for them are still good and perfect and You know exactly what it is that You are doing in their lives. Help them to be able to trust You even in the most difficult of circumstances.
    I thank You for the strength that You have been giving to Christians like Gabriella and others, who have refused to deny their faith even under torture. I want to be able to be like them and not grow weary of serving You when very difficult trials come. I pray for them and for their families – that they would continue to lean completely on You and receive Your strength and Your grace through their trials and situations. I pray for all those believers who are imprisoned right now in Eritrea… and that You would provide everything that they need in prison. I don’t understand why You would let one of Your children die of pneumonia in prison, but I know that You had a good reason and also that You were with her in a way that we can’t even begin to understand. I am sure that You shielded her from even worse situations happening to her.
    Lord, I also pray for all those who are grieving over lost loved ones who have been killed or imprisoned or taken from their families in some way. I don’t know how You can comfort a heart that broken, but I know that You can. I pray that You would take them in Your arms today and hold them and let them feel Your tender touch and Your presence. I know that there’s no way to take away the pain that they feel, but I pray that You would help them to bear it and that You would somehow bring a supernatural level of comfort that seems impossible in the natural. I pray that You would provide for the physical and tangible needs of these families so that they are not worried about their own survival in addition to their grief… and that You would help them on the journey to forgiveness and freedom from hate towards those who took their loved ones. I pray that they would find hope in the power of the resurrection and that they would continually look to You as their Source for all things.
    Finally, I pray for the ministry of Open Doors and all other organizations that are seeking to bring hope and relief and the gospel to Eritrea. I pray for the protection of the workers there. I ask that You would give them supernatural wisdom each day in their comings and goings and that You would shut doors or paths that You don’t want them walking down. I ask that You would please provide financially for every work that is happening in Eritrea that You have ordained, and that You would provide the people to execute those plans. I ask that You would send more workers to Eritrea who are called there by You who will support the work being done and start new works. I pray that the ministries of Open Doors and other organizations would be effective and fruitful and pleasing to You, and that believers in Eritrea would be strengthened and encouraged and equipped to be evangelists. Bless their work so that Your gospel may reach every single person in Eritrea. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  • Ernest Zenone

    “A honeymoon with Jesus”! It just makes me wonder at the grace that our Lord gives to Gabriella. Lord, I thank you for her faithfulness under persecution. I thank you for your saints in Eritrea who will suffer for Jesus’ sake rather than deny Him! May we follow their example and share the gospel while we still have freedom to do son here in America. I pray for the salvation of those who persecute your people in Eritrea. Please protect Open Doors in ministering to your people there. In Jesus name I pray this. Amen. JEHOVAH-JIREH!