As persecution increases, your family needs your support to keep faith and hope alive
Leader: President Isaias Afewerki
Population: 5.4 million (2.6 million Christians)
Main Religion: Islam/Christianity
Government: One-party state
World Watch List Rank: 3
Source of Persecution: Dictatorial paranoia/ Islamic extremism
Eritrea has been dubbed 'the North Korea of Africa'.
The nation is under the control of an absolute dictator who sees Christians as 'agents of the West'. Believers have been imprisoned in horrific conditions in their thousands - some are kept in metal shipping containers in scorching temperatures, others are forced to work long hours doing manual labour. The government also sympathises with Islamic extremist groups such as al-Shabaab. Thirty Christians were killed in this reporting year, and others have had their homes raided, attacked and damaged.
- For comfort for imprisoned Christians - many have now been in captivity for 11 years.
- For provision and protection for believers from Muslim backgrounds who are rejected by their communities and targeted by extremists.
- For the thousands of refugees who risk the dangerous journey to Europe - especially women and children, who are particularly vulnerable to human traffickers.
Open Doors in Action:
Since the late 1990s, Open Doors has strengthened believers in Eritrea through strategic partnerships with the local church. Open Doors encourages Christians in the region through:
- Raising awareness and prayer
- Encouraging positive engagement on behalf of the church
- Offering discipleship support and practical assistance to persecuted Christians.