skip to Main Content
Questions about Global Missions?


Nestled snuggly on the Horn of Africa between the larger nations of Sudan and Ethiopia, Eritrea is the product of Italian colonization and British occupation. But what has more recently defined this nation’s progress and struggle is the fragile relationship with its southern neighbor, Ethiopia, and the decades of conflict between them. Though Eritrea currently experiences peace, past conflict hinders economic and political progress.

Conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia was exacerbated by the UN establishment of Eritrea as an independent federation of Ethiopia in 1952. The settlement disregarded Eritrea’s desires for complete autonomy and proved unfavorable to Ethiopian leaders who annexed the nation ten years later. This marked the beginning of Eritrea’s 30-year struggle for independence. Ethiopian political reform in 1993 would open the door for Eritrea to gain independence as a nation. In 1998, border conflict resurfaced, and two years of fighting claimed the lives of tens of thousands of soldiers. Since peace agreements were established in 2000, Eritrea has faced numerous skirmishes but continues to maintain control of its borders. Due to years of intense military investment, the general welfare, basic systems, and infrastructure of the nation were not maintained. Improper agricultural management left two-thirds of its population dependent on food aid and created an economy with few skilled workers.

With four government-recognized religions–Sunni Islam, Eritrean Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Lutheran–Eritrea is especially hostile to non-approved religious affiliations. Some estimate that over 3,000 Christians are imprisoned in Eritrea for adhering to evangelicalism, many of those facing crippling torture and even death. Full religious freedom is desperately needed. Even so, churches in Eritrea are growing despite sanctioned opposition, and many believers have moved underground with the establishment of house churches. Pray that the Lord would preserve his people in Eritrea and grant them freedom from the strong grasp of political and religious oppression.

quick facts

Muslim 51%, Christian 47%, Agnostic 1%
capital city:
Tigrigna, Tigré, Afar, Saho, Kunama
Presidential republic
GDP per capita:
literacy rate:
major groups of people:
45% Tigrai; 23% Tigre (Khasa); 9% Danakil (Afar, Adali); 4% Saho (Sao, Minifere, Irob); 4% Kunama (Cunama, Diila)

prayer points


The Eritrean church, particularly the Kale Heywet Church, to flourish even under ongoing threats of persecution


The listeners of the radio broadcasts, especially the young people, to cultivate a personal relationship with God, express increased commitment to him and his church, and actively participate in disciple-making


The Tigrinya-speaking radio producers, who have been engaged to prepare effective radio broadcasts to Eritrea and beyond


The Christian believers, especially church leaders, who are imprisoned for their faith and for God’s comfort and provision for the families of those imprisoned for the gospel


Opportunities for radio broadcasts in the Tigre language to Tigre Christians in Eritrea and beyond

Back To Top