Earlier this month, more than 140 Christians were arrested as they gathered in a private courtyard in the Mai Temenai area of Asmara, the capital of Eritrea.

Voice of the Martyrs Korea’s partner, Release Eritrea, reports that 104 of those arrested were women, 23 were men and 14 were children.

The arrests happened during a time when tensions are rising and security is being tightened due to upcoming Independence Day celebrations.

“Experts often called Eritrea ‘the North Korea of Africa’ due to its fierce persecution of Christians,”

Voice of the Martyrs Korean representative Foley Hyun Sook explains.

Eritrean Church Worship

Eritrean Widower with Kids

“A majority of the Eritrean church’s original leaders were arrested and imprisoned shortly after Eritrean rebels solidified their hold over the country. Because of this, the women of Eritrea’s church stepped in and began leading the church in their absence. To this day, these women are continuing to lead the church

Some detainees are thought to be held in Adi Abeito prison, close to where they were arrested; others are still being held by police. No one has been charged yet.

 Doctor Berhane Asmelash

Voice of the Martyrs Korea partner Doctor Berhane Asmelash says Christians inside Eritrea have become bolder as the Eritrean diaspora has become more outspoken in calling for greater religious freedom.

“Please pray that God will strengthen and sustain all those who were arrested,” Foley requests.

“And help us to support the families they’ve been forced to leave behind.”

Voice of the Martyrs Korea is raising funds to support the families of those who were arrested this raid as well as the families of those whose families have been in prison for much longer. Anyone wishing to support the project can do so through the Voice of the Martyrs Korea website at

Money can also be sent by wire transfer to: 국민은행 463501-01-243303, 예금주: (사)순교자의소리

Persons wishing to donate through wire transfer should add their name and the word “Eritrea” to ensure the funds are directed to this project. Voice of the Martyrs Korea is a non-profit organization created to support persecuted Christians around the world whose Financial Accountability has been approved by the Christianity Council for Financial Transparency Korea (CCFK).

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