Eritrea has been ruled as a dictatorship since it achieved independence from Ethiopia in 1993. All private media has been banned and only four religious groups allowed to operate. Even so, believers are experiencing increasing pressure and the United Nations has set up a commission of enquiry into Human Rights Abuse. Meanwhile 70% of the population cannot feed themselves, and many migrants die as they seek a better life elsewhere.
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. (Prayercast)