Eritrean Church Leader in Prison for 12 Years

haile naigzhi

As Jubilee Campaign has previously reported, Eritrea is one of the hardest places in the world to be a Christian due to intense persecution and its restrictive government. Church leader Haile Naigzhi is one of many church leaders who remains in prison today after being arrested 12 years ago in 2004.

In 2002, the Eritrean government outlawed all religions except Islam and the following Christian denominations: Orthodox, Evangelical Lutheran, and the Roman Catholic Church. Because of this, many non-denominational, Evangelical, and Pentecostal Christians have been arrested due to their faith, and many remain in prison with no knowledge of when or if they will ever be released.

Christians often are forced to flee for fear of persecution or arrest. This is what happened to Naigzhi’s wife and three children. After years of waiting and hoping Naigzhi would be released from his dungeon-like prison, his family was forced to leave the area in 2013 after receiving information that the government wanted to incarcerate them all.

They have now found asylum in an undisclosed place outside of Eritrea where they can openly practice their faith. The family has shown enormous resilience and faith in the Lord, but they still miss Naigzhi dearly and hope for his release.

Please keep Naigzhi and his family in your prayers. Here is also a list of other church leaders known to be imprisoned in Eritrea who need your intercessory prayers:

Abune Antonios- head of the Orthodox church.

Ogbamichael Teklehaimanot- pastor at Kale Hiwot Church

Kidane Weldou- pastor at Full Gospel Church

Kiflu Gebremeskel- founder of Southwest Full Gospel Church

Million Gebreselasie- pastor of Massawa Rhema Church

Futsum Gebrenegus- Orthodox priest

Gebremedhin Gebregiorsis- Orthodox priest

Tekleab Menghisteab- Orthodox priest