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Eritrea: In Trouble for Singing

Helen (right) and a Christian friend

One Saturday morning, police officers in Eritrea raided a children’s Bible study. The kids, ages 2 to 18, were taken to the police station with their teachers.

At the station the children began to sing a song. The song said, “I am not afraid of persecution, hardships, and even death. Nobody can separate me from the love of Jesus Christ.”

According to some reports, the police told the children to “shut up.” The youngest children were released that day, but the oldest had to stay longer.

Helen Berhane
The Bible study children were not the only singers the government wanted to “shut up.” Helen Berhane is an Eritrean gospel singer. Her music was popular with young people in Eritrea.
The police wanted Helen to sign a paper denying her faith in Christ. They wanted her to promise not to sing Christian music anymore. She refused.

The police took Helen to an army camp and kept her there for more than two years. She was treated harshly and was even forced to stay inside a hot metal shipping container much of the time. After Helen was released, she had to use a wheelchair because her legs and feet were injured in prison.

Christians are still arrested and put in prison in Eritrea.

(Source: Kids of Courage archives)

Prayer Requests from the August 2018 VOM newsletter
*Pray that Eritrean Christians will have the strength and grace to endure persecution and faithfully witness for Christ.

*Pray for the president of Eritrea’s salvation.

*Lift up the many parents who must raise their children alone while their spouse is in prison.

*Praise God for churches outside the country that are caring for children whose parents or other family members are still in Eritrea.

*Pray that Christian prisoners will be released and that Eritrea will restore freedom of worship.

*Pray that new doors will be opened to the gospel in Eritrea.


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