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Fifteen Years in Prison

Fifteen years ago today, at 5:00 in the morning on May 23, 2004, police in Eritrea arrested Dr. Kiflu Gebremeskel and Mr. Haile Nayzgi. The men, who were leaders in their Christian churches, did not belong to any of the Eritrean government’s approved religion groups. Eritrea imprisons hundreds of people because of their religious beliefs.

Dr. Gebremeskel and Mr. Nayzgi have been in prison for 5,480 days. In the past, Dr. Gebremeskel earned a degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago. He has a wife and four children.

Dr. Gebremeskel

Mr. Nayzgi used to be an accountant. After his wife was warned that she might also be arrested, she and their four children escaped to a safer country. In a message smuggled out of Eritrea, Mr. Nayzgi thanked The Voice of the Martyrs for helping his family. He is happy that they are safe.

Mr. Nayzgi

Visit prisoneralert.com to learn more about these courageous Christians and to find out how to send messages of encouragement to Dr. Gebremeskel and Mr. Nayzgi.

To learn more about Christians in Eritrea, download Bold Believers in Eritrea from the Downloads section.


Eritrea: Twen in Prison

In 2004:
*George W. Bush was the president of the United States.
*Facebook was launched as a new form of social media.
*Skype grew in popularity as a way to communicate.
*iPhones would not be released for three more years.

Does 2004 seem like a long time ago?

In 2004, fifteen years ago this month, Twen Theodros was first arrested in Eritrea. She was 23 years old and a new Christian. Twen was released, but re-arrested in 2005. She has been in prison in harsh conditions ever since. That’s a long time to be in prison!

According to prisoneralert.com, “Today, Twen is considered a key senior women’s leader in the prison. She continues to look after and care for other women prisoners. People who know and love Twen say she is a precious, lovely Christian who is determined to remain a faithful follower of Jesus. They also say she is willing to stay in prison as long as God enables her to serve Him there by helping others.”

You can read more about Twen and a prayer request for her here. Please pray for her during the anniversary month of her first arrest.


Eritrea: Twen’s Prayer Request

A previous post told about Helen Berhane, a Christian who was imprisoned in Eritrea for refusing to deny Christ.

Helen endured harsh treatment in prison, and was forced to stay in a hot, metal shipping container most of the time. Twen, another Christian prisoner, cared for Helen. She washed Helen’s wounds, fed her, and even took beatings in her place.

Helen was released more than 10 years ago. But her friend Twen (shown in the photo) is still in prison. Read more about her at prisoneralert.com. You can even send her a note of encouragement by following instructions on the Prisoner Alert site.

Recently Twen sent a message to Christians outside the prison who were asking how to pray for her. Twen had only one prayer request: “Pray for God to be glorified in Eritrea!”

Thank God for Twen’s faithfulness to Him and for her good example to other Christians in and outside of the prison.


Bible Story Gift Bag

Church murals in Eritrea

Some churches in Eritrea are known for their murals depicting people and stories from the Bible. Draw, then color, a person or scene related to the Christmas story. Cut out and glue the picture onto a white gift bag.

Find out more about church murals and Christians in Eritrea in Bold Believers in Eritrea, available in the Downloads section.

Christmas gift bag


Everything Costs a Price

Helen Berhane and her daughter Ava

A previous post told how God guided Helen Berhane as she matured in her faith. Helen’s years of preparation helped her when she was imprisoned in Eritrea after she boldly proclaimed her faith in Christ.

Read below what Helen said about following Jesus.

“I decided to stand by faith; it doesn’t matter what the cost. Because everything costs a price. When you buy bread, it costs a price. When you buy car, it costs a price. Also, when you follow Jesus, it costs a price. Everything costs a price.”

(Source: vomradio.net. Edited for length and clarity)

To Talk About
*Name someone in the Bible who paid a price for obeying God.
*Tell a story from this website about someone who paid a price for following Jesus.
*Can you think of a way you might have to sacrifice something important to you in the future because you follow Jesus?