Eritrea today is like one giant prison where hope has disappeared and where the majority of people are denied simple freedoms, basic human dignity and human rights. Many thousands of Eritreans continue to leave their homeland as refugees
every year —risking everything to find a better life for themselves and their families.

In 2002 the Government of Eritrea closed down all unregistered evangelical and Pentecostal churches, beginning a systematic campaign of persecution that has resulted in thousands of Christians being detained and imprisoned in appalling conditions during the past 15 years. Eritrean Christians continue to need your support, your love and your prayers: which is why we are now launching our new Pray173 campaign.

Why 173?

Our Eritrea partner has identified 173 Eritrean prisoners of faith by name, many of whom have been jailed for more than 12 years. That’s 173 prisoners without visitation rights, without any real hope of being released, having never been charged or been granted a trial. We know the names of 173 men, women and even children, but there are other prisoners whose names we don’t know.

CAMPAIGN for Eritrean prisoners of faith Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who helped to inspire the founding of Release in 1968, spent a total of 14 years in prison because of his faith. He wrote:

‘Whoever wishes to meet Jesus must first meet him in places where brothers and sisters of Jesus are hungry, thirsty, naked, unwanted, sick or in prison. Whoever keeps himself distant from these places remains distant from Jesus.’

Hebrews 13:3 urges us to:

‘Remember those in prison as if you were together with them’.

Remembering those imprisoned for their faith in Christ is not just thinking about them from time to time: it is to pray for them daily and to help meet their practical needs. That’s why Release, together with our partner Release Eritrea and many Christian brothers and sisters inside Eritrea, believe that now is the time to pray for Eritrea like we have never prayed before. It’s time to commit to serious prayer and to see God’s Holy
Spirit open prison doors and set the captives free. It’s time to Pray173.

What is Pray173?

Pray 173 is an appeal to Christians across the UK and Ireland to commit to pray for 173 Eritrean prisoners of faith for 173 days. We will provide you with the names of some of these individual prisoners. We will provide you with prisoner profiles to fuel and inform your prayers and we will give you 173 brief daily prayer points. Regular information will be available through Facebook and Twitter.

Over the past 12 years Release, with your help, has faithfully supported
our persecuted brothers and sisters inside Eritrea. We believe now that people will die in prison unless we pray and they are released. We believe God can change the hearts of kings and presidents, of officials and governments.

Will you now commit to pray for 173 days for Eritrean Christians in prison and believe God for a miracle?

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