|% Urban:||42 %|
|Official Language:||Tigrinya. Tigre, Arabic and English (especially for secondary and tertiary education) also widely used|
|Literacy Rate:||69 %|
|Life Expectancy:||66.5 yrs (181/236)|
|HDI Ranking:||180 / 189|
|% Christian:||47.3 %|
|% Evangelical:||2.1 %|
|% Largest Religion:||50.3 %|
|Least Reached People Groups:||10|
|% Unevangelized:||29 %|
|Persecution Ranking:||4 / 50|
Eritrea is located in a region fraught with conflict and crises. Many face extreme poverty with no relief ahead as drought and food shortages are serious challenges in this one-party state. Mandatory military service limits the size of the workforce. Many people flee the country to escape the military, and the money sent home by those who live abroad now provides a vital source of income for the country. Eritrea’s relations with its neighbour and former enemy, Ethiopia, have significantly improved of late. However, one of the results of this is that the two governments are colluding to wreak destruction on Ethiopia’s restive Tigray region. Pray for the government to focus on caring and providing for its own people – it has a terrible record on human rights and press freedoms, accompanied by an obsession with military power and control.
Religious freedom remains a major issue. A 2002 government ruling banned all religious groups from meeting together and practicing their faith without official recognition, and it granted recognition only to Sunni Islam, Eritrean Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran groups. The effects of this on all Eritreans are significant, especially so on Christians within non-approved groups. Some posit this as a reaction against the evangelical growth within the Orthodox Church and during the long war with Ethiopia. Pray for government acceptance of religious groups and for restoration of basic human rights and religious freedom to all Eritreans.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.