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Persecuted death in Eritrean prison

17 July, 2013 Eritrea (MNN/ODM) ― Open Doors USA recently learned about the death of another Christian in an Eritrean prison. Yosief Kebedom Gelai, a recently converted single Christian, died in Medefera July 5. Sources told Open Doors

17 July, 2013
Eritrea (MNN/ODM) ― Open Doors USA recently learned about the death of another Christian in an Eritrean prison.

Yosief Kebedom Gelai, a recently converted single Christian, died in Medefera July 5.

Sources told Open Doors that Yosief, 41, had been sick for a long time, but that the harsh treatment at a secret Medefera incarceration center aggravated the effects of the unknown disease.

Eritrea ranks #10 on the Open Doors World Watch List of countries with the worst persecution of believers. Yosief is the 24th reported death connected to punishment for religious activities outside of the government-sanctioned Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, Lutheran Church, and Islam.

However, because of the government’s secrecy surrounding prisoners and denied access to watchdog organizations, there may be many more deaths and burials that have not been reported.

Yosief was originally from Asmara. He went to Mendefera to teach at a primary school some time prior to his arrest. Six months after his arrival, Yosief came to faith in Christ. His devotion to Bible study and prayer caught the attention of representatives of the ruling Eritrean People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (EPRDF) at the school.

Authorities arrested him in December and took him to the secret incarceration center in Mendefera where he was kept incommunicado. Sources told Open Doors the center holds many other religious prisoners whose whereabouts were previously unknown to family members and churches.

“Christians should be hugely encouraged to see how God through His Holy Spirit enables His children even new–and isolated ones like Yosief–to remain firm in their devotion to Christ no matter the circumstances,” commented an Open Doors team member.

Please pray for other Christians incarcerated in Eritrean prisons. Pray for the Holy Spirit to give believers strength and peace.

You can be an encouragement to persecuted believers by supporting the ministry of Open Doors. Learn more about their work in oppressive countries

Review overview
  • Said July 18, 2013

    its nothing new to the dictator, this dictator you don’t care about you believe, just a sick man. I hope the family in the kids that doing great. its nothing we can say God bless him.

  • Zeray July 18, 2013

    Ladies and gentlemen this is atrocious. Please don’t be someone who says, “it is him- not me” and just keeps on going. Many Eritreans are now actively working hard to shorten the suffering of our people. The youth opposition for example are doing everything they can to help the truly suffering and at the same time fight this cursed military dictatorial Eritrean regime. Get involved by going to You can be a part of this historic movement who sides with its people.

    • ida July 18, 2013

      This is great! We know who you are, and what your goals are.

  • rti July 18, 2013

    Heartbreaking! I pray daily for a better Eritrea.

  • Semhar July 18, 2013

    As long as the mad dog ድያብሎስ! Isayas and HIGDEF are in Eritrea misery and death will continue.
The only solution is to get rid of crazy mad dog Isayas wedi Medhin Berad, his son, and his blind followers HIGDEF just like the Libyans did to Gadafi, his sons and his followers.
Eritreans should unite and get rid the tyrant mad dog Isayas, his son and his blind followers the HIGDEF.

  • July 18, 2013

    As long as Issias (name not worth mentioning) is in power we will continue to hear only bad news. I guarantee you this much: As as long as this evil is around us,we can’t expect any thing good will come out of Eritrea. Some times I wonder if we are allowing him to do this to us. Else, where is the outrage of Eritreans in general. We are too complacent and dormant for our own disadvantage. Dictators will remain dictators as long as we allow them to be dictators. Otherwise they will continue their evil deeds.

  • Semhar July 19, 2013

    The time is now to liberate our land and our people!
    The time is now! The UN, the OAU, all our neighbor’s countries are on our side!
    Let’s get rid the mad dog! Like the Libyans did to their mad dog Gadafi.

    It’s your choice, to be on the side of your people, or on the side of the tyrant dictator.
    It’s your choice, to liberate our land and our people now!

    Eritrea needs a man like IDRIS AWATE to get rid the mad dog and his followers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Shame on us to let the mad dog destroy our land and our people!

    We should implement the advise of the founders of our revolution.

    1) Woldeab W/ Mariam: “God blessed this crown (Eritrea) for us,
    Woe to him who dares touch it.”

    2) Ibrahim Sultan. “ Stand united my dear folks.
    Unite and work together for Eritrea.”

    The time is now!
    Death to the mad dog, the tyrant dictator and his followers!