The LCMS began work in Eritrea in 1975. Until 2003, two LCMS Eritrean expatriate staff assisted with seminary education, theological education by extension and literacy work. LCMS World Mission has worked with national seminary-trained leaders to reach the Kunama people. This people group has experienced great social upheaval, but is very open to the Gospel. Fifty percent of the Kunama people are Muslim and 5 percent are Christian.
The Evangelical Church of Eritrea operates a theological seminary, four medical clinics, a kindergarten, five primary schools, two “domestic science” schools and the only two schools for the deaf in the country. The church has an active media ministry and more than 1,000 individuals enrolled in Bible correspondence courses.
Beginning in 1997, LCMS World Relief and Human Care has historically supported various projects in Eritrea, including funding for women’s leadership training by equipping them for housekeeping, office work and making handcrafts. Funding has also been provided for opening and equipping three health stations, upgrades to existing health stations and distribution of food, shelter and medical supplies to people displaced because of border conflicts.