Sectarian violence in Ethiopia disrupts ministry.

By April 3, 2006

Ethiopia (MNN)–Christians are being targeted for attack in Ethiopia.

The incidents, which took place on March 21 and 22, left three churches burned and damaged the World Vision field office. Several believers fled their homes to escape the threat of violence.

In the first, a large Muslim mob orchestrated an attack on Christians in Kemisse approximately 350 km north-east of Addis Ababa. Businesses owned by Christians were vandalized and several Christians were injured.

The second incident was more severe. Nesero Abraraw was on duty as a guard of a Lutheran church in Arisi Negellie, 225 km south of Addis. Voice of the Martyrs Canada sources say he was shot three times by an unidentified assailant. A Muslim convert to Christianity and father of seven, he died at the scene.

According to the report, local police arrested some suspects but were pressured by wealthy Muslim businessmen to release them.

VMC’s Greg Musselman says their sources tell them things are most definitely heating up for believers in Ethiopia. “One of the challenges that the evangelical Christians have in that particular country is that you have a segment from the orthodox church that are bent on keeping the evangelical church from growing, or trying to drive it further underground, and then you also have militant Muslims.”

But, the persecution is having the opposite effect on the church. “The thing that really excited me,” Musselman explains, “is the fact that there is revival taking place within those state churches where people are coming into relationship with the Lord Jesus. They’re getting excited about God and want to tell people about the Lord.”

Pray that the attacks will subside and that the authorities will have God’s wisdom in dealing with the tensions.

Leave a Reply