Tigray conflict disrupts churches, risks famine

By October 4, 2021

Ethiopia (MNN) — Hundreds of U.N. aid trucks are getting stuck, unable to deliver much-needed aid into the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

Truck drivers report fearing for their own security. Many don’t have the fuel they need to complete their journeys. The war, fought for almost a year by the Ethiopian government against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, is putting the population at risk of famine and has displaced many people from their homes.

Brother Tefera with Global Disciples describes the situation. “Many innocent people are dying in the war. The Gospel is not advancing. Global Disciples works with a cluster of churches in northern Ethiopia, and we don’t know where they are because nobody is at home. They are displaced. There are no more meetings of churches and no infrastructure.”

Pray for peace in Ethiopia. Tefera says, “Let’s pray for the [Tigray region] and all the remaining [parts of the country] to agree on peace, instead of trying to come to power by destroying life.”

Persecution

The prayer for peace in Ethiopia goes beyond the civil war. In the past 10 years, several churches and Christians have been targeted for violence throughout the country.

Ethiopia has ancient Christian roots, tracing back to the first century. In fact, many Ethiopians worshipped Israel’s God before the time of Jesus. The Ethiopian Eunuch mentioned in Acts was a part of this tradition. Yet persecution has still plagued the country from time to time.

Today, this persecution happens at the hands of extremist groups. Tefera says they use religious, ethnic, and tribal divisions to stir up conflict: “It might be tribal, it may be religious, but that is what they want to see. That is why the Church, whether it is the Protestant Church, the Orthodox Church, or even other religious groups like the Muslims, must understand and stand firmly for the unity of the country.”

 

 

The header photo shows one of several mass graves of civilians in the Tigray region. (Photo courtesy of Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons