Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Three Christians severely injured, two churches ransacked in Ethiopia

The Voice of the Martyrs recently received a report about an attack on the Christian community in the town of Senbete in Ethiopia. We ask that you kindly remember these believers in prayer today. Please consider posting a prayer on our Persecuted Church Prayer Wall on their behalf.

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on September 11, 2009, a Muslim mob severely injured three Christians and ransacked two churches in Senbete, a town in the western Arsi zone of Ethiopia.

An estimated 300 Muslims ransacked Mulu Wongel Evangelical Church and set fire to church property. They also attacked the nearby home of Evangelist Gizachew, one of the church’s leaders, destroying his clothes, chairs, tables, sofa, bicycles, and TV.

The mob then marched to Kale Hiwot Evangelical Church where Christians were celebrating the Ethiopian New Year. They attacked the Christians with stones and sticks, broke the left arm of Aberash Terefe, and seriously wounded Tefera Bati and Desaleghn Eyasu. The three were taken to the nearby Kuyera hospital and were discharged after treatment. The Muslims pillaged the church’s property and caused 52,000 birr ($4,127) worth of damage.

The violence erupted after Muslim leaders called for attacks alleging that Mulatu Eyasu, a second year Bible school student, and Berhanu Abose, a farmer, desecrated the Qur’an. Sheik Hussein Mohammed, Imam Ahmed and a third unidentified Muslim leader instigated the jihad attacks. The officials of Ethiopia are searching for them but they remain at large. The police have arrested Sheik Qufa Wonjelo, Moti Motamo, Domba Atota, Sero Sheik Ahmedin, Bamudi Tulu and Bati Barasso for perpetrating the violence.

Mulatu Eyasu and Berhanu Abose are also under police custody on false allegations of desecrating the Qur’an.

ICC sources identified Bati Wetiye, Lelisso Atota and Begelo as the masterminds of the attacks. The three are prominent Muslim business owners in the nearby town of Shashamane. They encouraged the mob to enforce jihad in order to eliminate Christians from the area. [To read the rest of this report, please click here]

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