Pastor Adane meets us wearing a face mask—a sight that has become familiar throughout his country and the globe. The pastor is unassuming in his appearance, dressed in a red, blue and white plaid work shirt. But his story is extraordinary: 20 years of fruitful ministry large enough to support evangelists and pastors in the surrounding areas; 20 years of enduring violent acts against him and his family.
He tells us that pastoring former Muslims in an area hostile to Christians and those who are discipling them is not easy. Both he and his congregation have suffered severe persecution for their decision to leave Islam and follow Jesus.
Though Adane does much of his work discreetly to protect new believers (and himself) from unwanted hostility, the Muslim community noticed his involvement with those who have left Islam to become Christians. As a result, they began targeting him. At the beginning of this year, he was assaulted.
“Just outside the gate of my office, someone came from behind and punched me in my face and knocked me out,” he says. “[A] guard came to help me. I do not know who attacked me … .” Fortunately, Adane escaped with only a few bruises.