On Monday, May 11, a judge in Asela, Ethiopia, ordered the release of seven Christians held on charges of holding illegal meetings in a secret location.
Police asked the judge for another extension of seven days to conclude investigations of the charges against the Christians arrested on April 25, but the judge told them they had plenty of time to do so, and granted the bail. He reminded the officers that they are free to continue investigations.
Local church leaders were able to post the $250 bail for the believers and secure their release late Monday afternoon.
According to Open Doors’ local source (who remains anonymous for security reasons), the believers are grateful to all those who prayed for their situation while they were in jail. They thanked all who were with them at this difficult time.
“It was as if you were jailed with us,” the leader of the group of detained believers said. “Please tell those who prayed for us that we have overcome the bigger enemy now. Satan wanted to frighten us, but we came out stronger from jail than when we entered. We know that they cannot stop God. We are also happy to know that there are people surrounding us to pray and encourage us.”
Ethiopia is ranked 22nd on the Open Doors’ 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians. Through strong partnership with the local church, Open Doors encourages Christians in Ethiopia to stand strong in the midst of suffering and persecution.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.