A congregation in a village located west of the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa is under attack from suspected animists angered over their church’s evangelism efforts. Animism is the belief that all things have a spirit or soul, including animals, plants, rivers, mountains, stars, the moon and the sun.
On Aug. 30 a mob killed one Christian, Godana, and injured around 30 others as they were gathered for worship. The day after the murdered Christian’s funeral, a group of men strangled a female evangelist, Dinke, and left her for dead.
This past Sunday, church members were attacked once more as they returned home after worship. Open Doors has just received word that some church members were attacked with machetes and sticks. At the time of publication no details were available on the number of people injured. Initial reports indicate that youths belonging to the church fought to protect themselves and were able to take some machetes from the attackers.
Apart from the shock over the brutality of the attack, it is very hard for the believers to come to term with the loss of Godana, who leaves behind a wife and eight children. His wife, Beza, told visitors she does not know how she will be able to provide for her large family.
“I suffer from pneumonia and have been receiving treatments for many years,” she says. “Godana was responsible for everything in the house. I don’t know what I will do.”
Dinke cannot imagine ever going back to the village.
Please pray for the family of Godana. Pray that they will experience the Lord’s comfort to them and that they will be filled with courage as they face uncertainty.
Pray for the Lord to minister to Dinke. Pray that she will recover soon from not only the physical, but also the emotional results of the attack. Please pray for wisdom and courage for the church leaders as they come to terms with the attacks and the loss of Godana. Pray for much wisdom as the church decides its next steps.
The increasing persecution of followers of Christianity in Ethiopia has led it to become one of the worst countries on our Open Doors World Watch List.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.