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On July 16, five Somali Muslim men assaulted and seriously injured a Christian man in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for reading a book critical of the Prophet Muhammad. Mike Abdul Falahow, a Christian convert from Islam, was reading "The Great Deception: How Muhammad Tried to Win Christians for Islam" when two Somali Muslims demanded that he hand over the book, saying that it was offensive and attacked the honour of the Prophet Muhammad. Mike refused to surrender the book and argued that they were living in Ethiopia and not in Somalia, and therefore had religious freedom. One of the Muslim men then attempted to seize the book from Mike's grasp. When he failed to grab it, he proceeded to punch and kick him. Four other Muslim men joined in the violence, beating Mike mercilessly. He suffered injuries that included a broken leg and cuts to his face. At last report, he was recovering in a safe house provided by the Somali Christian community in Addis Ababa. A Somali church leader described the attack as "a brutal attempt to subdue the growing Somali Christian community in Addis Ababa." (Source: International Christian Concern)

Ask God to equip Mike by His Holy Spirit to remain strong in his faith and maintain a bold witness. Pray that he and other Christians in this community will continue to give themselves fully to the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:50-58). Pray for an end to violence against Christians in Ethiopia.

To learn more about the ongoing opposition of believers in Ethiopia, go to the Ethiopia Country Report.

Current Ministry Project

VOMC has partnered with a ministry to strengthen the witness of the local church by equipping evangelists with the means to build sustainability through the development of a small business in a tentmaker project.

Project Fund: Relief and Development

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
110,871,031 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Oromo (35.8), Amara (24.1), Somali (7.2), Tigray (5.7), Sidama (4.1), Gamo-Goffa-Dawuro (2.8), Gurage (2.8), Welaita (2.3), Afar (2.2), Other (13)

Religion (%)
Ethiopian Orthodox (43.8), Muslim (31.3), Protestant (22.8), Catholic (0.7), traditional (.6), other (0.8)

Leader
President Sahle-Work Zewde (2018)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Civil law system

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Ethiopia

Ask the Lord to direct Ethiopia's governmental leaders as they continue to work toward solutions to the ongoing religious tensions in the country. While this is taking place, pray that His people will not become weary in doing what is right. Rather, may they be further strengthened and encouraged to boldly proclaim the Gospel, overcoming hatred with the powerful love of Christ.

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    Photo: Wikipedia / Bernard Gagnon

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