(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

A Christian in Ethiopia's southern town of Moyale has been languishing in jail for two months after his Muslim business partner accused him of writing "Jesus is Lord" in a copy of the Qur'an. Tamirat Woldegorgis, who is in his early 30s and is a member of the Full Gospel Church, was arrested in early August after his partner in their clothes-making business discovered Tamirat had inscribed "Jesus is Lord" on some cloth. His Muslim co-worker, whose name has not been established, went to a nearby mosque with the accusation that Tamirat had written "Jesus is Lord" in the Qur'an itself. Angry sheikhs at the mosque subsequently had Tamirat arrested for desecrating the book sacred to Islam. Other sources have said, however, that Muslims accused Tamirat of writing "Jesus is Lord" on a piece of wood, on a minibus, and then on the wall of a house. A church leader who requested anonymity has stated that when two of Tamirat's friends enquired about him at the Moyale police station, they were jailed for two weeks.

In Ethiopia's federal state system, each state is autonomous in its administration, and most of those holding government positions in Somali Region Zone Five are Muslims. "We fear that our brother might be taken to Islamic court in Jijiga for trial, which will further threaten his life," the church leader said. Authorities are reportedly offering to release Tamirat if he will convert to Islam. Tamirat is physically weak but strong in his faith, the church leader said, adding that he needs food and other material assistance, as well as an attorney. (Source: Compass Direct)

Please pray for Tamirat's release from prison. Thank the Lord for his faithfulness. Pray that his material needs will be met. May the Lord use Tamirat to strengthen the faith of other believers in Ethiopia.

Go to the Ethiopia Country Report to learn more about the plight of believers in Ethiopia.

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.

end

Select a Region

Ethiopia News

  • Christians Targeted in Violent Outbreaks
    Property damage from a fire - Photo: Steadfast Global www.steadfastglobal.org
    Fire damage in Shashamene.
    Photo: Steadfast Global

    The Oromia region of Ethiopia is in the midst of turmoil as separatists spread dissent against the government. The murder of prominent singer Hachalu Hundessa on June 29th set off the civil unrest, leaving hundreds dead.

    During the third week of Aug

    ...
  • Church Destroyed and Believers Beaten
    Believers in Ethiopia - Photo: VOMC
    Ask God to give Ethiopian believers wisdom and grace as they navigate the challenges before them.

    On March 13th, a church in the town of Jeru in northern Ethiopia was burned to the ground. During the attack, believers were severely beaten and expelled from their homes by fellow villagers. Those resp

    ...
  • Evangelical Church Not Allowed
    Debarq, Ethiopia - Photo: Wikipedia / Bernard Gagnon
    Debarq, Ethiopia
    Photo: Wikipedia / Bernard Gagnon

    Authorities in the town of Debarq (also spelled Debark) have told an evangelical fellowship group that they are no longer permitted to meet. The town, which consists of 25,000 citizens, is considered holy by members of the dominant Ethiopian Orthodo

    ...
  • Church Ordered to Vacate
    Worship in Ethiopia

    Despite meeting in the same location for ten years, a church in central Ethiopia has been ordered to vacate, citing noise violations. Members of the Mekane Yesus Evangelical Church in the town of Robe were told by state authorities that neighbours have complained about the noise and that the buildin

    ...