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A Muslim mob assaulted and wounded 17 Christian college students on a short-term missions trip in Oma village, Ethiopia, on February 26. The students, who were from Meda Welabu University, went to the Muslim village in Bale province. After the students started to distribute Bibles and speak with the Muslims, one of the villagers angrily argued with them, inciting a mob to attack the students. The Muslims shouted "Allah Akbar" (Allah is great) and hurled stones at the Christians and beat them with rods. The mob overwhelmed the government militia who attempted to protect the students. When the Christians fled the village, the mob unsuccessfully attempted to set fire to their car.

One of the victims who wanted to remain anonymous said, "We thank God that no one was killed. It's sad that we suffered the attacks despite the Ethiopian laws which say there is freedom of religion and equality in the country." While Ethiopia's constitution guarantees freedom of religion, Muslims occasionally attack Christians living in Muslim-majority areas.

Pray these believers will be encouraged to persevere in their faith and Christian witness. Pray they will rejoice in the opportunity to grow in Christ-likeness through the opposition they have faced (James 1:2-4). Pray for those who have been wounded. Pray also for the people who received Bibles from the Christian students.

Find out more about the persecuted Church in Ethiopia at the Ethiopia Country Report.