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Flickr / Rod Waddington

Seven Christians were recently charged with holding "illegal meetings in secret locations" -- a charge they deny with the explanation that they have fulfilled the legal requirements. The men were released on bail after a court hearing on May 11th. Local church leaders worked together to pay the necessary bail charge of 5,000 Birr (approximately $300 CAD) each, after police were granted another week to conclude investigations.

The believers were first arrested on April 25th following a service in which 40 new Christians were baptized. They insist the church had all the necessary approvals for the gathering. During the raid, an estimated 15 police officers surrounded the church's meeting place, arrested the three church leaders, and chased after four of the newly baptized Christians who had fled out of fear. The four attempting to avoid further persecution are from Muslim backgrounds and had faced pressure from their families to return to Islam. They were later arrested at a local bus station. Police also confiscated documents providing details on church membership. Church leaders say they are concerned the incident may lead to even greater pressure on the already vulnerable community of new Christians.

Please bring these fellow believers to our Lord in prayer, asking that their faith be strengthened in spite of the hardships they are presently facing. Request that the charges brought against those who were arrested be dropped. Especially intercede on behalf of the converts who are also facing familial pressure because of their love for Jesus. May each of their unsaved family members personally experience a life-transforming encounter with the Risen Saviour who longs to reveal His tremendous love for them, as well as His wonderful plan of salvation. Finally, pray that God will greatly bless and encourage His growing church in Ethiopia, mightily using it to reach many others with the Gospel message.

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

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Ethiopia News

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    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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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