(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)
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 August, a violent outbreak took place in a predominantly Muslim village of Senbete Sinkile. In the attack, which was perpetrated by a youth wing of separatists known as the Qeerroo, it appears that Christians in particular were targeted. While there were no fatalities resulting from this attack, a number of people were injured and damages were done to a church and the homes of various Christians in the village. A number of victims were forced to flee, despite flood conditions, seeking refuge in the mainly Christian city of Awassa.

Back in the month of June, the town of Shashamene had also faced terrible violence and destruction at the hands of the Qeerroo. The homes of two pastors were burned to the ground and anything not burned was then vandalized. One of the pastors, Mesfin, said that the imam from the nearby mosque stood by and laughed as his house was being burned. This pastor's motorcycle was also completely destroyed by the attackers.

The wives of the two pastors owned small businesses to supplement their families' modest incomes; those buildings were set on fire as well. VOMC partners have been able to provide financial assistance to these pastors' families, equipping them to continue ministering to the needs of others in their village. For more on the difficulties facing Christians in Ethiopia, go to our country report.

Pray for each person who was victimized by these recent incidents of violence, asking for God's comforting presence to be tangibly sensed in their lives. In the process, may they also receive needed healing of the trauma and devastating loss that resulted from the attacks. Pray that those who were forced to flee their homes will experience God's wonderful provision and restoration. Overall, may His Spirit of peace come to the region -- and into the hearts of individuals -- so differences can be resolved and a sense of unity be established in these Ethiopian communities.

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

    ...