The Oromo Separatist uprising you’ve been hearing about this past month has fermented a culture of anarchy that is being acutely felt throughout the Oromo state*. A few days ago in an Oromo M*slim village where we have built a church, the youth movement, Qeerroo, attacked and killed Christ-followers, burning many homes, leaving destruction and extreme fear in their wake. Many Christians fled the village for safe refuge in a predominantly Christian town several hours away. They left with nothing but the clothes they were wearing and traversed the flooded countryside to escape the nightmare that engulfed them.
There are three missionaries serving in this area, all seasoned men who have withstood significant persecution for many years. This village has been the scene of numerous outbreaks, starting out with anger toward the federal government but always segueing into violence toward Christians. You can read about the last uprising here and how God miraculously protected the fledgling church at that time. The missionaries are gathered together fasting and praying for their village. They are providing comfort to the families who had someone killed in the riots. They are trying to strengthen and encourage the 100+ people, all former M*slims, who have been traumatized.
WE CALL UPON THE BODY OF CHRIST TO PRAY FOR OUR ETHIOPIAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS
As we learn of turmoil and tragedy, pray as the church has done for 2,000 years, “Lord, have mercy on our brothers and sisters who are affected by this event.” With these words we acknowledge our helplessness and our need for God to intervene and use for good a situation that was intended for evil.
In another large town further away, four pastors were targeted. Two pastors had their houses burned and what did not burn was vandalized. They lost everything. The wives of the other two pastors owned small shops to supplement their income; those shops were burned to the ground. In just a few terrible minutes, a significant portion of their income vanished. Recovering from such a blow seems impossible.
AID FROM OUR EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND
NewLife Ethiopia is using donations from our emergency fund to help these pastors get back on their feet. The pastors are determined to not allow these tragedies to derail the ministry God has called them to. It is beyond our ability to adequately express our deep, deep gratitude to all who have donated to this emergency fund that allows us to respond quickly to needs arising from persecution.
Although the Ethiopian constitution upholds freedom of religion, the pockets where M*slims are in control make it dangerous to be a Christ-follower, especially if you convert from a M*slim background. That is why Ethiopia has an unenviable listing among the top 50 countries in the world where it is most dangerous to follow Jesus.
*NLE has outreach to the 6.5 million Arsi Oromo who are primarily fundamental M*slim; only 3.8% are evangelicals. Five churches have been started in areas where there has never been a Christian presence before.