ETHIOPIA: Facing Persecution in a Christian Country

09 April 2024

The day Abeda* came to faith in Jesus Christ was the joyous culmination of a difficult time in her life. The Ethiopian mother had been suffering from a life-threatening illness when she had a dream of Jesus.

As a result of her night-time experience, she decided to put her trust in Christ and shortly after realised, she had been miraculously healed. But the joy of coming to know Christ as her Saviour and Lord was quickly followed by her experiencing the cost of becoming a Christian from a Muslim background.

Abeda’s husband forced her and their six-year-old daughter out of the family home – and began treating his own daughter as if she had been fathered by another man. This brought Abeda into conflict with the whole local community. Shamed, ostracised, and hated by her own family she and her daughter had to move away from the area.

Abeda’s experience is not unusual. Despite the fact that Christianity is the largest religion in the country, there are parts of Ethiopia where Christians face the threat of violent persecution. In particular, those who convert to faith in Christ from a Muslim background face opposition – sometimes violent – from their own families and the local community.

More than 60% of Ethiopia’s 120 million population would be identified as Christian, with the majority of these being from an Ethiopian Orthodox background. Evangelicals constitute about 18% of the population, while Muslims are reckoned to account for about 31%. Although Ethiopia enjoys full freedom of religion, in Muslim-majority parts of the country, particularly in the southwest and in the east, the threat of persecution remains for followers of Christ. In some areas, Christian-owned properties, including church buildings, have been destroyed. Believers have been beaten and some have even been killed.

*Name changed for security reasons.

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    Pray for them

    Praise God for Abeda’s new faith and pray that God would strengthen and comfort her at this time.

    Pray for the salvation of her daughter and her husband, that the family would not only be united physically but also spiritually through Christ.

    Pray for Ethiopia, that God would protect and equip the Ethiopian Christians to witness to their Muslim neighbours with courage and love.

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