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ETHIOPIA: Christian Loses Hand in Beating

ETHIOPIA: Christian Loses Hand in Beating

When the young Ethiopian man came to faith his community turned against him, but he remains committed to following Christ. Kofi grew up as a Muslim, but when an evangelist introduced him to Christ, he was instantly drawn to the saving grace of God and became a Christian.

As Kofi grew in his faith, he began sharing it with others, which angered local mosque leaders. They brought him before the local Islamic court, where Kofi told them he could never give up his new faith. The leaders decided to set a trap for him, sending a mob out to the farmland of Kofi’s brother, claiming a property line dispute.

When Kofi appeared, the crowd shouted, “This is the enemy of Allah!” and began to beat him. His left hand was so badly injured that doctors had to amputate it. Pray for Kofi, who told Christians who visited him, “I am happy not only to give my hand for Jesus, but I am ready to give my life for faith in Jesus Christ.” Pray for continued recovery, provision and witness in the area.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray for healing for Kofi, protect him from those who want to silence him, may he continually share his faith, place a hedge of protection around him and bless him Amen.
  • Pray that the men who damaged and destroyed Kofi’s hand would be brought to justice and Kofi will forgive them.
  • Pray the Lord will use this testimony mightily to bring many to Christ.

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Ethiopia: Finding a Good Heart

Ethiopia: Finding a Good Heart

When a local Islamic leader saw a Christian helping people from different tribal and religious groups, he experienced Jesus’ transformational power.

Sheikh Adam saw a VOM-supported frontline worker serving people from both evangelical and Orthodox churches in a Muslim-majority region, and he wondered why.

The frontline worker told him, “This is what we’ve learned from Christ and the Bible.” Sheik Adam wanted that same kind of “good heart”, so he committed his life to Jesus.

He invited the evangelist to his home to share, and twelve others also gave their lives to Christ. Today, the evangelist continues to visit this new house fellowship to teach them more about their new faith.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Praise God for the way He has transformed the heart and mind of this former Islamic leader and his twelve friends.
  • Pray these new believers will be faithful and will grow in love, wisdom and understanding of God.
  • Thank the Lord for frontline workers in Ethiopia and other restricted nations, who faithfully share the Gospel. Pray for their protection and pray they will be bold.

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ETHIOPIA: Slaughter in Oromia

ETHIOPIA: Slaughter in Oromia

The assassination in Addis Ababa of a popular ethnic Oromo singer has triggered an explosion of ethnic-religious violence. The violence appears organised, designed to destabilise the nation and derail the reforms of Prime Minister Abiy (a Protestant Christian). Commencing at 4am on 30 June, gangs of Oromo nationalists specifically targeted ethnic Amhara Ethiopian Orthodox Christians living in some 40 districts of Oromia region. Victims were clubbed, hacked and stoned to death. The toll to date is 239 dead with some 300 wounded, many critically. Some 3360 Amhara Christians are displaced and sheltering in churches. Along with businesses, 493 homes belonging to Amhara Christians were torched. Some 4700 arrests have been made, including that of Oromo nationalist leader Jawar Mohammed (a fundamentalist Muslim). The situation is explosive.

Source: Christian Faith and Freedom

  • Lord bring peace to Ethiopia, in particular at this time to the Oromia region; may your steadfast love be felt.
  • Pray for comfort to those who are grieving; heal those who are wounded; provide food, water, shelter and medical aid to those who are displaced, and impart wisdom, grace, energy and authority to those who seek to lead according to the will and purpose of the Lord.
  • Father complete the good work in Ethiopia; may all evil plots be thwarted; and may the Lord bless our
    brother Prime Minister Abiy with security, wisdom, insight, discernment and strength, all while keeping him humble.

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ETHIOPIA: Pressure on Churches Building

ETHIOPIA: Pressure on Churches Building

An evangelical church in central Ethiopia has been ordered to vacate its building 10 years after it started meeting there. Other churches in the region say pressure is increasing on them, too.

The Mekane Yesus Evangelical Church in the town of Robe in Bale zone, about 400km south-east of the capital Addis Ababa, was ordered by the Oromia Regional State Authorities to leave its premises within 30 days. Church meetings with local officials so far have not changed their mind.

The eviction letter dated 15 May and signed by the mayor, Birhanu Dadi Tafesse, said the church’s neighbours had complained of noise. They claimed the Christians attending the meeting were not from the area, and that the building was not suitable for worship services. “Based on the consensus we have reached in the committee formed, you have to look for another place and leave the current place within 30 days”, the letter said.

The source said the congregation secured the building from a private owner 10 years ago and had been using it without incident.

“This is really a surprising move”, a source, unnamed for security reasons, said. “If noise is the problem, Protestant churches cannot be the first to be accused of sound pollution. Other religious institutions use much more powerful sound systems all over the country. Noise from mosques and Ethiopian Orthodox churches can be heard throughout the day and even at night. This decision is nothing other than a display of animosity towards Protestant churches in the region.”

There is concern that these measures are part of a concerted effort to discourage Christian activity in Oromia state, the birthplace of President Abiye Ahmed. Leaders say they fear that if these government actions are successful, it might encourage Muslims in other communities to initiate similar complaints. As of the 2007 census, the state was about 51% Christian and 47.6% Muslim.

Source: World Watch Monitor

  • Pray the congregation will be in no way discouraged by this development. Pray they will be even more determined to meet to worship Him, learn from His word and fellowship with one another.
  • Ask the Lord to provide suitable premises for the church to meet. In the meantime, pray for the leaders of the church as they deal with the authorities.
  • Pray the church will remain strong and unified. Ask that their witness may be bold while being filled with grace and love.

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ERITREA: Christian Crisis in the Horn of Africa

ERITREA: Christian Crisis in the Horn of Africa

On 9 July 2018, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki (president since 1993) signed a “declaration of peace and friendship” and declared the “state of war” officially over.

President Afwerki had long used the ‘Ethiopian threat’ as a pretext to justify his regime’s violent and repressive dictatorship and the need for indefinite National (military) Service. Consequently, many hoped that peace would pave the way for reform and especially improvements in human rights.

When President Afwerki addressed the nation on Independence Day, 24 May 2019, he spoke of the need for stability and security, stressing “patience” and ruling out “hasty and emotional conclusions,” dashing any lingering hopes for reform.

Meanwhile, thousands of prisoners of conscience remain incarcerated. Some key leaders have been detained for over a decade, such as the chair of the Eritrean Evangelical Alliance, Dr Kiflu Gebremeskel, who has been held incommunicado, without charge or trial since his arrest in May 2004.

Eritrea’s human rights remain among the worst in the world and Eritreans continue to flee en masse. To prevent protests as the nation prepared to celebrate Independence Day, the regime deployed police and soldiers to the streets of Asmara and raided several Protestant groups. On 10 May, 141 Christians, including 14 minors, were arrested as they gathered in north-east Asmara; 50 were subsequently released. A further 30 Christians were arrested on 17 May in gatherings in south-west Asmara. Conditions in detention are horrendous; torture is routine.

Sources: Christian Faith and Freedom, Release International

  • Pray that the brutal regime in Eritrea will crumble; through the active desire of the Eritrean people for liberty and through the work of the Holy Spirit.
  • Ask God to preserve and sustain the long-suffering church in Eritrea.
  • Pray for those who remain in prison. Ask the Lord for their release. Pray for continued physical, emotional and spiritual strength they need to endure.

Post your prayer for Eritrea in the comments below.