10,000 Christians displaced in Ethiopia after Muslims burn churches and homes

03/14/2011 22:47


Beginning on March 2nd in an Islamic area of Ethiopia, Muslims went on a rampage beginning with an assault on the church in Asendabo.

ICC and others alerted the world and called on the Ethiopian government to intervene. Sadly, they could not or would not stop the Muslim attacks. After a week, when the smoke cleared, the damage was evident. The Muslims had burned down the homes of 30 Christian leaders, they had killed one Christian, wounded several others, and burned down 69 churches, a Bible school, and a Christian orphanage.

Here is an account from just one of the attacks.

On March 8, armed Muslims entered the home of an elderly Christian leader who had founded a church in a nearby Muslim village. When the militants began to assault the church leader, his grandson rushed to intervene, screaming at
the men to leave his grandfather.

The Islamists stopped assaulting the grandfather and turned their attention to the young man – swinging at his head and arms with their machetes. He sustained three wounds to his head and one on his hand before the men proceeded to
rob the home and leave the man for dead.

The young man’s family was forced to make a three hour journey on foot to bring him to a hospital in a nearby city, where he is still receiving treatment.
This family’s story is only one of the many Christian families whose homes were robbed or burned to the ground. The violence erupted after a group of Muslims falsely accused Christians in the area of desecrating the Quran. One Christian leader told ICC that a radical Muslim group that fights to establish an Islamic state in Ethiopia is responsible for the attack.

While local police and government did nothing to stop the attacks – allowing for days of unmet violence – Ethiopia’s federal government eventually stepped in to attempt to put a stop the violence and removed the city’s local Muslim administrator for his failure to protect the Christians. Some reports indicate that 130 Muslims believed to be involved in the violence have been arrested so far.


The violence has displaced more than 10,000 Ethiopian Christians – leaving the churches in the area scrambling to provide basic necessities for the persecuted. Right now, the displaced are in immediate need of food and clothing. ICC, in partnership with Churches on the ground, is providing emergency food relief packs of flour, rice, oil, and sugar or clothing. A gift of $5 can feed one person for a week or provide sufficient clothing for one person.


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