MUSLIM HATE IN ETHIOPIA
- From: NUKE MECCA <mormoninfo@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 17:07:19 -0700 (PDT)
In Ethiopia, Muslims burn 69 churches
Posted on Mar 17, 2011
by Melanie Clinton
ASENDABO, Ethiopia (BP)--Muslims have killed at least one Christian
and wounded several others in anti-Christian violence in western
Ethiopia, according to International Christian Concern, an
organization that helps persecuted Christians worldwide.
ICC also is reporting that Muslims have burned down 69 church
buildings, 30 Christian homes, a Bible school, a Christian orphanage
and a church office.
The anti-Christian attacks started March 2 after Muslims allegedly
accused Christians of desecrating the Quran, the Islamic holy book.
Violence continues to affect residents of the area. During the initial
days of the attacks 3,000 Christians were displaced; ICC reports those
numbers now have climbed to 10,000.
Although Ethiopian Orthodox churches are predominant throughout the
country, at least the first 55 churches burned belong to evangelical
denominations, according to Sam Parkman*, a Christian worker who
served in Ethiopia from 2007-10.
Mike Turner*, an International Mission Board strategy leader in North
Africa, said none of the 55 churches identified thus far are Baptist.
The denominations of the 14 other churches have not been reported.
"What's happened in Asendabo is unfortunate, and we are brokenhearted
for the people who have been affected by the attacks," Turner said.
"But it is not unexpected, because the Lord Himself said we would face
hard times and struggle with hardships as we boldly follow in His
ICC reported that military forces have been sent to curtail the
attacks in Asendabo and surrounding areas. Federal government
officials removed the local administrator, a Muslim, for his failure
to protect the Christians. Voice of America reported that Ethiopian
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi blamed the attacks on a little-known
Muslim extremist group called Kwarej. Some reports indicate 130
Muslims believed to be involved in the violence have been arrested.
Asendabo also was the scene of anti-Christian violence in 2006, when
Muslims killed more than a dozen Christians and destroyed several
"Islamic radicals are fighting to establish an Islamic state in
Christian-majority Ethiopia," ICC's regional manager for Africa,
Jonathan Racho, asserted. "… Christians will continue to be killed
unless the government of Ethiopia starts taking serious measures to
stop Islamists from carrying out similar attacks."
Turner, however, disagrees that Muslims have an agenda to take over
the country. "While I have seen Islam advance in [Ethiopia]," he said,
"I do not have any concrete evidence to support the notion that
radical Muslims are trying to make Ethiopia an Islamic state by using
violence or any other means."
Although Turner said he has no firsthand knowledge of what happened in
Asendabo or why, he speculated the attacks could possibly be credited
to staunch Muslims who are unhappy that Protestants in their area are
growing in number.
Parkman said Muslims in Ethiopia are getting more vocal in hopes of
boosting their numbers. "They've stepped up their voice by doing
events, like rallies," he said. "… Also, violence seems to be getting
more and more frequent."
Turner also said evidence of Islam is increasing. "You can see that
visibly just from the number of mosques going up," he said. "And the
more you get into the culture and engage people in conversation, [you
discover] there are more Muslims than there used to be."
Nearly 40 percent of Ethiopia's 90.8 million people are Muslim,
according to the CIA World Factbook. An estimated 43 percent are
Ethiopian Orthodox and 18.6 percent are Protestant. From the fourth
century until 1974, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church was the official
"There are strong Islamic bases all around Ethiopia," Turner said,
referring to nations like Sudan and Somalia. "But it has historically
been a 'Christian' nation. If that was going to ever change … you're
talking about a massive revolution that frankly I just don't see on
the horizon anytime soon."
Meanwhile, ICC reports churches in western Ethiopia are struggling to
provide members with basic necessities like food and clothing.
Organizations like ICC and missions agency SIM are providing emergency
Parkman's wife Rebecca*, encourages believers to pray that Ethiopian
Christians will be "strong in the face of persecution" and "not back
down" from their faith.
"The church of Jesus Christ is going to continue to face opposition,
whether in Asendabo or Atlanta, Ga.," Turner said. "Hard times will
come, because the Bible tells us they will. … Church buildings can be
destroyed, but ultimately it is the body of Christ that must look
squarely in the face of opposition and be encouraged by God's Word
that He has already overcome this world."
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