The town of Alaba Kulito in southern Ethiopia was the scene of a horrific attack against Christians on February 9th. According to a VOMC source, at least 13 churches were burned -- some completely destroyed -- along with other church-owned property. While there were no fatalities, two church workers were admitted to hospital. Both have since been released after receiving needed medical treatment. For more photos of the devastation resulting from the attack, go to this report.
The trouble flared after a false rumour was spread that one or more mosques in the area had been burned. The area is predominantly Muslim, with constant tension between Christians and Muslims in this community. Last week, the Meserete Kristos Church was vandalized and local Christians have faced intimidation and threats.
The violence does not appear to be related to evangelistic work in the area, which has been very fruitful. VOMC, together with Steadfast Global, participated in various projects within the region, along with local partners. As a result of the devastation, emergency funds have been sent to provide needed assistance for the churches directly affected. A representative from Steadfast Global will be assessing the damage and presenting ways in which VOMC's Canadian ministry partners can join in to help.
Please prayerfully uphold the two ministry workers who were injured. Pray also for all the members of the attacked churches who presently have no place to meet for worship. Ask the Lord to oversee the fruitful ministry that has been accomplished within the region, so that it will continue to flourish despite opposition. May those responsible for the attacks come to understand the Gospel message and turn in faith to Christ. Additionally, we appreciate you lifting up the partnering ministries involved in this united endeavour to assist every one of the recently attacked Ethiopian churches.