Ethiopia Christian Killed, Houses Burned, Investigators Say

Sunday, January 21, 2007

By BosNewsLife News Center

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA (BosNewsLife) -- Groups of Ethiopian Christians were reportedly still hiding in churches Thursday, January 18, after one believer was killed, Christian homes burned and several believers were threatened with execution for converting from Islam.

Tensions this year began January 5 when Christian Ajja Delge was killed by an unknown person in the town of Kofele, said Christian human rights group the Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC), which investigates the situation in the region. "Delge, a father of five, was walking near his house when he was hit on the head with a metal iron. His body was found in a nearby jungle the following day," VOMC said.

His family reportedly believes that he was killed by a Muslim militant as the Kofele area is dominated by Muslims, but there was no claim of responsibility. Local Christians have said they fears local police will not conduct a proper investigation into Delge's murder.

Shortly after the murder, homes of three Christian families were burned January 8 by Muslim militants in the village of Begge, said VOMC. "All of the family belongings were burned." Tareku Meres, Jemal Tasesa and Tamene Gemechu and their families are currently taking shelter at a local gospel church, the group added. "At last report, the police have not investigated the incident or taken any action to bring the arsonists to justice."


In a separate case, ten Christian youths have also been living in a church building in Begge as they "were chased from their homes after their families threatened to execute them for converting from Islam," three months ago VOMC said in a statement obtained by BosNewsLife.

The group said it had urged supporters to pray for the homeless Christians and family of the murdered man. About half of Ethiopia's roughly 75 million people are comprised of Muslims, the rest belongs to Christian and other minority faiths and religions, according to estimates.

There has been concern over the growing influence of Muslim extremist groups in the region.(With reports from Ethiopia).

Copyright 2007 BosNewsLife. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without our prior written consent.