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Ethiopia: Nothing can stop me walking with the Lord
  • by Ashleigh Hooker
  • March 24, 2022

Tesfaye faced a difficult decision. Like other church leaders in northern Ethiopia, he had become a target for opponents. Trying to trap him, they made false accusations against his wife who was jailed, along with her young baby. Tesfaye had been warned that his opponents actually wanted him, not his wife, and fleeing could be the best option for her release. So he made the difficult choice to escape at night, in winter, at risk of crossing rebel soldiers. Miraculously, at dawn he met some believers who took him into their care and, on the news of the escape, his wife was released from jail. They are now safe, but unable to return home. Despite all that has happened, Tesfaye says, “Nothing can stop me walking with the Lord, no matter where I go.”

“Nothing can stop me walking with the Lord, no matter where I go.”

Life is difficult in the Amhara region of Northern Ethiopia where Tesfaye lives. In recent years, swarming locusts have ravaged crops and COVID shutdowns have exacerbated food shortages. Rebel attacks have left hundreds killed, children orphaned, infrastructure destroyed and thousands displaced.

On top of this, Christians have been targeted. When rebel clashes were raging, a new church building in Tesfaye’s town was burnt to the ground by opportunistic religious persecutors who thought their actions would go unnoticed in the chaos of war. The believers had spent years raising money for this building to provide a public witness to Jesus. All 12 of the churches in the Eastern Amhara Fellowship were looted or destroyed. Only two churches in a 450 kilometre stretch remained undamaged. 

It is in this context that Anglican Aid project Heading North is working in income generation, water and education projects and peace and reconciliation training. Heading North’s Ambassador, Trudi Elyard said the situation in Amhara is improving. Rebel fighting has moved north and community building activities have restarted. Heading North is also planning a conference before Easter to encourage around 1000 believers. Trudi asks, “Pray that as they regroup, they will continue to show their confidence in Christ and share the love and hope they have in him.” 

Right now, we are looking for people to pray with us. It takes God’s empowering Spirit to help our brothers and sisters to endure. You can sign up here to receive a regular e-mailed prayer update for persecuted Christians. The prayer points will come from our partners on the ground. Please join us in praying!

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