In the first week of March, Muslim militants burned down 69 churches and several Christian homes in Asendabo, Ethiopia. More than 10,000 were displaced in the violence due to the severe losses and fear of continued attacks. ICC was the first organization to break the news about the attacks, warning of the impending destruction.
Many of you, our supporters, responded to the plight of the victims by providing for their emergency needs and by signing a petition seeking justice on their behalf. We want to thank you for your efforts and let you know that your prayers are being answered and your efforts have not been in vain. We have learned that Ethiopian courts have been working diligently to bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice!
So far, local courts have sentenced 579 Muslims to prison terms ranging from three months to 18 years for taking part in the violence that left at least one Christian dead, in addition to massive damage to homes and property. An additional 107 individuals are accused of terrorism and the public prosecutors have brought charges against them in federal court. Eight individuals suspected to be among the masterminds of the violence are still at large, but Ethiopian authorities are searching for them.
Speaking to ICC, an Ethiopian church leader said, “I am glad that the rule of law prevailed and the church has finally got protection from the government. The judges who looked at these cases have delivered justice. We are happy that the truth has finally been revealed.”
We hope that the decision of the Ethiopian courts will send a strong message to radical Muslims in the country that violence against innocents will not go unpunished, and we want to thank those of you have helped the victims through your prayers, gifts, and advocacy on their behalf. Thank you!