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VOMC – The Voice of the Martyrs continues to receive news of persecution facing Christians in rural Ethiopia where communication is difficult and reports of their courage often take several weeks to reach the outside world.

VOMC sources reported this week of how a leader and evangelist with the Assemblies of God in the town of Jijiga, Ethiopia was shot and killed on July 19 for refusing to deny his faith in Christ. According to the report, Estifanos Abate (34) was traveling from Degahabour to Jijiga in eastern Ethiopia , when the bus was stopped by Islamic militants. The militants boarded the bus, demanding to know the religion of each traveler. Of the 45 passengers, five were Orthodox and four were evangelical Christians. The gunmen ordered these nine to be separated from the Muslim passengers. The Christians were then ordered to repeat the Islamic creed and to bow three times toward Mecca . Everyone but Estifanos complied with the order and was allowed back on the bus. The gunmen threatened Estifanos, who calmly began to tell his attackers about Jesus, while his fellow travelers begged him to save his life by obeying their demands.

The Muslim leader then ordered the bus to continue on its way, without Estifanos. As the bus pulled away, Estifanos was executed. According to the report, his body was left on the side of the road for most of the day, presumably as a warning to others. At last report, authorities had not yet even begun an investigation into his death.

Such violence and injustice is not uncommon for evangelical Christians in Ethiopia . Continue to pray for their continued Christian outreach in regions where the pressure of Islamic militants is getting more intense. Pray for wisdom and direction for Christian leaders, as they lead their people in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ…[Go To Full Story]