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Ethiopian Muslims Burn Down Christian Homes, Farms
Eighty Christians Were Held Hostage for Sixteen Days

Washington, D.C. (September 29, 2010)–International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on July 15 at 8 PM local time, 25 Muslims burned down 10 Christian homes, leaving 80 Christians homeless in Goda district of Jimma, Ethiopia. The attackers, who were led by a local government militia, also set fire to the Christians’ barns, killing their animals and destroying their harvest.

“The assailants asked the Christians to leave their homes and told them, ‘We will show you what we are going to do to your homes and if you inform this to anyone we will burn you the way we burn your homes.’ Then they set the Christian homes on fire and began celebrating by singing near the burned homes,” said a Christian leader in an interview to ICC.

The attackers then prevented the victims from leaving the village for 16 days. Finally, one of the Christians managed to escape and report the attacks to district officials after walking for 16 hours. The police temporarily arrested the person who led the attack and a local official. But they were later released on bail. The Muslims have prevented the Christians from rebuilding their homes and the Christians now live under trees.

This is not for the first time that Christians have been attacked in Jimma. In October 2006, a Muslim mob killed six Christians. In June 2010, Muslims destroyed coffee farms belonging to two Christian converts from Islam. According to a 1994 national census, 82.57% of the population in Jimma is Muslim. Christians complain that Muslim officials in Jimma deny them land for building churches and cemeteries.

ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho, said “We are deeply concerned about the attack by Muslims against Christian villagers in Jimma. We call for thorough investigations of the attack and urge Ethiopian officials to bring all the perpetrators to justice.”

Please call the Ethiopian Embassy in your country and bring the attacks against the Christians to their attention. Also, ask the officials to immediately bring all the perpetrators to justice.

Ethiopian Embassy: USA- (202) 364-1200 Canada- (613) 235-6637 Germany- 49.30-77-20-6 UK- 020 7838 3897 / 020 7838 3898