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Tamirat Woldegeorgis, an Ethiopian Christian known for sharing the gospel, is serving three years in prison after Muslim officials in Ethiopia found him guilty of desecrating the Qur’an in a judgment based on the false allegations of Tamirat’s own Muslim friends. You can help free him! First, read our information below and find out all you can about Tamirat and Christian persecution in Ethiopia. Then take a look at the top menu to see the different actions you can take to help free him (call your representatives, contact embassy, spread the word).

Tamirat has made an appeal, and it is expected to be decided this week. Please check back for updates!

Tamirat’s Story

Tamirat is a citizen of Moyale, a majority Muslim city in southern Ethiopia. The dominance of Islam in the region had led some of his friends to abandon Christ and convert to Islam. His friends began pressuring him to convert as well, but Tamirat refused.

Realizing that they could not convince their friend to abandon Christ, they chose instead to accuse him of writing “Jesus is Lord” on the Qur’an. They knew that such an accusation would provoke Muslims to attack and possibly even kill Tamirat.

Just as his friends had anticipated, in early July, Muslims found and severely beat Tamirat. When the police arrived at the scene, the attackers explained they were assaulting him because he had desecrated the Qur’an.

Instead of detaining the attackers, the police arrested Tamirat and held him for more than three months without bringing any charges against him. This was in Ethiopia, a country whose constitution dictates that detained persons are to be brought before a court within 48 hours of their arrest. Two months into Tamirat’s detention, ICC wrote Ethiopian officials highlighting the illegality of detaining a citizen without bringing any charges against him, but the officials ignored ICC’s appeal for justice.

When Tamirat was finally brought to court on November 19, the court sentenced him to three years in prison. Though he was accused of writing “Jesus is Lord” on the Qur’an, his accusers failed to produce the Qur’an he allegedly wrote the statement on. In the absence of any evidence, the court ruled that since the defendant embroidered and hung similar statements on the walls of his home, he could also have written the statement on the Qur’an. Their presumption was apparently enough to sentence a man to three years in prison.

A church leader who wished to remain anonymous requested prayer for Christians in Ethiopia, remarking on the case, “In my ministry of 20 years, I have not seen such blatant miscarriage of justice. This is a clear case of Islamic discrimination of Christian minorities in the city. We live in an Islamic stronghold. Please pray for us.

Press Releases on Tamirat’s Case:

Alleged Qur’an Desecration Lands Ethiopian Christian Three Years in Prison