Ethiopian Police And Muslim Students Demolish Church

Ethiopian Police And Muslim Students Demolish Church

Washington, D.C. (December 8, 2011) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on November 29 more than 500 Muslim students, accompanied by Muslim police officials, burned down a church in the village of Qoto Baloso, Silte province, Ethiopia. The church was burned down after the police destroyed its roof four days earlier.

The Muslim students screamed, “Allahu Akbar!” and “Jihad!” as they poured gasoline and burned the Saint Arsema Orthodox Church.

The head of police in Silte Province, Inspector Mustefa Bashir, told ICC, “The police demolished the church’s roof after a court ruled that the church was built without proper authorization and therefore had to be demolished. Concerning the burning of the church by the students, we are investigating to determine those who are responsible for the attack.”

A source reported to ICC that Hassan Shomolo, a chief of Qebet district police, deployed more than 30 police officers to destroy the church. The police managed to only demolish the roof of the church because Christians in the area protested. The source reported that the police received the order for demolishing the church from Judge Daro Jamal, the Muslim president of Qebet district court. According to the source, Hassan Shomolo and Daro Jamal are known for their anti-Christian bias.

The church is built on land that the Christian community has used to conduct ceremonies for over 60 years. The Supreme Court of the South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State (SNNPRS) had previously ruled in favor of the church when a Muslim businessman claimed ownership of the land.

All the government officials in the area are Muslims. The Islamic religion has become the state religion in our region. The non-Muslims in the area live and worship in fear. How could we say that there is a rule of law when the police come into a church in the middle of the night and demolish it?” said a Christian who lives in the area of the attack.

ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho, said, “The actions of the Muslim police as well as the Muslim students show the growing Islamization of Ethiopia. We urge the Ethiopian government to stop gross violations of the rights of Christian minorities in areas of the country dominated by Muslims.”

Please call the Ethiopian embassy in your country and ask the officials to bring the responsible police officials and Muslim students to justice. Ethiopian Embassies: USA (202) 364-1200, Canada 416 482 6637, Germany 030-77-20-60, UK 020 78383897/020 7838 3898


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