ICC continues to work with the pastor of the Heaven’s Light Church, whose roof and siding was torn off by Muslim officials who then arrested senior church leadership for taking photos of the state-sponsored devastation. Kept from congregating, church members are forced to meet in individual homes as leaders of the church continue to seek justice. All across Ethiopia, Muslim majority areas are manipulating the law to eradicate the presence of Christians, and Christians in the west are stating to take note.
12/16/2014 Ethiopia (Christian Post) – Yet another Christian church was destroyed by Muslims in Ethiopia—this time by local authorities.
Heaven’s Light Church, which served some 100 evangelical Christians, was demolished last November 28. The church had stood and functioned in the Muslim-majority city of Harar for five years. In the days preceding the destruction, officials forcibly removed the church’s exterior sign and warned believers not to worship there, citing complaints by a local Muslim. Officials further told church members who had previously congregated at the church “not to gather under what remains of the church building.” Accordingly, Christians are now meeting in homes of individual believers.
Prior to the demolition of the church, when some Christian leaders protested, they were illegally detained, released only after community members, “outraged by the wrongful detentions,” called “for their immediate release,” reported International Christian Concern, a rights advocacy group supporting the Christians:
These are no isolated incidents, explained ICC, adding that it had documented “numerous ongoing land rights battles between churches and their local governments across Ethiopia.”
In many cases, ICC said, “churches have been operating peacefully for decades on land given to them by now-deceased former congregants.”