ICC Note: Ethiopian animists murdered one pastor and injured 30 other Christians in machete attacks during a church service in Guder, a village 130 km West of the capital Addis Ababa. Another attack occurred around the time of the pastor’s funeral as one woman was strangled and left for dead. A third attack occurred September 27th when church members were beaten with sticks and machetes until some of the younger members fought them off. The increase in attacks on Christians in Ethiopia has been connected with the government’s encouragement for citizens to return to their cultural roots, which has embolden animists to resist Christian evangelism.
10/13/2015 Guder, Ethiopia (World Watch Monitor) – A church in a village 130km west of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, has been attacked three times recently by suspected animists angered over their evangelism efforts.
On 30 August, a mob killed one Christian and injured around 30 others during the Sunday service. Two days later, a day after the murdered Christian’s funeral, a group of men strangled a female member of the congregation and left her for dead. Then, on 27 Sep., church members were again attacked as they returned home after church.
Witnesses said the Sunday morning service was in progress when a woman started screaming outside the church. When the Christians rushed outside to investigate, they discovered a group of men attacking Alem, a member of the church in her forties.
The scene quickly escalated into chaos as the attackers started assaulting other church members. They beat men, women and children with their fists and with sticks. They also broke chairs, windows and doors.
One of the founding members of the church, 55-year-old Godana, was dragged into the church and attacked with machetes. He died from his wounds, leaving behind a wife, Beza, and eight children.
Around 30 others were injured, although none seriously.
It took more than an hour for the police to arrive, by which time the group of about 10 attackers had left. The local Christians said the attack was premeditated because the attackers tried to identify people from a list, which included the names of the pastor and two evangelists. However, the pastor did not identify himself, while the two others were not there that day.