A Pentecostal Church in Ethiopia was told to stop operations after a mob attacked it. This mob is believed to have been formed by a student organization that believes that Evangelical and Pentecostal churches are trying to destroy the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The Church, called The Full Gospel Church, has been operating out of a home for years because it was denied land to build. They have now been told that they are no longer able to operate in residential areas.
08/17/2017 Ethiopia (ChristianTimes) – A Pentecostal church in Ethiopia has been ordered by local authorities to stop conducting religious services after it was attacked by a mob in June.
The Full Gospel Church in Tikil Dingaye was reportedly attacked on the morning of June 11 by a mob, believed to be a part of a student movement called Mahibere Kidusan, according to World Watch Monitor.
The mob reportedly destroyed the church’s meeting hall, offices and the accommodation of a church worker. The perpetrators also stole money from church members and assaulted some of them, including a man whose front teeth needed to be removed because of his injuries.
The movement has been described by critics as “fanatical” because of the way it tries to preserve the traditions and dominance of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC).
However, the EOC Patriarch has criticized the group in the past for “bringing unfounded charges” when it claimed that the evangelical renewal movement in the Church was infiltrating EOC-administered seminaries.
A member of the mob has been suspected of stealing church documents outlining plans for evangelism and turning them over to the police. A church member was later arrested and charged with “inciting religious clashes through illegal activities.”
When the church leaders went to the local administration office in Gondar to ask for protection against further attacks, they were issued a letter informing them that they are no longer permitted to hold religious services in a residential area.
Prior to the letter from the officials, the congregation had been meeting in a house because its application for a land to build a church had been turned down by the authorities.