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Ethiopia: After the Attack

In some parts of Ethiopia, Muslims hold their nose when a Christian passes by. Even a Muslim police officer in one town called Christianity a “stinky religion.”

But, praise God, Christianity is spreading in some Muslim towns in Ethiopia! In recent years, angry Muslims in these areas have attacked Christians to try to keep the good news of Jesus from reaching more people. More than 200 homes and churches, and a Christian school, have been attacked. The Christians’ possessions, crops, and animals were destroyed.

“The most amazing part of the story is what happened because of these attacks,” said a worker from The Voice of the Martyrs who visited one of the towns where Christians’ homes were ruined. “Church members gathered around every house that was being rebuilt and sang songs of praise to the Lord.”

The worker continued, “They purposely painted all the rebuilt houses bright pink. One church leader said they painted them pink so ‘we would serve as a light in the community and a testament to the power of the Lord.’”

Muslims who saw the attitude of the Christians began to approach the Christians to ask how they could become followers of Christ! Churches in the area grew. At one church, there is now standing room only on Sunday mornings, and many more people listen from outside the building. Before the attack, the church had about 300 members. Now it has 600.

“The Muslims thought we were weak,” said one Christian. “But now they see that we are strong and have a great God.”

“We see that God has done great things for us,” said another Christian. “Before, we might have been afraid to tell others about Jesus, but now we are not afraid to share. We run with the gospel.”

To Talk About
*How would you react if someone said you follow “a stinky religion?”

*Why did the Christians paint their houses bright pink?

*Why did some of the Muslims ask how they could become followers of Christ?

*Think of a situation where your response or attitude could lead someone to want to know more about following Jesus.


Yousef’s Journey

Yemeni Muslims

Trouble at School
Yousef, his parents, and his younger brother lived in Djibouti, an African Muslim country where Christians are sometimes persecuted. Yousef was the only Christian in his school. Ibrahim, his father, told Yousef’s teacher that he did not want Yousef to pray the daily Muslim prayers. But the teacher said Yousef would have to join the class in reciting the prayers, because the school was a Muslim school.

Scary Phone Calls
Then, on the morning of his 17th birthday, Yousef got a phone call. “Today is your birthday,” the mysterious caller said. “And we don’t want you celebrating with unbelievers.” (When the caller said “unbelievers,” he meant non-Muslims.) Yousef thought it was just a prank call, and he left for school.

At about noon, Yousef’s mother, Fatima, answered a call from Yousef’s phone. A strange voice said, “Your son is dead.” Fatima and Ibrahim were devastated. But then at about 6 that night, Yousef called them! He was alive!

More Moves
Violent Muslims had kidnapped Yousef and flown him to Yemen, where Yousef’s family used to live. The family had converted from Islam to Christianity, but had left Yemen to avoid persecution. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.) The kidnappers tried to convince Yousef to return to Islam, but he would not.

After the kidnappers released him, he and his family moved again — this time to Ethiopia. Ibrahim now shares the good news of Jesus with Yemeni refugees in several countries. Yousef earned a degree in biblical studies, and he is studying social media so he can share the gospel online. He helps his dad work with Yemeni immigrants in Egypt.

Yousef’s family has been on a long journey since deciding to follow Jesus, but they believe it’s worth it. “The purpose of all of this is for Jesus to be glorified,” said Ibrahim. Please pray for the family to reach more Yemenis for Christ.

(Source: The August 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Edited for length, clarity, and age appropriateness)


Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

 

Coffee is not prepared quickly in Ethiopia. The entire ceremony may take hours.
A hostess roasts coffee beans on a small grill, then smashes and grinds them. Finally, they are brewed in a special pot. Children may help with the ceremony.

Read a story about Ethiopian Christians and a witch doctor.

Click on the image below to find a page to color.

 


Snack from Ethiopia

 

Read  about courageous Christians in Ethiopia in Bold Believers in Ethiopia, available in the free Downloads section.


Singing and Praying in Prison

Praying for Ethiopia

Last fall, after receiving training about how to share the gospel, some Christians in Ethiopia decided to pass out Christian books to people in their community. Four girls, Gifti (age 14), Mihiret (14), Eden (15), and Deborah (18) helped hand out the books.

Muslims in the community said the girls were “insulting” Islam, the religion of Muslims. Because of their complaints, the four girls were arrested and taken to a prison for criminals. On their first night in the prison, Eden was beaten. But she said to a Christian who visited her in prison, “This [suffering] is an honor for us. We should expect persecution. We are not afraid. We are singing and praying here in prison.”

Praise God, the girls were released from prison shortly before Christmas in good health!
(Source: World Watch Monitor)

To Talk About
*Why do you think Eden said that the girls’ suffering was “an honor?” (Read about some early Christians who also considered suffering for Jesus an honor in Acts 5:40-41.)
*Why did Eden say Christians should expect persecution? (Read John 15:20.)
*Who were also singing and praying in prison in Acts 16:25?

Read more about courageous Christians in Ethiopia in Bold Believers in Ethiopia, available in the free Downloads section.