This article is in FF News 2011 edition 2 and is available here
Churches Burned in Ethiopia
Over 60 churches and church buildings have been set on fire by Muslim mobs in and around Asendabo, approximately 250km from the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. Thousands of Muslim militants went on the rampage injuring and killing Christians, destroying property and targeting churches. Reportedly, the attacks were sparked by Muslims accusing a Christian of desecrating a copy of the Quran. Police were reportedly standing by and not intervening. The damage done to local churches is estimated to run into many millions of Dollars. Since December, there has been a sharp increase in violence against Christians in Muslim areas. Car bombs in Egypt, terror attacks on churches in Iraq, Muslim mobs attacking churches in Ethiopia and Northern Nigeria and the assassination of prominent Christians in Pakistan.
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” Hebrews 13:3
Dr. Peter Hammond
P O Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021 689-4480
For the essential information to understand the rising tide of Islamic intolerance against Christianity obtain: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam – The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat
Volume 2 1987
After seizing power in 1974, Ethiopia’s Marxist-Leninist Dergue (Armed Forces Co-ordinating Committee) launched a campaign against ‘Capitalism’. They prohibited the private sale of farm products, executed thousands of students and skilled workers, imprisoned tens of thousands more, and caused over 2-million refugees to flee from their homeland.
With the encouragement of their 4 000 Soviet, 2 000 East German and 15 000 Cuban ‘military advisors’, the Marxist government used foreign aid to underwrite its military build-up to the, point where today Ethiopia has the largest standing army in Africa —300 000 troops.
The Ethiopian government gains its hard currency and foreign exchange by charging Western Relief agencies ‘import tax’ on all the free relief aid being brought into the country to feed the millions of starving victims of Socialism. The Marxists demand that the relief agencies supply new Mercedes trucks for distributing the food and still charge 100% ‘import tax’ on them, in addition to demanding that the trucks be handed over to the Ethiopian government after two years.
Over a million people have starved to death in Ethiopia while the Marxists have exported food to Egypt and the Soviet bloc! Food has actually been seen rotting on the docksides while the trucks were being used to ferry Cuban troops to burn down villages. Yet the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organisation has just promised Ethiopia R12-million more in aid.
Dr Tedla, a former cabinet minister in Ethiopia, told me how the Marxists deliberately manipulated the famine in order to punish unco-operative tribes, to force their re-location policy and to starve out opposing tribes like in the Tigre and Wollo regions. He said that during the Red Terror of 1977-78 over 30 000 people were executed publicly — with the parents or relatives of the victims being forced to pay for the bullets! “The concentration camps and death camps are all over the country,” he said.
Volume 2 1988
Testimony of Professor Gunnar Hasselblatt, Director of the Ethiopian Department of the Protestant Berlin Mission, who, after six years of missionary work in ETHIOPIA, has reported:
“33-Million Ethiopian farmers (out of a total population of 42-million) were expelled from their villages under the Marxist forced relocations policy, and crammed into heavily-guarded state settlements. There they were forced to work for the government under a socialist policy that forbade both private ownership and free enterprise. This slavery brought about the crop failure, and the resultant man-made famine will probably continue into eternity.
“It is tragic that some relief agencies co-operated with the communist government and thus supported this immense destruction. World opinion has a false image of the situation in Ethiopia because of the inadequate information provided by the relief organisations.
“The hunger for justice in Ethiopia is much greater than the hunger for bread. There are over 100 000 prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia. Some pastors have been in jail since 1975. And many hundreds of churches have been forcibly closed by the Marxists.”
Volume 2 1987
Archbishop Abba Mathias of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, has testified that: “Ever since 1974 . . . the churches have been subjected to multiple acts of persecution, suppression and injustice. From the very beginning the Military Junta and its Soviet mentors saw the Christian churches as the main bulwarks against an atheistic Marxist- Leninist ideology.”
“They defined the Church as an enemy of the people, as an oppressor and enemy of the revolution, of being agents of Western Imperialism . . and after concerted campaigns of hate propaganda, the Communist regime confiscated all church properties throughout the nation.”
“The Communists have bombed several churches and converted many churches into military barracks. Priests and monks were left to languish in prison, 14 archbishops were arbitrarily dismissed from their posts — by the Communists. They appointed an unordained Marxist, Mr Yegzaw, to head the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. They confiscated the ‘Radio Voice of the Gospel’ station, nationalised mission hospitals, killed or imprisoned hundreds of ministers and turned 1 500 churches into Cadre ideology offices.”
“The world must be reminded that it is the agricultural policies of forced collectivisation, coercion and the exploitation of farmers that. . . has led to starvation.”
“As a result of religious persecution, gross violations of human rights, collectivisation of agriculture and a regime that is bent on imposing a godless alien ideology throughout the country and as a result of the raging civil wars, two million Ethiopians have fled from their country.