Even in the COVID-19 pandemic, quarantines and sweeping locust plague in Ethiopia, persecution against Christians has not decreased. The pandemic has opened up Christians, especially converts from Islam, to even greater persecution as tribal communities exploit the pandemic to punish them for what they see as betrayal of family, tribe and nation.
Pastor George has seen astonishing courage from new believers in his church. These Christians from Muslim backgrounds are well aware of the dangers, but still choose Jesus. Pastor George continues: “They are not afraid to be killed. A lot of them openly declared their faith, though they knew they might lose their inheritance, their properties, they might be threatened.”
Bangladesh: Covid-19 Response Aid Second Phase Implemented and Recipients Promised to Give Back 50% So More Can Be Helped
Christians were the most affected, as many were denied government aid because of their faith in Christ. “The authority thinks that we, Christians, get a lot of support from foreign Christian organizations, so they use that as an excuse to not give us our relief aid,” said Simon Chakma, a local believer.
And then, unexpectedly, cyclone Amphan hit the southern part of the country in May, followed by severe flooding in the northeast. These disasters, one after another, and within a span of days, exacerbated the sufferings of the people, especially believers.
Poverty and persecution have presented Iris and Muluken – a young couple with two young children from Ethiopia – with unimaginably difficult choices. At the height of desperation, they fell for the empty promises of local Muslims – a decision they have since reversed and deeply regret. Your timely Covid-19 support offers the encouragement and fellowship they so desperately need.
The generosity of Open Doors supporters has enabled local partners to deliver emergency aid to 163,000 Christians in over 10 countries across Asia. The country that received the biggest share of relief was India, with 76,000 individuals (some 14,750 families) helped.
Two girls and one boy walked into a tea hall in northern Nigeria. They were wearing suicide vests. When the vests were detonated, at least 30 people died in the explosion. What would make three children do such a horrible thing?