Ethiopia (MNN) — Heaven’s Light Church, an evangelical church in Ethiopia, was recently destroyed by local officials. International Christian Concern says the attack came after a Muslim complained to authorities about the church’s presence in the community.
Police confiscated church property and tore off the church building’s siding and roof.
“Sadly, it’s becoming more and more common to see attacks like this, specifically against the Church,” says Emily Fuentes ofOpen Doors USA.
Ethiopia sits at #17 on the Open Doors’ World Watch List,
a compilation of 50 countries where Christian persecution is most severe. Fuentes says Ethiopian believers face the most pressure from loved ones.
“When it comes from your family or your local community, it’s almost that ‘extra sting,’ rather [than] from the government as a whole,” she adds.
Along with providing practical help for persecuted families, Open Doors cares for the widows of persecuted church leaders.
“These widows are left with, many times, big families to care for, and they don’t have the resources,” explains Fuentes.
“So, Open Doors helps provide resources and job skills training; we do a lot of ‘Letters of Encouragement’ for these widows.”
While there are currently no letter-writing campaigns underway for Ethiopian widows, you can still help families by providing for physical needs.
Most importantly, surround persecuted Christians in Ethiopia with your prayers.
“The #1 thing that persecuted Christians around the world, including Ethiopia, ask for are [our] prayers,” Fuentes notes.
“Pray for their encouragement and [for them] to stay strong in the face of this adversity.”