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News / Thoughts

IS: 30 Christians killed

April 21, 2015

Islamic State (IS) militants have released a new video showing the killing of up to 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya. Footage also includes the destruction of a number of churches, altars and works of art.

The footage shows the fate of two groups of captives: the first group of men were beheaded on a beach, a second group of fifteen are shot in the back of the head in a desert.

In the video, a masked militant with a gun threatens Christians with death if they do not convert to Islam or ‘pay jizyah (a tax for non-Muslims) with willing submission, feeling yourself subdued’.

Worshippers of the cross

The victims are believed to be members of the Ethiopian church seized in Libya by IS-linked militants. In its subtitles, the video claims that the victims are ‘worshippers of the cross belonging to the hostile Ethiopian church’.

The authenticity of the tape has not been verified. Open Doors staff in Ethiopia report that although the government has condemned the incident, it also expressed doubt that all victims were Ethiopian.

Nevertheless, news of the killings accompanied by gruesome images has shocked the country. “Many people have expressed anger and frustration about the incident,” said a staff member who remains anonymous for security reasons.

Local workers are trying to check identities and see if they can get in contact with family members.

According to the video, the latest killings took place in the south and the east of the country, where some local extremist groups have pledged allegiance to IS. It is further demonstration of the disintegration of Libyan society.

Sources: Open Doors; BBC; Reuters; Guardian

Please pray…

  • For Christians in Ethiopia to know God’s presence as they respond to the executions and to any resulting tensions
  • For comfort for those bereaved by these horrific murders
  • For strength for Christians in Libya, living in fear and watching their places of worship destroyed.

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.