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News / Thoughts

God’s love knows no bounds…

June 22, 2015

Three Christians in Ethiopia have been arrested and imprisoned after being falsely accused of burning down a Orthodox church.

The church building was burned down on 16 May 2014. About a month later officials arrested Tibebu Mekuria and Dawit Jemberu on charges of starting the fire, and Belete Tilahun on charges of providing funds for the attack. They’ve all denied the charges, and various witnesses have testified to that effect.

They face up to nine years in prison each. Sources in Ethiopia who remain anonymous for security reasons have told Open Doors that they fear the outcome of the hearing on 8 July, as they suspect that the action against the believers is an effort by government officials in the area to appease influential conservative elements within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC). Recently that other church streams have gained influence and numbers, and it seems the EOC is concerned it is losing it’s powerful position.

If you would like to speak up on behalf of Tibebu, Dawit and Belete, please email advocacy@opendoorsuk.org and we will provide you with more information.

Imprisoned delivers bring murderer to Jesus…

Tibebu and Dawit are both single, but Belete is married and has a son and two daughters between the ages of three and 19. His family has struggled financially without his support.

The so-called ‘iron-faced murderer’ has now become a man of ‘sharing and love’…

While the three men seem to have lost weight during their imprisonment, they are strong in the faith and thankful for the prayer and support of believers around the world.

They are continuing their ministry inside the prison and have recently seen a hardened criminal commit his life to Christ. The man is serving a life sentence for murder and robbery. “In the prison most of the time he isolated himself and no one was courageous enough to approach him. But the three believers decided to reach out to him, which greatly surprised him. He agreed to hear them out and eventually decided to follow Christ. The so-called ‘iron-faced murderer’ has now become a man of ‘sharing and love’,” reports our source.

“We don’t know why we are here,” one of the inmates told our source. “But, it is true that God has His own purpose and plan to let us be here. We thank you for your prayers and concern. Please ask partners and supporters to continue praying for us.”

If you would like to speak up on behalf of Tibebu, Dawit and Belete, please email advocacy@opendoorsuk.org and we will provide you with more information.

Please pray…

  • That justice will be done for the three believers Tibebu, Dawit and Belete
  • Thank the Lord for the work of ministry that is continuing despite the difficulties the men are facing
  • For comfort and provision for the families of the prisoners.

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