Sunday, April 06, 2008

Ethiopia Releases Main Suspect Of Deadly Church Attacks--Report

By BosNewsLife News Center

An Ethiopian priest showing a valuable Bible illustration. There are reports of a growing number of attacks against Christians in Ethiopia. Via

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA (BosNewsLife)-- A local official who allegedly instigated church attacks that left one Christian dead and 17 wounded was reportedly free Thursday, April 3, after a court released him on bail.

However 20 other Muslim suspects detained over machete attacks against two churches in Nensebo Chebi village on March 2 remained jailed, Christian news agency Compass Direct quoted a local source as saying. There was no immediate independent confirmation of the report.

Four suspects have reportedly confessed that they helped to kill Tula Mosisa, 45, and wound at least 17 others in raids on the Kale Hiwot and Birhane Wongel Baptist churches in Nensebo Chebi, about 400 kilometers (240 miles) south of the capital Addis Ababa. Local Christians were quoted as saying that Beriso was personally involved in "buying and distributing machetes" for

Muslims involved in the simultaneous attacks, which occurred during Sunday morning worship services in the two village churches.


He apparently made public comments against Christians in February, calling for local Muslims to resist any attempts to convince them to leave Islam.

Among the survivors were seriously injured people, including a Christian police officer and two other church members who each lost a hand in the attack, well-informed rights group International Christian Concern told BosNewsLife earlier.

Christian survivors said that during the apparently well-planned violence, militants were heard shouting "Allah Akbar!" the two Arabic words for "Allah is Greatest."


Christian rights groups say the violence came after Muslim militants linked to the Wahhabi Islam movement vowed to destroy churches in the area and threatened to target "any Christian group that does missionary work" in the region.

"Christians and Muslims in Ethiopia had been living peacefully together until the arrival of Wahhabi Islam from Saudi Arabia," ICC said. Wahabism is a conservative 18th century reform movement of Sunni Islam founded by Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, after whom the movement is named, according to experts.

It is the creed upon which the kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded.


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