The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) has just learned that an Ethiopian evangelist named Tedase was beaten to death by militant Muslims on Monday, March 26th, as he and two young women were on a street evangelism assignment in Jimma, Ethiopia. This marks the second time in six months that Christians residing in Southeast Ethiopia have been attacked and killed by extremist (Wahabbi) Muslims.
On Monday afternoon Tedase and two female coworkers were conducting street evangelism on Merkato Street in Jimma, Southern Ethiopia. Merkato Street runs by a Wahabbi Mosque. As the team was walking by the Mosque, a group of Muslims exited the Mosque and began to run after them to confront them. Tedase's female coworkers ran away from the mob but Tedase continued on. The Muslims caught up with Tedase, pulled him into the mosque, and savagely beat him to death. Sources from Jimma reported that Tedase was beaten with a calculated intention to kill him. This was no accident or case of mob frenzy getting out of control. His body was later taken to the hospital for an autopsy and he was buried Tuesday, March 27.
Our sources also reveal that Jimma Christians were conducting an evangelism campaign, and news of the outreach was spreading among Jimma residents as well as militant Muslim groups in the area. The Muslims that belonged to the Wahabbi sect purposefully beat Tedase to death as a message to Christians that they are ready to combat evangelism.
Aftershocks of the September 2006 Pogrom
This most recent incident in Ethiopia confirms ICC's decision to include this country in its Hall of Shame list, which highlights nations where Christians are enduring the most severe persecution. It is important to note that the Muslims who attacked Tedase belonged to the Wahabbi brand of Islam, an extremist sect imported from Saudi Arabia. It is clear that the Christians in Ethiopia are feeling Saudi Arabia's influence, particularly in Jimma, a Muslim dominated area where local authorities are almost exclusively Muslim. It was only six months ago, in September of 2006, that Muslim extremists burned down a number of churches and parishes, as well as Christian homes. As many as 2,000 Christians were displaced by the attack, an attempt to intimidate Christians with the hopes of converting them to Islam.
Evangelical church leaders are fearful that if police ignore Tedase's death, it will be a green light for Muslim groups in the area to attack their Christian neighbors at will and without retribution. We appeal to concerned individuals to contact the Ethiopian embassy in their own countries to ask for an investigation of Tedase's murder.