In a premeditated operation, the alleged murderers lured evangelist Abraham Abera from his Kale Hiwot Church at 9:30 p.m. by urging him to visit a sick friend. Abera left with the men, only to be beaten with rods. When his wife, Birtukan, saw the attack she ran into the fray to try to help her husband. That’s when they turned and attacked her.
According to a report from International Christian Concern (ICC), Abera died at the scene of the crime. Birtukan was left for dead with a severe head injury. She was discovered and taken to the hospital, where she eventually regained consciousness. Though Birtukan suffer injuries to her mid-section, the unborn baby survived.
Birtukan told an ICC source that she knows two of the attackers. She also revealed the motive of the attackers. As the Muslims were beating her and her husband, they said, “You (Christians) are growing in number in our area. You are spreading your message (the gospel). We will destroy you.”
The attackers have not been captured. A Christian leader in the area told ICC that the men may not be arrested because the local officials are also Muslims: “Christians in Worabe and its surrounding areas are persecuted at the hands of Muslim radicals, and the local government officials, who are Muslims, don’t protect Christians. We urge the higher government authorities [state and federal officials] to intervene and protect us.”
“The brutal killing of Evangelist Abraham and the beating of his wife, Birtukan, is deeply troubling,” says Jonathan Racho, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa. “We urge the federal government authorities to investigate this latest attack as well as reports of persecution against Christians in the Silte zone.”
ICC asks concerned people to Ethiopian Embassies in your country and ask the Ethiopian authorities to bring the perpetrators of the attack against the Christian couple to justice.