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Ethiopia: 10,000 Christians flee homes after 69 churches burned down

Catholic World News - March 21, 2011

Muslim extremists have burned down 69 Protestant churches-- 46 of them Pentecostal-- in southwestern Ethiopia. The violence started in the town of Asendabo following reports that the Qur’an was being flushed down the toilet at one of the churches.

Thirty homes, a school, and an orphanage have also been burned down; the number of Christians who have fled their homes has risen in recent days to 10,000, according to International Christian Concern, a human rights organization that assists victims of persecution.

“I don’t know what will be next: first they burn our churches and houses,” said Wolde Giorgis, an elementary school teacher. “Are they going to kill us now?”

“I don’t care who started the violence,” he added. “The fact is that thousands of local Muslims, my neighbors, have participated in it. That’s why I don’t see a future for me and other Christians in this town anymore.”

1% of the nation’s 79.2 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics; 50% are Oriental Orthodox, 10% are Protestant, and 33% are Muslim.

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  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Mar. 21, 2011 8:05 PM ET USA

    '“I don’t care who started the violence,” he added. “The fact is that thousands of local Muslims, my neighbors, have participated in it.'" So, are all his neighbors extremists, or is your opening sentence rather disingenuous? It would seem that in Ethiopia, this is not extremist, but mainstream, though we in the west might label it as the former. Regardless, the result is the same: Christians persecuted, and western governments will remain silent. Outrage is reserved for nonChristians.

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