At least 500 Christians have been killed in an ongoing spate of coordinated door-to-door attacks and thousands of traumatized survivors have fled for their lives over the last few months in southern Ethiopia’s Oromia regional state, including its capital Addis Ababa, according to reports. Members of Qeerroo (which means “bachelors”), a youth movement of men from the ethnic Oromo group who are predominantly Muslim, have allegedly gone on a killing spree in some parts of the Oromia regional state, extending south, southeast and east of Addis Ababa, since the assassination of a popular Oromo singer, Hachallu Hundessa, on June 29. “Some of the Qeerroo militants held lists of Christians and were helped by local authorities, often run by Muslims in the Oromia region, to find individuals, particularly those actively involved in supporting the Church”
“The Qeerroo extremists arrived in cars and, armed with guns, machetes, swords and spears, sought out and slaughtered Christians. Children were forced to witness their parents being brutally murdered with machetes,” it added. An Oromo Christian was beheaded after he refused to tear off the thread around his neck, which is worn by many Ethiopian Christians as a sign of their baptism. The attackers told his wife that only those who prostrate before Allah for prayer are considered part of the Oromo community. While local Muslims in the Bale Agarfa area saved some Christians, risking their lives in doing so, police in some incidents stood by and watched as the Christians were murdered. Christians’ businesses and houses were burned down, vandalized or destroyed.
Source: Barnabas Fund