“They came to my home and began to knock on our door violently. We tried to escape with our children via the window. They burned my home and grain mill business. But with the kindness of God, I have been able to save my children from being burnt.” This was the testimony of Mrs Eniye Cheru, whose family survived when the Christians of Derra town in Ethiopia were attacked in the early hours of June 30.
But hundreds of other Christians, from a wide span of ethnic groups, were killed in the coordinated attacks of late June and early July. Police stood by and watched as Christians were carefully selected and murdered, Christian homes and Christian businesses destroyed.
Thousands of Christians were displaced; many are still sheltering in church buildings, not daring to return home.
“These targeted genocides of Christians by Muslim extremists are going on unabated in the south, south-east and east of Addis Ababa,” wrote an Ethiopian Christian to Barnabas Fund on August 26.
The attackers were members of Qeerroo (literally, “bachelors”), a youth movement of Oromo men. The Oromo are an ethnic group who have traditionally been Muslim.