Ethiopian Officials Destroy Evangelical Church

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

HARARE (Worthy News)-- Heaven's Light Church in Harare, Ethiopia, was demolished Nov. 28 by order of the Shenkore administrative district that just days before had forcibly removed the church's sign, according to International Christian Concern.

After the demolition, Heaven's Light Pastor Zemach Tadesse, his wife Aster and Pastor Yosefe Hailemariam were all detained for hours after attempting to photograph their damaged church.

As all the land in Ethiopia is publicly owned, churches are unable to legally purchase property and build permanent places of worship. Instead, congregations must lease land until they are forced to either renegotiate the lease, or vacate the premises and undo any changes they made to the proeprty.

Heaven's Light Church had operated unnoticed for five years, but after complaints by a local Muslim, officials removed the church's exterior sign and warned its congregation that they would be back to destroy the church if the worship of Christ continued. Instead, the congregation continued to worship until the authorities returned and tore down the church's roof, removed its siding and then confiscated the property.

Pastor Tadesse told ICC that his congregation is now meeting in small groups in members' homes after local officials warned him not to worship at what's left of his church's building.

Cameron Thomas, ICC's Regional Manager for Africa, said: "Every member of the Heaven's Light Church holds the right -- as a human being under international law and as a citizen of Ethiopia -- to freely practice their Christianity. Instead, corrupt officials willing to defend their religion rather than the laws they've sworn to uphold are violating Christians' rights by forcibly closing, destroying and demolishing churches across Ethiopia ..."

2 thoughts on “Ethiopian Officials Destroy Evangelical Church

  1. It's all just so sad. There is no "church" in the original manuscripts of the NT. There are home fellowships. There are (of course) meetings in the Temple in Jerusalem (which is now destroyed). and on and on. When we fight for non-righteous things/concepts instead of the right to worship, period, where ever, in our own homes, in our hearts (first and foremost), this is what happens. Our rights are where they are, and not in such things as having a location named "church" which is a "Catholic" construct, then, and now!

  2. Who decided that their "right" included having a whole building set apart just for worship? What was wrong with worshipping in their own homes, in the first place? That, they do have the right to do. See in the NT. Look at it. Read the original words. There is no "church" only "called out ones" meeting together (somewhere) and/or "meeting places" which does not automatically mean a "church" building. When we strive to occupy what God has not ordained, these things happen. But to blame the ungodly when we are not righteous in our stands, fails the message of God's salvation to us all. If they (the Christians/Believers) were renting a room for a large meeting somewhere, and paying for that (a minor cost compared to funding a whole building year round) the Government could hardly step iin fast enough. And demolishing it would be killing off secular business instead. Worship begins in our hearts, where we are. In most cases, that is in our own homes. For those who can't, who have no such privacy, those are the very ones who need be invited to "pastors" home, to the "elders" homes, etc.

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