By BosNewsLife Africa Service
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA (BosNewsLife)– Police in Ethiopia on Tuesday, September 21, detained two suspects who allegedly attacked a Christian convert with a knife because he abandoned Islam, a Christian human rights group said.
A third suspect remains at large, added International Christian Concern (ICC) which investigates reports of religious persecution.
ICC said three Muslim men forcefully took Muhammad Ali, a new Christian convert from Islam, to a mosque in the city of Dufti last week and demanded that he prayed there. When he refused, they reportedly stabbed him on the hip with a knife.
The injured Ali was taken to Dufti Referral Hospital following the September 13 incident, ICC said.
ICC quoted a Christian leader as saying that local Christians fear the detained suspects in the case will soon be released. “One of the imprisoned Muslims even threatened to attack me once he was released. We must suffer for the sake of the Gospel. What we need from you is to pray for us,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonimity.
Dufti is located in the Afar Regional State of Ethiopia where over 95 percent of the population is Muslim, according to official estimates. “The Ethiopian constitution guarantees freedom of religion, but sadly Christians living in Muslim-dominated parts of the country suffer persecution at the hands of radicals,” noted Jonathan Racho, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa.
“The only way to tackle this heinous violation of religious freedom is by bringing the perpetrators of the attacks to justice. We urge the Ethiopian officials to properly punish all individuals responsible for attacking Ali.”