By Joseph DeCaro, BosNewsLife International Correspondent
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA (BosNewsLife)– An Ethiopian court sentenced 579 Muslims from three to 18 months in prison for a week of violence against Christians that left one dead and 69 churches destroyed by fire, BosNewsLife learned Friday June 24.
Additionally, 107 Muslims were charged with terrorism-related crimes for their roles in the attacks, trial observers said.
More than 4,000 Christians in and around Asendabo region were displaced as a result of church attacks after Muslims falsely accused a Christian of desecrating the Qu’ran, deemed a holy book by Muslims, Christian news agency Compass Direct News reported.
The destruction that began at Asendabo spread to the areas of Chiltie, Gilgel Gibe, Gibe, Nada, Dimtu, Uragay, Busa and Koticha as Muslim mobs overwhelmed local police and rampaged unchecked, witnesses said.
With a Christain majority, Ethiopia is the second most populous country in the African continent. Ethiopia is 63 percent Christian and and 34 percent Muslim, but in regions where Muslims make up the majority, Christians face persecution, rights groups say.