Date: July 12, 2021
EEthiopia (MNN) — For months, civil war has raged in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. The fighting has demolished infrastructure and threatened famine. Despite recent talk of a ceasefire, no end to the violence appears to be in sight.
Most concerning, though, is the involvement of soldiers from neighboring Eritrea in the conflict. In fact, Pastor Eric Foley of The Voice of the Martyrs Korea says Eritrean soldiers have destroyed two refugee camps in the Tigray region. “These are camps that we have visited. So the images are very fresh in our minds from when these camps were stable. But the Shimelba camp and the Hitsats camp are both camps that have been now destroyed because of Eritrean troops who came to the camp. They selected and took some people to Eritrea. That is to say, they took the ones who had escaped from Eritrea and were living in the camps. The Eritrean soldiers brought them back to Eritrea, and put them into prison.” Those who escaped the raids fled further into Ethiopia.
Foley says the Church in the Tigray region has been a beacon during all this chaos. “People are gathering in the churches, and they’re grieving at the churches. They’re bringing dead bodies to the churches to bury them in mass graves. The Gospel is still making a way for people to have hope. The Christians who are hearing the Word of God are acting on it. They’re opening their homes and sharing bread. They’re doing all of the things that Jesus taught us to do.”
The header photo shows a scene from the Shimelba refugee camp before it was attacked by Eritrean forces. (Photo courtesy of John Lavall, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)