Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. 2 Chronicles 14: 11b
Tula, a 45-year-old father of four, was beheaded when Islamic militants attacked three churches in a strongly Muslim part of Ethiopia in early March 2008. They entered the churches in the village of Nenasebo, Bale, during Sunday worship and locked the doors behind them. Shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“god is great”), they started indiscriminately attacking men, women and children in the congregations with machetes. Tula was killed and 17 people were injured, some losing hands or arms.
A Christian minister who visited victims of the attacks said Ethiopia was being targeted by Muslim fanatics, who were “declaring underground war to clear Christianity from the land by sword”. He said they aimed to Islamise Christian-majority Ethiopia and so gain control of the entire Horn of Africa.
Give us the wings of faith to rise
within the veil, and see
the saints above, how great their joys,
how bright their glories be.
Our glorious Leader claims our praise
for his own pattern given;
while the long cloud of witnesses
show the same path to heaven.
Isaac Watts (1674 – 1748)
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.
Originally appeared on Isaac Publishing
For Other Articles by Dr Patrick Sookhdeo
Shahbaz Bhatti (2011) – A Voice for the Voiceless