Two men who were distributing Bibles in Ethiopia’s Melka Belo region were arrested in separate incidents and later released after enduring physical abuse and harassment from authorities.
According to International Christian Concern (ICC), Gemechu Jorgo and Sheikh Amin were arrested on 10 March and 13 March respectively. Both men were later released on 23 March.
While he was being held in prison, District Administrator Jamal Adam used Jorgo’s Bible to slap him in the face three times after Jorgo reminded him of his constitutional right to practise his faith freely.
Sheikh Amin is a recent convert to Christianity, having previously been leader of a mosque in Burka Negeya. While he was being held in prison, prison officials persistently attempted to pressurise Amin into renouncing Christianity, which he refused to do.
ICC reports that local authorities in the Melka Belo region are attempting to incite anti-Christian behaviour among local Muslims.