On April 25, police raided a Christian worship service in Asella just south of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The Church of Asella had just baptized 40 new converts to Christianity, prompting mass arrests.
One of those imprisoned, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity known only as “Palus Ejigu,” said, “We were gathered for sharing and encouraging each other with the Word of God. After we finished the service, police imprisoned us. Some of our friends ran away when they saw the way we were harshly handled.”
After weeks of suffering harsh prison conditions and abuses, Ejigu was eventually released. But five days later, four masked men forced him on his knees, put a pistol in his mouth, and ordered him to kill two pastor friends, or else his children would die:
I was commanded to follow the instruction of four covered, armed, persons who spoke in the Oromo language. I was also slapped two times and asked to kneel down. They put their pistol in my mouth and gave me instructions to kill pastors Nebiyou and Legesse.
Ejigu was instructed to accomplish the mission in three months’ time. If successful, he was promised an easier life abroad. But if he failed or refused, the masked assailants vowed to murder his three children. His wife’s Muslim family had already taken the children away from him, in accord with Islamic law.