Ethiopia (MNN)–Old tensions between Eritrea and Ethiopia may be fueling tensions with Somalia. Military action has pushed the crisis to the brink of war.
The Council on Foreign Relations, an independent New York thinktank, issued their report December 14. In it, the agency documents how Eritrea has been providing arms and training to a range of anti-Ethiopian forces operating from Somalia. Ethiopia, in turn, is concerned over how the conflict with Eritrea and the conflict within Ethiopia with insurgent groups might be fed by political developments within Somalia.
Already hotspots for Christians, persecution is a way of life for many. Will it worsen or improve as the situation deteriorates? Voice of the Martyrs Canada's Bernie Daniel. "When there is insecurity in the political/military arena, there are some unfortunate and sad effects that can come to the body of Christ."
There has been a spike in reported incidents of assaults and church burnings, he notes, "But, so far, I haven't heard any kind of deterioration on both Ethiopian and Eritrean Christians."
That good news, considering the annual hajj, or Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca is also underway. This year's hajj takes place amid increasing worries across the Islamic world over the bloodshed in Iraq, violence in the Palestinian territories and a new war in Somalia.
Islamic holy days often see a spike in persecution for believers, so Daniel says, "We're instructing our contacts to be on the alert, to pray, stand for their faith, and material and moral support has been provided recently to the saints in Ethiopia."