Ethiopian Churches Expanding Despite Persecution

by | Aug 22, 2011 | Charisma Archive

AP Images/Amanda Rivkin

The famine may be crippling. The
Muslim voice may be strong. Fleeing refugees may crowd the borders. But
the evangelistic churches in Ethiopia are linked in unity and strength
like never before.

Global Advance
witnessed this incredible unity at their Frontline Shepherds Conference
conducted in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, last month.

With the Frontline Shepherds Conference, pastors were even more equipped
with a sense of unity as they were trained in church growth, planting
and missions. Pastors were also challenged in their personal walk with
the Lord, and many committed to plant a new church within the next 12

David Shibley with Global Advance says, “It’s one of the few places in
the world where all evangelical churches—almost 100 percent—are
cooperating with one another, encouraging one another.”

The background of Marxist persecution and ongoing trials today have only
strengthened the Ethiopian church. “There was a unity that was forged
during those years of Marxism where many of the pastors suffered, many
of them were imprisoned, and many of them were tortured for their faith
in Christ,” states Shibley.

The Ethiopian church is expanding. Since the fall of Marxism in 1974,
the number of evangelicals has grown from 5 percent to nearly 20 percent today.
Congregations spread, and more and more pastors have a passion for
bringing the Gospel to others. Training and resources are in high

“In developing nations like Ethiopia, this may be the only pastoral
training that these men ever receive,” says Shibley. “It was wonderful,
during the breaks, to see these pastors sitting at their place and not
going to take tea, but rather reading through these manuals, because for
many of them it’s one of the very few—and perhaps the only—book they
possess beyond the Bible itself for any kind of ministry training.”

Frontline Shepherds Conference only added to the unity by connecting
pastors across denominational lines. In this bonded strength among the
church, pastors were more enabled by the training conference to reach
out to their suffering communities in the famine disaster.

“The church in Ethiopia is responding with the resources they have,”
ensures Shibley. “In the midst of this, the gospel is going forward. In
those [refugee] camps, people are coming to Christ, and God is using
this terrible disaster to bring people to faith in Him.”

Please pray for continued healing and life, both physically and
spiritually, as the church works to encourage a starving and
conflict-torn Ethiopia. Pray that the gospel would be proclaimed through
all things and that the pastors would spread the light of Christ in the
wake of the conference.


Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

In 1998, God gave me a life-changing vision of hell. I receive many questions about my experience from people all over the world, but one question I'm often asked is, "Who did you see in hell?" There are others who say they've had an experience like mine, and they...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...


Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or...
No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

We are told that we must listen to God’s voice when we need to make important decisions. What does the Bible say about hearing God’s voice? How do we apply this to our everyday lives? 7 Bible Verses About Hearing God’s Voice “So then faith comes by hearing, and...

Pin It on Pinterest