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March 12, 2011

ELCIC National Bishop Calls for Prayers and Expresses Concern for Violence in Ethiopia

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson shared her concern and prayers for the people of Ethiopia and for members of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus following attacks and church burnings by Muslim extremists against Christians.

An estimated 10,000 Christians have been forced to flee from their homes in western Ethiopia following the attacks. Thousands of Muslim extremists reportedly set fire to 59 churches and at least 28 homes. Looting has also become widespread.

News sources indicate the attacks were carried out after Muslims accused a Christian of desecrating a copy of the Koran.

It is horrifying to hear of such violence and aggression, said Bishop Johnson. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people living through this terror, and the suffering it causes in body and soul. With sighs too deep for words, we hope and pray for the restoration of safety, peace and community.     

Bishop Johnson will be part of a Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) delegation that will travel to Ethiopia in April to visit CLWR related projects and meet with church leaders in the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus.

The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, a member of The Lutheran World Federation, has 5.3 million members. It is one of the largest Lutheran churches in the world.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 152,500 baptized members in 607 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

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