“They came to my home and began to knock on our door violently. We tried to escape with our children via the window. They burned my home and grain mill business. But with the kindness of God, I have been able to save my children from being burnt.” On June 30, Eniye Cheru's family survived the anti-Christian attack in the city of Derra, Ethiopia. Chance that 239 Christians have not had, murdered in attacks coordinated by Oromo ethnic extremists, armed with machetes, guns, swords and spears. Another 300 were injured and 3.362 took refuge in churches. Carefully selected then strangled, beheaded, dismembered, they have often suffered a real martyr before, it seems, the police forces’ indifferent eyes.
Anti-Christian violence was triggered on June 29th by the assassination of singer Hachalu Hundessa, Oromo's voice. He denounced, among other things, the lack of freedom in Ethiopia.
If the link between these two events is not understandable, it would be a pretext according to some faithful of the Ethiopian Orthodox church. “I think his death was taken as an opportune time to launch an organized and planned attack. The attack came before even we hear about news of his death,” said Archbishop Abune Henok, Orthodox Ethiopian Archbishop of Arsi. 19 Orthodox Christians have been massacred wildly in 11 regions of Arsi province. 934 companies were destroyed including clinics and 4 schools. 493 residences and the Holy Savior Church in Kokosa have been burned.
At Bale Agarfa, Ashalew Ababu had his eyes gouged out and his headless body left in the open until it was eaten mostly by animals.
In Gedeb Assasa, a senior couple were beaten to death in their house before being hacked and dragged through the streets.
In Derra, a resident described how the attackers played with the corpses of the Christians they had killed, “dancing and singing, carrying the chopped or hacked body parts of those they slaughtered”. A speech confirmed by a video posted on August 25th on Facebook, where you can see Mesfin Alemayehu's dismembered body hanging on the ground while around him you can see the shadows of his attackers clapping and cheerfully shouting.
For the past two years, community tensions have been going strong and planned attacks on Ethiopian Christians have been increasing. In February 2019, 10 churches were burned and six Christians murdered in Amhara and Oromia.