By Lorraine Caballero–
Workitu, whose last name has been withheld to protect her three sons, had been regularly beaten by her Muslim husband after she converted to Christianity in August last year. She also received threats from the community she lived in to convince her to return to Islam, according to Open Doors USA.
The Christian mother had told her Church leaders about the threats from her husband and other community members. Upon their advice, Workitu reported the incident to the police, but authorities did not provide her with protection, and are now denying receiving her letter.
On March 19, Workitu’s husband and a neighbor beat her after she refused to sell government drought relief aid she had obtained. The beating continued even after she had already collapsed, and villagers rushed her to a clinic. She was referred to another facility after four days, but she died while in transit.
Two attackers have already been arrested and charged with murder.
Meanwhile, two of Workitu’s sons have decided to embrace Christianity after witnessing their mother’s struggle. They told Church leaders that they want to know more about the God that their mother served, and one of them also brought another friend with him.
“Workitu is like Stephen. Her death was honored by the bringing of her sons to new life,” a local evangelist said of the Christian mother. “I know she would have been extremely delighted had she witnessed her sons’ decision to follow Christ,” the evangelist added.
Ethiopia ranks 18th in Open Door’s World Watch List of countries where Christians experience the worst persecution. The group says Ethiopia’s many tribes, especially those with Islamic links, are not in favor of Christianity. The government is also trying to control religious groups and block freedom of expression and assembly in the country, Christian Today relays.
Open Doors is now asking Christians all over the world to pray for those facing persecution in Ethiopia and other countries.