by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - An evangelical Protestant Church in Ethiopia received an eviction letter on May 15th citing noise complaints from local residents after operating peaceably for 10 years, according to World Watch Monitor.
Mekane Yesus Evangelical Church, in Robe, Ethiopia, was ordered to vacate its building by Oromia Regional State Authorities within 30 days, and petitions by local members to officials have since been fruitless.
“Noise from mosques and Ethiopian Orthodox churches can be heard throughout the day and even at night,” an anonymous source told World Watch Monitor. “This decision is nothing other than a display of animosity towards Protestant churches in the region.”
Despite its status as a majority Christian nation, most Ethiopians belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox church (EOC), who, along with its significant Muslim minority, have often expressed deep antipathy toward the country’s small but burgeoning evangelical population.
Last year an Ethiopian Protestant was charged with insulting the religious feelings of members of the EOC when he questioned the use of the tabot, or Ark of the Covenant replica, in OId Testament-style Orthodox worship services, a crime for which he became the object of violence from Orthodox Ethiopians during his trial.
Open Doors USA lists Ethiopia 28th on its World Watch List of places where it's most difficult to be a Christian, with the spread of Islam cited as the main reason.