Ethiopia has declared three days of mourning following the killing by the Islamic State (IS) of up to 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya.
Yesterdays post (19 April) told the story of a new video released by the Libyan branch of IS.
Ethiopia’s government has now confirmed that the people shown being killed were Ethiopian migrant workers.
IS and other jihadist groups are present in several Libyan towns.
We extend our sympathies and prayers for the families and friends of the victims and we encourage the Christian community globally to pray for them. Ps 116:15
Islamic State (IS) militants have released a video purportedly showing the killing of up to 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya.
Footage shows one group of men being beheaded on a beach and another group being shot in the head in a desert.
The victims are believed to be members of the Ethiopian Church seized in Libya by IS-linked militants.
The video is similar to previous ones posted by IS, including the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in February.
The latest tape is 29 minutes long and bears the official logo of the media arm of IS. Its authenticity has not been independently verified.
In the video, a masked militant with a gun is seen making a statement threatening Christians if they do not convert to Islam or pay a special tax.
IS has in recent months published a number of videos apparently showing the killing of its hostages, drawing condemnation around the world.
The militants control large swathes of Iraq and Syria, but have also won the backing of jihadist groups across the Middle East and North Africa, including Libya.
16 “If I have denied the desires of the poor
or let the eyes of the widow grow weary,
17 if I have kept my bread to myself,
not sharing it with the fatherless—
18 but from my youth I reared them as a father would,
and from my birth I guided the widow—
19 if I have seen anyone perishing for lack of clothing,
or the needy without garments,
20 and their hearts did not bless me
for warming them with the fleece from my sheep,
21 if I have raised my hand against the fatherless,
knowing that I had influence in court,
22 then let my arm fall from the shoulder,
let it be broken off at the joint.
23 For I dreaded destruction from God,
and for fear of his splendor I could not do such things.
24 “If I have put my trust in gold
or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security,’
25 if I have rejoiced over my great wealth,
the fortune my hands had gained,
26 if I have regarded the sun in its radiance
or the moon moving in splendor,
27 so that my heart was secretly enticed
and my hand offered them a kiss of homage,
28 then these also would be sins to be judged,
for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.
Job 31:16-28 (NIV)
Italian police say they have arrested 15 Muslim migrants after they allegedly threw 12 Christians overboard following a row on a boat heading to Italy.
The Christian migrants, said to be from Ghana and Nigeria, are all feared dead.
In a separate incident, more than 40 people drowned after another migrant boat sank between Libya and Italy.
Almost 10,000 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean have been rescued in recent days. Italy has called for more help from the EU to handle the crisis.
More than 500 people from Africa and the Middle East have died making the perilous crossing since the start of the year. Earlier this week, 400 people were believed to have drowned when their boat capsized.
Many migrants picked up by the Italian navy in recent days have been brought ashore to Sicily
The 15 Muslim migrants involved in the row with Christians were arrested in the Sicilian city of Palermo and charged with “multiple aggravated murder motivated by religious hate”.
The suspects, who are from the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali and Guinea, were among 105 migrants travelling in an inflatable boat that left Libya on Tuesday.
Eyewitnesses told police how the altercation resulted in Christians being thrown overboard, and that some of the survivors had formed human chains to avoid a similar fate.
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