Meserete Kristos Church (MKC) held a nationwide fasting and prayer for peace on Nov. 16.
“Believers are still praying for peace, individually and collectively,” they announced. “At present, our hope is in God alone. We kindly request the Mennonite families in North America and around the world to pray for our country. We need peace to continue bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to people and plant churches.”
As a nationwide community of faith, Mennonite Church Canada calls on congregations to pray for peace and healing in Ethiopia. MC Canada asks for prayer for the congregations here in Canada who carry deep concerns for their loved ones in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Pray also for the pastors, leaders and the people of MKC as they seek to bring God’s peace to the people of their country.
Ethiopia currently experiences a threefold threat of pandemic, famine and war. Crops are devastated due to a locust infestation and Ethiopia is now in the midst of intense conflict while in the grip of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Displacement of people, economic upheaval and decreased communications only heighten the anxiety. The violence threatens Eritrean refugees whose camps are located near the Eritrean boarder in the conflict area.
United Nations aid agencies are calling for an immediate temporary ceasefire in Ethiopia following more than two weeks of fighting.
The conflict has killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands more. More than 30,000 refugees have fled to Sudan, and over half of them are children. The United Nations Refugee Agency warns that Ethiopia is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis.
MC Canada has just under a dozen congregations across Canada with roots in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Many have families, friends and loved ones caught in the crisis.
MKC in Ethiopia is the largest Anabaptist community worldwide, and a member of Mennonite World Conference. Some of those who flee are church members’ loved ones. In the midst of this, pastors are caring for each other and for their congregations.
For more than 15 years, Mennonite Church Canada has supported the development of MKC, which serves as a significant leadership-training centre.
Recently, MKC and MC Canada have formalized a sister-church relationship with a focus on mutual encouragement, prayer and support in areas of leadership development and church planting.
Mennonite Church Eastern Canada staffers Fanosie Legesse (left) and Norm Dyck, pictured last year by the sign in front of the Meserete Kristos Church in Mekelle. Mekelle is the capital city of the Tigray region, which is at the centre of the war in Ethiopia. (Photos courtesy of Mennonite Church Canada)