Dear Friends,

This week, please pray with us for Tekletsadik Belachew Nigru and the people of Ethiopia.

The second most populous country in Africa, Ethiopia wields tremendous cultural and economic influence in East Africa. Christianity has a long history in Ethiopia, possibly since the first-century conversion of the unnamed courtier in Acts 8. Today, 63% of Ethiopia’s 109 million people are Christians and 34% are Muslims. Following contested elections last September, civil war broke out in November between regional Tigray leaders and the federal government in northern Ethiopia. Please intercede for civilians facing massacres, rape, displacement, and starvation. 

 
Tekle is pursuing a PhD in Historical Theology through Concordia Seminary (St. Louis, Missouri). Focusing on Patristics (the study of early Christian theologians) and the History of Exegesis (biblical interpretation), Tekle hopes to build on the insights of the Early Church in order to foster a sense of continuity and tradition among Evangelicals, encourage Christian unity, and enrich ecumenical dialogue and cooperation in Ethiopia. 
 
Prior to his studies, Tekle taught Theology and Church History at the Mekane Yesus Seminary in Addis Ababa, and worked for several Christian organizations, such Food for the Hungry, Tearfund, and World Vision. Tekle and his wife Nunu have a daughter, Beza (10), and a son, Leul (7). 
 
Tekle shares the following message:

Dear ScholarLeaders Family:
 
I appreciate your prayers and support; it means a lot to me in my academic journey and ministry. 
 
In addition to COVID-19 challenges, Ethiopia has been at war against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). To give you some background, the war was triggered by the TPLF destroying the federal military’s northern wing and mercilessly killing over 500 civilians, including women and children. After this disturbing act, the Federal Government took action. The war has affected many innocent families, leaving them in dire situations without humanitarian aid. 
 
The ongoing ethnic cleansing and genocide against the Amhara and Orthodox Christians in the Oromia and Benshangul-Gumuz regions have also been disturbing and traumatic. According to the Ethiopian Human Rights report, 600 civilians have been killed over the past five months and more than 100,000 are internally displaced. 

Prayer Requests
 
1. Please pray for the voiceless Amhara, Agaw, and Orthodox Christians, who are still fleeing war and killings in the Oromia and Benshangul Gumuz regions, and particularly in the Metekel region. 
 
2. Pray for civilians impacted by the current war in Ethiopia. 
 
3. Pray for the upcoming election this year (June 5), for peaceful transition, and for the opposition leaders who are imprisoned.
 
4. Pray for possible change or revision of the Ethiopian constitution, which is viewed by many as the root cause of all the social and political evils that have ushered the ethnic federalism (in our nation of over 80 ethnicities) and regionalism (like apartheid) contributing to the ongoing genocide and displacement. 
 
5. Pray for the 13 female and 4 male Dembi Dollo university students who were abducted a year ago. Their whereabouts remain unknown. 
 
6. Pray for peace of mind as I try to concentrate on my studies amid such horrible news in Ethiopia. Pray for wisdom for my wife and me, as we guide our kids in their walk with God, spiritual growth, and studies.
 
7. Pray for financial provision as living expenses have been increasing (due to many reasons, including war, ethnic cleansing, displacement, economic downturn, and corruption) in the last few years, adding stress to many lives.
 
Tekletsadik B. Nigru