Remembering Martyrs | Tulu Mosisa

01 March 2024

man hugging his wife

March 2008

Tulu Mosisa was a humble farm worker who deeply cherished his faith. He toiled in the distant village of Nensebo Chebi in southern Ethiopia to provide for his wife and five children, who lived in another village. He attended Kale Hiwot Baptist Church for worship.

One Sunday morning during their usual service, while Mosisa and his fellow Christians were in prayer, armed men burst into the church wielding knives and machetes. Simultaneously, a similar attack happened at Birhane Wongel Baptist Church, just a half-hour’s walk away. These attackers were militant Muslims, driven by their beliefs to rid the Muslim-dominated region of Christians.

Mosisa had come to church that morning alone—his family was not with him—but the congregation was composed of people of all ages, including women and children. The believers looked on helplessly as their attackers barred all the church doors and windows, and then came at them with their weapons. The attackers shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they swung their knives and machetes. The people were defenceless; they screamed and ran in all directions to avoid their assailants, but at least twenty-three were injured, two even losing their hands. Mosisa was tragically killed when an attacker swung at him with a machete.

The violence finally ceased when members of the local militia arrived and drove the men off. Several suspects were arrested, but none of the attackers were officially identified.

At the time, about 45% of Ethiopia’s population was Muslim, reportedly practising a tolerant form of Islam. However, there was an increasing influence of Wahhabi Islam, an extremist sect rejecting modern interpretations of the Koran. They consider theirs as the only true form of Islam.

Living each day with the possibility of death requires immense courage and trust in the Lord. Tulu Mosisa’s steadfast faith was evident in his life and continued to inspire his family even after his death. His wife, Chaltu Waga, though devastated, found solace in Christian support and acknowledged her husband’s sacrifice for his faith.

Despite the persecution, Tulu Mosisa remained unafraid, knowing the promise of salvation for those who endure to the end, as stated in Mark 13:13.

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