A Christian woman newly converted from Islam was recently murdered by her husband and other Muslim fanatics for her act, but she did not die in vain.
As she succumbed to her injuries, two of her sons were so touched by their mother's devotion to her new faith that they decided to follow their mother in embracing Jesus Christ. One of the brothers even brought along his friend.
In a recently filed report, persecution watchdog Open Doors USA tells the story of a woman in Ethiopia named Workitu who converted from Islam to Christianity in August last year.
Her decision angered her husband who, along with other Muslim elders in their community, threatened to kill her unless she returned to Islam.
But Workitu was undaunted. She refused to yield to the threats and stuck to her new faith.
She reported the death threats to church leaders who advised her to report the matter to local authorities in writing. She heeded the advice and wrote a letter telling about the death threats she received and requesting for protection. She sent the letter to the police and local government offices.
However, sources said the officials denied they received her letter.
Last month, Workitu was confronted by her husband and a neighbor who demanded that she sell the drought relief aid she had collected earlier for her family. She refused. This angered the two men who beat her mercilessly even after she had collapsed.
Villagers took her to a hospital where she died from her injuries five days after the attack.
Her two sons—Mustafa, in his 20s, and Kedir, 17—witnessed their mother's suffering and her steadfast devotion to Jesus Christ.
This prompted them to turn their backs on their father and follow their mother's embrace of Jesus Christ.
"Their mother was the only Christian in their family and the boys told the Christian leaders they want to know more about the Lord their mother worshipped," the Open Doors USA report says.
Ethiopia is ranked No. 18 on Open Door's World Watch List of countries where Christians face the most persecution.
"Ethiopia has many tribes...[who are] not necessarily favourable to Christianity, and in some places like Afar and the Somali regions, tribes are interconnected with Islam," the group says. "The ruling party in the country has blocked all the channels for freedom of expression and assembly, and has also tried to control all religious institutions in a bid to curb dissent."
Open Doors is requesting prayers from Christians worldwide to comfort and strengthen the resolve of their fellow Christians who are being persecuted in Ethiopia and other countries that have no tolerance on Christians.