Gemechu Jorgo and Sheikh Amin — two men who were distributing Bibles in Ethiopia’s Melka Belo region — were arrested on March 10 and 13, respectively.
Islamic law bans the advertisement and dissemination of non-Muslim scriptures — that is, Christian evangelism.
While they were imprisoned, both men endured harassment and physical abuse by authorities.
At one point, Jorgo reminded District Administrator Jamal Adam of his constitutional right to practice his Christian faith freely. In response, the Muslim administrator used Jorgo’s Bible to slap him in the face three times.
Amin, formerly a Muslim sheikh and prayer leader of a local mosque, is a recent convert to Christianity. While in prison, officials persistently pressured the apostate to renounce Christ and return to Islam. He refused.
Both men were released on March 23. Ethiopia is a Christian-majority nation, though Muslims make for 33%, or one-third of the population.
According to International Christian Concern, authorities in the Melka Belo region are trying to foment anti-Christian sentiment among local Muslims.