Lifewater Mourns Death of Ethiopians in Libya

Calls for prayer and fasting for victims’ families and an end to violence.


With heavy hearts, Lifewater mourns the violent death of 30 Ethiopian Christians this past weekend.

Recently the world saw evidence of Ethiopian Christians executed at the hands of a terrorist group in Libya. While details are still emerging, videos show 30 men beheaded or shot at the hands of ISIL (ISIS), an extremist Muslim group responsible for similar atrocities against innocent civilians in North Africa and the Middle East.

Members of the victims’ families report that the men were trying to reach Europe by way of Libya when they were abducted by ISIL. Many of the victims were from impoverished areas in Ethiopia, taking a dangerous journey in search of a better life for themselves and their families. The Ethiopian government has called for three days of mourning for the victims.

Lifewater has been privileged to serve more than 100,000 vulnerable children and families with water and sanitation over the past ten years in Ethiopia. The country is home to people whom we are deeply committed to serving for a very long time. It is also the home of our co-workers, people steadfastly dedicated to serving their neighbors, regardless of their religion. Our sadness is deepened by the irony that Muslim and Christian Ethiopians have, for many years, worked hard for the privilege of living alongside one another peacefully.

Recognizing that poor health and lack of opportunity lead to broken families and communities, Lifewater President/CEO Justin Narducci stated that Lifewater will continue its WASH programs in vulnerable communities in order to provide improved health, education, and economic opportunity. Narducci says, “In this moment I’m reminded of Henry Nouwen’s claim that ‘power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life.’”

From Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Lifewater’s Country Director, Zerihun Hailu, shares:

Here, people are deeply saddened. Christians are praying in churches as well as in prayer groups for Lord’s mercy and strength of families of the victims. The government and different faith based organizations, including the Muslim Secretariat, have condemned the violence. We are saddened by the murder of our brothers and sisters by the devilish ISIS group in Libya. We pray for the martyrs and their families. We pray too that the Lord pours mercy on those who are driven by evil and slaughter their fellow human beings.

Narducci continues, “As our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia mourn and grieve this senseless loss of life, we join with them in their pain. I have respectfully asked the staff of Lifewater to fast today in honor of those members of our global body of Christ who lost their lives this weekend. When one part of the body suffers, we all suffer.”

Lifewater requests supporters to join them in prayer and fasting for an end to the violence in Africa and the Middle East that threatens the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Lifewater International is a non-profit Christian water development organization dedicated to effectively serving vulnerable children and families by partnering with underserved communities to overcome water poverty. With experience in more than 40 countries since 1977, Lifewater serves people of all faiths, focusing on contextually appropriate water sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) development. For more information, contact Christine Zurbach ( or visit Lifewater International is based in San Luis Obispo, CA.

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