Ethiopian orthodox church archbishop for Bahir Dar, Abune Abraham, condemned killings of civilians by regime forces.
He condemned government actions,caused hundreds of deaths of civilians, during the occasion of Mesqel holiday celebration (it is commemoration of finding of the true cross). At the center of the celebration is a bonfire – a very colorful event that has turned out to be of both religious and cultural importance- and is celebrated through out the country. Mesqel is a UNESCO registered cultural heritage.
He is said to have stated that people do not cause problem and it is leaders (political) that cause problem to the people. “People’s demand need to be addressed” added Abune Abraham.
[adToAppearHere] The army is advised as well not to pull gun trigger against the people to shed bloods of innocent civilians and rather be a tool for peace.
Abune Abraham also had message to journalists who work for government; they should not misquote messages of religious leaders and if they continue to do so they may forget getting access to religious events.
He also called for release of what he called brothers who are arrested without any crime. Thousands of young men are reportedly detained in a very harsh environment.
The Holly Synod of Ethiopian Orthodox Church, as in any other institution, is under total control of the minority regime in power.
At the end of the celebration, Abune Abraham remained in the scene of celebration as he wanted to make sure that the laity return home safe and later walked, abandoning service car, to his residence.
News of Abune Abraham’s statement brought about much excitement among the laity and he is hailed as brave archbishop.
Ethiopia has more than 45 million followers of Orthodox Christians.