The ending Ethiopian year has been a rough one for millions of Ethiopians as politically charged ethnic-based violence brought about insecurity problem and displacement, among other things. And as the country is poised to welcome its new year, religious leaders declared a one-day prayer for peace.
August 30, 2019
Ethiopian religious Council, whose members are drawn from all religious groups in the country, declared a one-day prayer across the nation.
They picked Pagume 1 (that is the beginning of Ethiopia’s thirteenth month of the year and corresponds to September 6 in Gregorian calendar) for the day of prayer.
It called on the federal and regional government authorities, security personnel, mass media, youth, mothers and religious fathers to do their part during the prayer day.
The religious council was joined by Ethiopian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is established by the Ethiopian Parliament based on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Proposal, during a press conference on Friday, August 30, 2019.
“It has become necessary to declare a day of prayer to receive the new year [Ethiopian New Year which falls on September 12 this year] with new thought, heart, and mind for violence and conflicts that happened [in the ending year] to give way to peace, love and thinking about one another,” the religious council is cited as saying by Ethiopian News Agency (ENA).
It is natural and expected that differences in thought could lead to conflict, says the religious council. However, said the council, it is concerned that the conflict got complicated to the point that it is leading to loss of lives and destruction of properties.
The religious body also pointed out that above everything else, the dignity of man, respect for man, justice, and equality are priorities.
“Ethiopians have formed shared values and the history of their unity is built on a strong foundation that they have lived together forging a common identity and respecting one another although there were differences in ethnicity or religion,” the council stated during the press conference.
The religious fathers believe that value needs to be passed from generation to generation.
Ethiopia experienced prevalent violence – most of which was ethnic-based one- in the ending Ethiopian year. As a result of which hundreds of lives were lost and property worth millions of Ethiopian birr destructed- not to mention hundreds of thousands of cases of internal displacement in the country.
The latest string of widespread ethnic-based violence happened in Sidama zone of Southern Peoples, Nations, and Nationalities region. Authorities have confirmed at least 53 people died, 54 wounded and property worth millions of birr destroyed.
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