Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church representatives will soon have formal meetings with heads of ethnic based regional states.
September 13, 2019
Committee drawn from about ten Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Organizations working on a countrywide peaceful demonstration to protest mounting attacks on Ethiopia’s oldest church had a press conference on Friday, as announced before the Ethiopian New Year.
The committee disclosed that the protest called for September 15, 2019, is postponed to Sunday, November 10, 2019 – according to Ethiopian state media EBC report on Friday.
State-affiliated media, Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC), cited chairperson of demonstration coordinating committee, Kesis Muluken Berhanu, to report that he has confirmed cancellation of the demonstration on Sunday, September 4, 2019.
The Ethiopian government called for dialogue promising that it would respond to various demands as the Ethiopian Church Organizations were getting ready for a nationwide protest this coming Sunday.
The representatives of the Ethiopian Church accepted the call and have been holding discussions with government officials both at the Federal and regional levels including the prime minister and regional government heads.
According to social media reports from credible sources, heads of Oromia, Somali, Benishangul Gumuz,, Amhara and SNNPR regional states, as well as Dire Dawa City Administration will start a meeting within ten days with representatives from Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
And organizers of the demonstration have stated that they will make public outcomes of the meeting every two weeks.
Attacks on Ethiopian Orthodox Church has been intensified in the past few years leading to the burning of churches, especially in the south, southeast, and Oromo regions of Ethiopia, among others.
Followers of the church accused the government of not acting to defend the right to worship of Ethiopian Church followers whose number is said to constitute nearly 50 million across the country.
Recently, the church also faced a challenge from a group, seemingly politically charged one with affiliation to radical Oromo ethnic nationalism, which seeks to split the Holy Synod of the church along ethnic line.
Last week, the Holy Synod had an emergency meeting and passed a resolution that the church does not give recognition to those who organize themselves in the name of Ethiopian Orthodox church to bring about the division within the church. The Holy Synod gave the group an opportunity to apologize for their moves that outraged many Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers.
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