Ethiopian Patriarch tearful message for followers of Orthdox church

  • Ethiopian Patriarch Abune Mathias seem to have lost confidence in the capability and/or willingness of Ethiopian government to protect citizens from radical groups
  • In Bale Robe, radical groups have declared new laws, like in the tradition of ISIS occupied areas, outlawing social or economic interaction with Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers, and ethnic Amharas too.
Ethiopian Patriarch _ Ethiopia
Ethiopian Patriarch, Abune Mathias I conveying message after the massacre of Ethiopian Christians

Ethiopian Patriarch Abune Mathias I, also Archbishop of Axum, Echege of St. Tekle Haimanot, has conveyed a message tearfully after  60 members of the church are brutally massacred by radicalized ethnic nationalists youth groups who call themselves as “qeerroo” in Oromo region of Ethiopia.

Solomon Kibriye has translated the message as follows:

“My Children, I am a religious father. I am your guardian. Nevertheless I have been unable to protect you from slaughter. I have not saved you from death. I am not a military leader. I do not have the ability to bring your killers to justice. I carry a cross in my hand, not a gun. My children, I am tearfully praying to our God about your suffering. I am also continuing to plead with the government. Today I am deeply grieved. I have the urge to weep like a child. My heart is crushed by grief. My eyes have had no sleep, but many tears. In the hopes day to day for improvement, we have been asking the government to put a stop to it. However we have seen nothing change. Instead I have caused my children to be massacred. While I was preaching to you about peace, those that do not know peace have deprived you of peace. My children do not hold a grudge on me. Do not think I am silent to your plight. I always weep for you. Lord send your Judgement, or come down to us. Rather than showing me the suffering of my children Lord, please bring my death closer. I have not been able to defend my children from what is being brought upon them. See it and render Your judgement.”

Thousands of Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers are displaced in some parts of Oromo region specially in Bale Robe and Dodola, Arsi, and are currently taking refugee in Churches.

Government claims that the security situation in those places is improved following the deployment of the Ethiopian Defense Force. However, residents say that they do not feel safe and still facing threats. Also, the government claims that it is arresting those who were involved in violence but there are reports the arrest, specially in Mojo, is actually targeting those were trying to protect themselves from Qeerroo attacks.

Prelates of the Ethiopian orthodox Church seems to have lost faith the government’s capability to protect Ethiopian Christians and in the capability to the government to enforce rule of law.

Ethiopian church dioceses in the country and abroad held prayer service on Sunday for those who were brutally massacred by radicalized ethnic Oromo youth groups called,Qeerroo, this past week in several towns in Oromo region of Ethiopia.

It was after the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian church decided on Saturday that the service was held across all Ethiopian church dioceses the world over.

“…we are commemorating and praying for those who thought that they were living among fellow humans but were unexpectedly devoured by wolves…” Archbishop Elias said in his sermon at the Holy Trinity Menbere Tsebaot Church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where archbishops attended the memorial service.

prayer _ Ethiopian Church
Prayer service at Kiddist Selassie ( Holy Trinity ) Menbere Tsebaot church in Addis Ababa. Photo credit : Hara Tewahdo

He used the name “wolves” as euphemism in what seems to be an effort to avoid calling out names of radicalized ethnic Oromo youth group, qeerroo, whose coordinators are seemingly receiving orders from radical ethnic Oromo Nationalist activist, Jawar Mohammed, who used to be based in Minnesota,USA.  

Video and pictures circulating on social media shows archbishops who were attending the prayer service at the Holy Trinity Church weeping.



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