Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Abune Mathias, has on Thursday issued a statement in reaction to the massacre in Wollega and Gambella regions of Ethiopia.
He expressed grief over the horrifying massacre
Solomon Kibriye has translated the statement from His Holiness into English, and shared it on his social media page. It reads as follows :
The statement of His Holiness Abune Mathias I, Patriarch and First of the Archbishops of Ethiopia, Archbishop of Axum and Echege of the See of Tekle Haimanot in regard to the sickening killings of our compatriots in Wellega and Gambela.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God, amen!
“The sacred stones of the temple are poured out and scattered At the head of every street.” Lamentations of Jeremiah 4: 1
A fatherly message of mourning.
To my beloved children in the Holy Spirit, Ethiopians, both inside and outside the country, and to those guarding the honor of our country at the borders, in the name of the living God who created the ages and rules them, whose being is infinite, whose Lordship is endless, I send my fatherly greetings.
We begin our message by saying “may God fortify you” to our children who in a manner that horrifies one’s emotions, grieves one’s heart, and shatters one’s strength have been reduced from having families to being alone, have been denied a dignified death and burial, who are human but violated by other humans, who are Ethiopians but slain by other Ethiopians, who have a country but have been treated as strangers, who have been repaid for toiling the soil not with gold but with the sword. As for the dead, we beg that the God who honored the blood of Abel examine their blood as well. In these times when we hear many beautiful words, when the voices of wisdom echo, yet the foundations are destroyed as their domes are beautified. If it were not arrogance, this would be a time to say “How did we get here”. It is sad that we stand on a land where yesterday we were denouncing people for seizing the fruits of others labor, and are now facing those who are taking the lives of others, and reducing populations. The depth of how far we have fallen is made obvious when we see people die simply for their God given identity. Those who have died are surely Martyrs, and the church will commemorate them. A Martyr is one who dies for the sake of God. These compatriots were killed for the identity they received from God, and so they are Martyrs. Their murderers are the direct opponents of God.
When I heard of the gruesome deaths of our compatriots in Wellega and Gambela my heart was struck as before with great grief. Every rainy season in our country, every morning dew is made of the tears of the innocent. We are seeing the fulfillment of the words of Our Lord when He said “ Pray that your flight will not take place in winter “ To our children who live in these times where your ears hear things beyond their capacity, I say strengthen your hearts in the Lord as the Prophet David did. Disputes and debates are part of the humanity that God created so we believe that justice will come from God. Religious fathers need to ask themselves who are we to teach if if the people are all eliminated. Our country is crying out for leaders who who uphold her honor, so the government and the people must denounce inequity with action. The Prophet Jeremiah in his grief lamented “The sacred stones of the temple are poured out and scattered At the head of every street.” (Lamentations of Jeremiah 4:1). The children of men are living temples of God, so when we see them slaughtered and denied burial we must join the prophet in his weeping.
As the hour is getting late, death is becoming news, citizens are losing their honor, fear is becoming the ruler, so we issue our great call for this time to be ended in the name of the living God!
May God bless Ethiopia and her peoples. Glory to God, Amen
Sene 16, 2014 (June 23, 2022)
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