Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeEthiopian NewsShashemene: Death toll from massacre of Orthodox Christians now over 30 

Shashemene: Death toll from massacre of Orthodox Christians now over 30 

Oromo regional state security forces carried out massacred dozens of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church followers who support the Holy Synod decision. Reports of extensive arrest and harassment emerging


Death toll from the massacre of Orthodox Christians in Shashemene is now over 30. Dozens of others are reportedly injured and hospitalized in Hawassa. 

The conditions of some of those who sustained wounds are said to be life-threatening.   

His eminence Abune Petros, Secretary of the Holy Synod, confirmed during an interview with Anchor Media, that over thirty followers of Ethiopian Orthodox, Tewahedo Church are killed in Shashemene.

On Saturday, Oromia region security forces opened fire on churchgoers who were heading to St. Michael Church to protect the church as the group that the Ethiopian Church excommunicated attempted to break into the church illegally.  Three were killed initially and dozens were wounded.

The regional police repression continued on Sunday and dozens more were reportedly killed.  

Apart from the killings, heads of dioceses in many areas of the Oromo region of Ethiopia have been facing extensive harassment from the security of the regional states. 

Multiple arrests had been reported. Two archbishops – from Jima and Arsi Dioceses have been arrested by Oromia authorities and sent back to Addis Ababa in less than 24 hours.  

Church choirs in the towns surrounding Addis Ababa have been detained en masse, according to sources close to the church. Tension is rising in different parts of the region as the Oromo regional state is mounting a crackdown on the followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church who are opposing those who illegally ordained 26 bishops in what appears to be a move to establish an ethnic Oromo patriarchate. 

Federal Government response 

Abiy Ahmed’s federal government, through the Ministry of Communication Services, released a statement but did not condemn the killing in Shashemene. 

The federal government, instead, attempted to legitimize the excommunicated group that is getting support from the Oromo regional state when it implied that there is a division within the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. 

In its latest statement, which was released on Monday,  Holy Synod said that there is no division within the Holy Synod. It squarely put the issue rather as a disciplinary measure based on the canons of the church against three Bishops who violated the canons. 

Rising tension in the country 

Government crackdown on the followers of the Ethiopian Church against those who are clamoring for “one synod, one church, one patriarch,” as has been the case in the tradition of the church, is seen as government intervention in the internal affairs of the church. 

Determination of the part of the laity and the Holy Synod is noticeable. One of the church fathers said  “we are sad because we can only die once.”  

The Holy Synod has called for three days of prayers and fasting in the country and abroad.   The faithful are also requested to wear black in the course of the three days of fasting. 

The Church has announced plans to stage a peaceful demonstration after February 12 if the government is not addressing the demands of the church including not intervening in the affairs of the church. 

However, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government is framing the Ethiopian Church movement to defend the faith and internal administration matter as a sort of attempt by forces with the objective to disintegrate the country.  The government is threatening to “enforce laws.” 


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  1. This Orthodox Church move shows that the Amaras have driven the final wedge in the Amara-Oromo coexistence. Only, this time, they did it wearing Orthodox Christian Hat.

    After open-mindedly watching the gradually widening Amara-Oromo rift and giving it one excuse after another, I now see clearly the Amaras’ deep-rooted hatred for Oromos.

    It’s no coincidence that so many Amaras gang-up against Oromos overnight. I’m sorry for the over 15 million Amaras in Oromia if they get a raw deal – as a collateral damage.

    It’s no-brainer as to who is pushing this anti-Ethiopia agenda with the Amaras in the front seat, but why are all these Amaras conscious-and-willing participants of such malice?

    • i_Mognu

      Itis Mahibrekidusan and fanos sponsors in the church leading the manifestation against Oromo and Abiy Ahmed wearing Orthodox Tewahedo hat and bearing one synod slogan .

  2. It seems that officials at the federal lever are talking on both sides of their mouths. Gunning down peaceful demonstration is a crime. It is not just a crime but a crime against humanity. Folks, I have been telling this about all these ethnic based liberation fronts and their offshoots. Every regional government official must have dabbled with the ideology behind the ‘liberation’ front on occasions. Some of them may be fair minded to others but many of them walk around with glossed over or visible hatred toward others. These bad apples believe their region is their region and they are the law. Shame on you Shimelis! Shame on you! Unarmed citizens are mowed down in cold blood and there should not be any justification. Ok, the protestors were not allowing the new priests to enter their temples. So what? You don’t order your militia to shoot the peaceful protestors. You hold a dialogue. Shame on you, Shimelis! I will be holding you responsible for this crime. Also you professors and so-called activists here among our Diaspora! I heard you are trying to justify this massacre as if the protestors were armed and violent. Shame on you! What in a dickens is wrong with you? But you know what? I’m not surprised knowing how unrepentant bigots you have been. Shame on you! Shame, shame, shame on you!!!

  3. We advise you to change your move and choose dialogue on behalf of demonstartiona and fano backed violence . You can’t be a martyr(Semaiit) by fighting with Oromo Orthodox Tewahedo believers who share the same religion and country with you all. YOu can’t inherit Kingdom Of God by defaming, insulting our bishops or any one. This is not part of Christian ethics.
    You were supporting all foreign forces and islamic states supporting Abiy Ahmed . You were also supporting the killings of Oromos by Fanos brutally. You must exploit the fasting days to repent and come to your senses and ask forgiveness from your brothers and sisters of the same religionand all citizens that you may offended before. There is no biblical verse that encourages to fight for power and economic interest fo bishops . It is suffice for these bishops to earn small amount of money that is adequate for survival . They are helding rich people as their children of confession and they amass big money every great religious feast. Don’t equate christian martyrdom with dying for financial interest of Bishops .
    Where there are 2 or 3 people , there is Savior Christ and we believe there exist a church. You can’t say church is disintegrated and Ethiopia is destroyed because Oromiayaa established its own ecclesiastical administration .YOu can’t oppress Oromiyaa and block them from fully exploiting their language. You can’t justify yourself by saying “everyting that lasts 1800 years and should still stay intact. Coptic church was colonizing our people and stealing our resources in th from of gifts and payments , and that corrupted system has been removed for ever. And likewsie, amhara elites hegemony should not be mainatained in Oromiyaa. However, We love Amhara christians and non Christioan ordinary people as they have contributed to our church directly and indirectly while we oppose strongly those who want use the church for econmic and political gain stealthly and secretively like socalled mahibrekidusan , mahibreseytan aand fanos who killed our people and do desecrated our church by performing military training in our church and hinding weapons inside church yard.

    Last word, stop putting children, elders and mothers into your violent demonstration summoned by your selfish synod dominated by amhara religious elites who want to twist the government for their own sake by suppressing the rights of revered Oromo to be led by his/her own people and not to use his or her own lovely language. BIble advises discussion, reconcilation and respect to one another but not demonstartion , defamtion and insult and all other irreligious acts you doing now. Remember for every damage, loss of lives , Ethiopain Orthodox synod leaders and ring leaders of the demonstration should be held accountable. Remeber many people died due to suffocation and chaotic stampede without any sort of reaction from officers and government forces. Don’t put indanger the lives of poor naive Orthodox Church Tewahedo belivers, our brothers and sisters, children, mothers, elders, vulnerable people suffering heartattack and etc

    Revered people of Oromo , regardles of your happines when we were suffering and kileld by fanos, urge you to come to dialogue and solve current problems without being selsfish and imposing your economic interest. WE are asking to use our language and choose our own leaders born to Oromiyaa . Don’t be suppressive and remember we are asking our own resouces and we are living in our land. You are imposing your interest upon Oromos who live in their own land!!! Come to your senses and behave as christians and don’t be taken away by carnal selfish lust

    One Synod, One Patriarch momevent is now hijacked by Fanos and their supporters like Tamagne Beyene, Debtera Habtamu Ayalew, Neamin Zeleke , Abebe Gellaw, and many more multi degree murderers who have no religion at all, but want to come to power by a bloodshed of innocent people including Amhara naive civilians.

  4. The only solution to this problem is to come to the table , reconcile and acknowledge those Bishops . Blessed are the Peace makers(Mathew 5.9)religious leaders , mainly in EOTC synod, should set a great example for their laity by reconciling and making peace but not by working with those who defame, plot, insult and threatening and warning the state officials . It is unbiblical and never expected from a bishop or even a monk.

    They should not put children and anyone at risk for them to enjoy a better slary and gifts from the laity by occupying a large dioceses and highly paying parish churches.

    Many ring leaders of the movement are solely concerned about their power, landgrabbing and all sorts of econmoc interest and religion is a cover and mask to veil their true face.

    Religious laws can be amended and even repealed when it is necessary. It is only dogma that can’t be altered. Egyptians were fooling our people for 1600 years by telling them not to consecrate their own bishops without their permission and stealing our resources. They also introduced sorcery . You will find incantations written in Arabic and used for irreligious matters.They were herlings , paid bishops , but not true shepherds as they abandoned our people during italian invasion of Ethiopia time when monks,laity and priests were massacred by italians.
    Amhara bishops learned bribe from Coptic bishops.Corruption was introduced by egyptians and considered now as genuine practice and tradition in EOTC.

  5. ፍትሓነገሥት ከዓረብኛ ወደ ግዕዝ በሗላም ወደ አማርኛ የተተረጎመ የሕግና የሥርዓት መፅሓፍ ነው፤ሕግና ሥርዓት ደግሞ እንዳስላጊነቱ በሊቃውንትና በሊቃነጳጳሳት ጉባኤ ሊሻሻል፤ሊታረም ካስፈለገም ሊሻር እና በምትኩ ሌላ ሕግ ሊወጣ ይቻላል፤፤በውሥጡ የተካተቱ ከዶግማ ጋር ግንኙነት የሌላቸው የፍትሓነገሥት ህጎች እንዳስፈላጊነታቸው በሊቃውንት ሊታረሙ ና ሊሻሻሉ ይችላሉ፤፤ግብፃዊያኑ ጳጳሳት ኢትዮጵያዊያን የራሳቸውን ጳጳሳት አይሹሙ ብለው በዚህ ፍትሓ ነገስት አስፍረዋል፤፤ከአንድ ሺህ ስድስት ዓመታት በሗላ ኢትዮጵያውያን ሊቃውንት ይህን መጽሓፍ መርምረው ማሻሻያ ሊያደርጉበትና የነገረ መለኮት መፅሓፍ ይመስል በምትኩ የታረመ መጽሓፍ ሊያሳትሙ አልቻሉም፤ቀኖና ማለት ሥርዓት ማለት ነው፤ቀኖና ማሻሻያ ይደረግበታል፥አብዛኛውን ጊዜ ተግባራዊ ከማይደረጉ የቀኖናህጎች መካከል ለመጥቀስ ያክል የንስሓ ቀኖና ወይም የንስሓ የሥርዓት ሕጎች እና የሥርዓተቅዳሴ ሕጎችን መጥቀስ በቂ ነው፥፥ነገሩ የሥልጣን፤ርስትና ጉልትን የማስጠበቅ፤ምዕመናንን ወደ አንድ አጥቢያ ቤተክርስቲያን ብቻ እንዲጎርፉ በማድረግ ገቢን የማሳደግ፤አሥራት በኩራትን በገፍ የመሰብሰብ፤እና የመሳሰሉ ኢኮኖሚያዊ ጥቅማጥቅሞችን የማስጠበቅ ዓላማን ለሚያራምዱ ሰዎች የቀኖና ዶግማ ጉዳይ የሚገዳቸው(የሚያንገበግባቸው) ስላልሆነ አውቀው እንደተኙ አውቀን ለመቀስቀስ ጊዜ አናጠፋም፤፤ነገር ግን በቅንነት፤ባለማወቅ በጥቅመኞች ተሸንግለውና ተገፋፍተው ብሎም በሃይማኖት ሽፋን ተገፍትረው ክቡር ሕይወታቸውን እንዳያጡ በአካል ጉዳት የተነሳ ከቤተክርስቲያኗ አልፈውም ከፈጣሪያቸው ጋር ሊጣሉ ስለሚችሉ ሕዝበክስቲያን ይህንን እንዲያስተውሉ እንመክራለን፤፤የወለደ አይጸድቅም እንደሚባለው በዚህ ትርጉም የለሽ ረብሻና ሰልፍ ወገኖቻቸውን የሚያጡ ሰዎች ልጄ ፀደቀ ሳይሆን ልባቸው በሀዘን እንደሚሰበር የሚያውቁት እነርሱ እንጂ የልጆዎ በረከት ይድረሰን ለሚሉ ያልተነኩ ግልግል አዋቂዎች አይደሉም፤፤ሰማዕትነት የሚገኘው ቤተክርስቲያንን ላቃጥል(ላን፥ዽ፥ ላፍርስ)፤ማዕተባችሁን ላስፈታቹ(ልበጥስ) ፤ምዕመናንን ካህናት በሃይማኖታቸው ብቻ ልግደል የሚል ሲመጣ እንጂ በቋንቋዬ ልገልገል የራሴ አባቶችን ልምረጥ በእነርሱም ልመራ ልገልገልም ካለ የአንዲት ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ አማኝ ጋር በመጋጨት የአባቶችን ስም በማጥፋት(በማጠልሸት) የሳይበር ጥቃት በመፈፀም አይደለም፤፤ልጆቻችሁን እና አረጋውያዩን ከተቻለም ራሳችሁን ከዚህ የዉሸት ሰልፍ ጠብቁ ጳጳሳቶቻቹ ስለእናንተ አይሞቱላቹሁም የሚቀበሉት መከራም አይኖርም የሚታገሉትም ለክርስቶስ ሳይሆን ለሥልጣን ለብር ና ለገፀበረከት ነው፤፤ምክንያቱ አጭር፥ቀላል እና ግልፅ ነውይኸውም በአንድ ጠረጴዛ ስር መጥተው መነጋገርን ፤ እርቅን፥እና ሰላምን ጠልተው የሰይጣን ፍሬዎችን እያረቡና እያሰራጩ ይገኛሉ፤፤እነርሱም ትዕቢት(ጥንታዊያን፤ህጋዊያን፤በሚሊዮን የሚቆጠር ተከታይ ያለን በተከታዮቻችን ብዛት ከማንኛውም የፖለቲካ ድርጅት ይልቅ መንግሥት አቤት ወዴት እስካላለን ድረስ ለመንግሥት አሥጊ የምንሆን ስለሆን የሚል ውሥጥ ለውስጥ የሚብላላ ብቻ ሳይሆን በድፍረት የተነገረ ነው)፣ውሸት ይህም የተለየ ቤተክርስቲያንን አልተለዩም ብሎ የሀሰት ማስተባቢያ መስጠት፡በይፋ የተለየ ቤተክርስቲያን የራሱን መሪና ሲኖዶስ ማቋቋም ና ፓትርያርክ መሾምም እራሱን ይመለከታል የጊዜና የዝግጅት ጉዳይ ብቻ ነው፤ ፤አድማ፤ስም የማጠልሸት ሥራ ላይ ከተጠመዱ ጋር የግብረ ሃይሉ ዋነኛ መሪ በመሆን፤ዜጎችን ለፖለቲካ አላማ መጠቀሚያ ማድረግ፤ወዘተ፤መንግሥት ሃይማኖት በማይለይ መልኩ የሁሉም ዜጋ መሪ መሆኑ እየታወቀ ከአንድ ጎጥ በመጡ ሰዎች ለሚመራ አንድ ሃይማኖት ደጋፊ ብቻ እንዲሆን በመማለድ የሌላውን የዜግነት መብት እንዲጥስና እንዲያስር ግፊት ማድረግ፥ይህን ለማስፈፀምም አውግዘናቸዋል፤ኢሕጋዊ ናቸው ወዘተ በማለት በዓለማዊ ና ሓገራዊ ህጎች ተቀባይነት የሌላቸው ራስወዳድ የትዕቢት መመሪያዎችን ብሔራዊ ህጎች ተደርገዉ እንዲቆጠሩ እየሠሩ ይገኛሉ፤፤እነዚህ የኦሮሚያ አባቶች በኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ሥር ሲያገለግሉ የነበሩ ደግማውን ያልሻሩ ህጋዊነት ያላቸው ናቸው እነርሱ ኢህጋዊ ከተባሉ በአቡነ አብርሃምና አቡነ ጴጥሮስ የሚመራዉ ሲኖዶስም ኢህጋዊ ይሆናል ምክንያቱምየቤተክርስቲያኗን የማውገዝ ሥርዓት፤ሂደት፤ ህጎች የጣሰ እና ከተወጋዡ ጋር የተደረገ ቀጥተኛ ውይይትና ተግሳፅን ሳይከተል በስሜታዊነት የተላለፈ ግዝት ወፈገዝት በሚባል ፈሊጣዊ አነጋገር ውሥጥ ይካተታል፥፥ ጥቅምን የማስጠበቅ ዉግዘት ነው፥፥ይሄደግሞ ኢመፅሓፍ ቅዱሳዊ ነው፤፤የቤተክርስቲያኗ ትምህርት መሠረት ሰማንያአንድ መጻሕፍትን ያቃለለ ግዝት ነው፥፥እኔ ከዘሬ ሃይማኖቴ ይበልጥብኛል ብላቹ ከዚህ ሃይማኖት መሰል ንቅናቄ ጋር የምትሳተፍ ምዕመናን አትሸወዱ በጥቂት ሰዓታት ውስጥ ወደ ፖለቲካ ንቅናቄ ተቀይሯል፥አካላችሁንም ሆነ ክቡር ህይወታችሁን ለጥቅምና ርስት ጉልት አስጠባቂዎች ና በሃይማኖት ሽፋን ለሚንቀሳቀሱ ፖለቲከኞች፤የፓለቲካ ተንታኞች መጠቀሚያ አትሁኑ፥፥ከአንዲትቤተክርስቲያንልጆችጋር፤በመጣላት፤የሊቃነጳጳሳትን ስም በማጠልሸት ፥አድማ በማሳደም ና በአድማ በመሳተፍ የሚወረስ መንግስተሰማያት የሚገኝ ሰማዕትነት የለም፥በቅዱሳት መፃሕፍት አልተፃፈም፤፤ቤተክርስቲያን ለሁለት ሲኖዶስ ከተከፈለች ኢትዮጵያ ልትፈርስ ነው እያላቹ የሀሰት የአድማ መፈክር በማንገብ እናንተ ፕሮቴስታንቱ፤ካቶሊኩ እና የእስልምና ተከታዮችን ከእናንተ ጋር እንዲቆሙ ስታደርጉ ቋንቋዬን ለቤተክርስቲያን አገልግሎት ልጠቀምበት በአባቶቼ ልመራ ያለን ስትከለክሉ ከጎናቸው የሚቆም ሰው ያጣሉ ወይም እነርሱ እንደኛ ያሻቸውን ማድረግ አይችሉም እኮ እያላችሁን ነው፤፤አታፍሩም፤፤ለከት የላችሁም፤ላይሰሙ አዉቀው ስለተኙ ያገሩን ሰርዶ ባገሩ በሬ እንዲሉ አባቶቻቹ እርቅና ሰላም እንዲያስተምሯቹ ወትውቷቸውእነርሱም ወደ ልባቸው እንዲመለሱ ምከሯቸው፤፤የደጋጎች ልጆች ልብ ለአባቶች እንዲሰጣቸው የነነዌ ጾም የእውነት የንስሓ የይቅርታ እንዲያደርግላቸው እንጸልይላቸው፤ ልብ ይስጣቹ አስተዋይ አዕምሮን ያድላቹ፤አሜን

  6., blocking my views is the dumbest thing you could ever do! This is the same Orthodox Church that stood with Haile-Selassie’s regime and turned a blind eye and a cold shoulder when millions of your own Wolloyés starved to death. Rings a bell?

    No Ethiopian has the right to deny another Ethiopian to get services in his/her mother’s tongue using guises like Orthodox/Amara/Oromo/Rights/etc-Activist. Remember that over 15 million Amaras live in the Oromo Zone and NO Oromo lives in the Amara Zone!

    BTW, didn’t Canada teach you stuff like freedom of expression and compiling-and-reporting facts in an impartial manner? Look, I don’t want to brag about my efforts that paid off to get Wolloyé refugee cases a priority. I hope you were one of the beneficiaries!

    • Point of clarification but in the church bylaws it says you may speak whatever language you wish except for the few bits that must be said in Ge’ez (a language most Amharas do not understand). I know of multiple Ethiopian churches in America who preach in Oromo, though I do understand it is different in Ethiopia as uneducated religious extremists (who often are deacons or members and not priests) do not understand the bylaws themselves and spew nationalist talking points. These misconceptions need to be debunked by the church, I do agree. To stop a secession we need empathy, not hostility.
      Also, do you have a source on your claim that Oromos don’t live in Amhara? As I know a decent amount of Oromos who live in Menz and various other areas.

      • W, hoping that Borkena doesn’t also block this, I will try to answer your question:

        1). I used to go to Gojjam & Gondar [G&G] due to my friends’ relatives. During my sojourns, I have never met any Oromo. If there is any, I would love to know the location.

        2). Shewa is the land of Shewa Oromos & Shewa Amaras. The Oromos form a ring of a large radius outward from Addis. So, there is an Amara-Oromo mix here and there.

        PS: From my experience, G&G are unwelcoming to most Ethiopians. Yet, they go the extra mile to please/impress Whites/Arabs. Go & see! I wonder why they whine a lot about hospitality and expect hospitality from others! I am from Addis and don’t know much about Shewa & Wollo.


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