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U.S.-based Ethiopian organization calls on world leaders to influence change before explosive situation turns to catastrophe in connection with attack on Ethiopian Church

Ethiopian Church _ Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Laity of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church during the three days of prayer and fasting last week. (Photo : EOTC media)

borkena 

Beza, U.S. based  Ethiopian Organization affiliated with Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) last week released a statement calling for the attention of the presidents of powerful states in the world and leaders of major multilateral institutions.  It is about a state-backed attack on the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and the dangerous implications it has for the country and the region.  

Beza addressed the letter to the U.S., China, Russian and European Parliament presidents. It also addressed it to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres,Mackey Sall, Chairperson of the African Union and  Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairman of the African Commission among others. 

The organization expressed concern that Ethiopia is in what it called an “explosive situation.”  The organization sees a “catastrophic religious and ethnic civil war that could engulf the entire horn of Africa ” if the situation is not reversed. 

The organization made it clear that the situation is linked to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government attack on the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and lawlessness. 

It called on world leaders to leverage their diplomatic and financial tools to impact change in Ethiopia in the line of reversing a potentially disastrous situation in the country. 

Contents of the letter is featured below : 

PDF file is available HERE

Beza Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Global Support Organization 

Press Release 
February 8, 2023  

His Excellency Joe Biden, President of the United States  
His Excellency Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation  
His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of China  
Her Excellency Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament  
His Excellency Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General  
His Excellency Mackey Sall, Chairperson of the African Union  
His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairman of the African Commission  His Excellency Koker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights  
Juanita Goeberitus, Director, Human Rights Watch  
Dr. Agnes Callamard, Secretary General, Amnesty International  
Dr. Elisa von Joeden- Forgey, Co-Founder and Co-President, Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention  Daniel Bekele, Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC)  

Subject: Appeal to the International Community to take Corrective Actions Against State Sanctioned Religious Persecution in Ethiopia 

We are submitting this appeal on behalf of the Beza Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Global Group, a faith  based, and non-profit, civil society organization affiliated with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Synod and  located in the United States of America. Like tens of millions of Ethiopians across the world, our membership  is hugely disturbed by the explosive situation in Ethiopia. If not addressed immediately, we believe it will lead  to a catastrophic religious and ethnic civil war that will engulf the entire Horn and Eastern Africa.  

We are especially alarmed by the level of lawlessness, persecutions, and targeted killings of innocent civilians,  wanton destructions of Church property, theft, graft, corruption, and gross human rights violations.  

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo (EOTC) is one if the oldest Churches in the world with more than 60  million followers. The EOTC is the second largest Orthodox Church after the Russian Orthodox Church.  

The EOTC initiated and implemented a robust program of spreading the gospel by tapping into different local  and indigenous languages including Afaan-Oromo. It strengthened the diversity profile of the Church by  promoting and appointing Bishops and other senior members drawn from different nationality groups

The EOTC has an unmatched track record in the field of education. It created the unique and one of a kind  Geez Alphabet and taught Ethiopian citizens to read and write; document and record for succeeding generations  the country’s remarkable, rich, and diverse cultures, histories, state, and government formations. Before  advances in modernization fueled by technological and biological innovations, the Ethiopian Orthodox  Tewahedo Church (EOTC) served a huge social purpose to its members and non-members by providing health  services using traditional medicines and methods.  

During times of external aggression against Ethiopia, the EOTC played pivotal roles championing, mobilizing,  and defending Ethiopia’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and national independence. In recognition of this  essential role of the EOTC Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had declared rightly while on a visit to the USA that  the “EOTC is Country.” In other words, Ethiopia’s very survival depends on the autonomy and continuity  of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and its Synod. 

State Interference and Religious Persecution Intensified  

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Lemkin Institute  for Genocide Prevention, and numerous others provide a plethora of evidence that religious persecution and  undue political interference in the affairs of faith groups has reached an alarming level over the last five years  and has worsened since January 2023.  

Ethiopia’s ethnicity and language-based Constitution and Administrative structure contribute hugely to  targeted ethnic killings, ethnic cleansing, land grab, displacements of millions, nepotism and favoritism as well  as corruption. Tragically, this phenomenon had now spread to the EOTC. 

Religious persecution and deliberate destruction of Churches and monasteries is not new in Ethiopia. We cite  the following prominent as illustrative:  

• In the 10th century, Queen Yodit Gudit carried-out the burning of churches and monasteries and the  destructions of invaluable manuscripts of the EOTC.  

• In the 16th century Ahmed Gragn (the left-handed) applied a scorched earth policy of burning  churches and monasteries and all properties held by the Church and slaughtering members of the  Church who resisted.  

• In the 17th century, Emperor Susneyos attempted to use his considerable powers to convert  Ethiopia’s religion from the Eastern Orthodox faith to that of Catholicism.  

• The battle of Adwa in 1896 and the battle of Maichew in 1935 were fought for the soul of Ethiopia  with which the EOTC is intricately and organically associated and identified.  

Events since he took power show the current Ethiopian government led by Abiy Ahmed embraces the worst  aspects of Ethiopia’s debilitating past. His regime is carrying out egregious atrocities, persecutions, and  relentless intimidations of Christians with singular focus on the EOTC as an institution as well as against the  Amhara ethnic group.  

Abiy Ahmed has a track record of dismantling Ethiopian institutions. He dismantled the Islamic Sharia,  sponsored, and replaced it by an illegal group in violation of the current constitution that separates Church and  State and recognizes the independence and autonomy of all faith groups—EOTC, Islam, Protestant, Catholic  and others.  

Today, Ethiopia’s 122 million people are going through one of the most perilous times in the country’s long  and distinguished history.  

We are fully cognizant that the international community agrees on the imperative that all members of the UN  system must accept, promote and defend the universality and indivisibility of human and civil rights as well  as the importance of accountability for crimes against humanity.  

We urge the international community to help stop faith and ethnic-based killing by airing its concerns directly  to the government of Ethiopia. At stake is not just the integrity of the EOTC and Synod—we believe it will  survive as it has done for more than 2,000 years. Equally, the international community must recognize that  Abiy Ahmed and his Oromo dominated Prosperity Party are pushing Ethiopia towards catastrophic collapse  and fragmentation.  

As we write this letter to you, millions of ordinary Ethiopians including non-EOTC members are holding daily  vigils and prayer sessions asking for divine intervention, urging Ethiopian government leaders to listen to them  and urging Abiy Ahmed and his cabinet to refrain from targeting Orthodox Christians and avoid potential  civil/religious war.  

Accordingly, the undersigned:  

1. Believe that the international community including multilateral donors can no longer acquiesce  to recurring ethnic slaughters, beatings, persecutions, killings and executions, tortures,  incarcerations of EOTC Bishops, priests and members as well as destructions and plunders of  EOTC properties.  

2. Call on each of you to condemn state and non-state sponsored atrocities and religious  persecutions and demand an end to politically motivated fracturing and dismantlement of the  EOTC, an icon in Ethiopian society. This policy move will avert the unthinkable—an all-out  religious civil war followed by the collapse of Ethiopia that will affect the entire region.  

3. Urge you to leverage your diplomatic and financial clout and demand Ethiopian government,  state and non-state actors cease targeting, harassing, persecuting, torturing, maiming, and killing  leaders and followers of the EOTC immediately and unconditionally.  

4. Implore you to use your good offices and urge the Federal Government of Ethiopia led by Abiy  Ahmed to immediately stop gross interference in the internal affairs of the EOTC. 

5. Urge you to flag your concern to the government of Ethiopia that dividing the EOTC based on  ethnicity is irresponsible, dangerous, and will set a very bad precedence.  

We believe that it is high time for the international community in general and for the UN system and the AU  to hold Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his government accountable for crimes of war, crimes of genocide,  crimes against humanity and crimes emanating from religious persecutions of the EOTC.  

We condemn state-sponsored religious persecutions and call on all Ethiopians and their friends across the  globe to continue to hold vigils, protest and provide material and financial support to members of the EOTC  affected by the current mayhem.  

EOTC Shall Prevail! 

Ethiopia Shall Prevail! 

Dr. Ambachew Worreta 
Chairman,  
Beza Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Global Support Group  

CC:  

EOTC, Ethiopia  
President Sahle-Work Zewde, Ethiopia
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, Ethiopia
Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen, Ethiopia 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. No single bishop has apologized to Amharanized EOTC synod. Mahibreseytan was involved in kidnapping , harrasing and intimidating bishops . This mafia orgnization is well organized and armed . In shashemene police officers were injured with bullets because of mahibrekidusan-fano members coordinated attack. ከፋኖ ጋር በሥውር ለመንግሥት ግልበጣ አመፅ ሽብር ለማስነሳት እና የኦሮሞንእና ብሔር ብሔረሰቦች መብት ለማፈን ሲሰሩ የነበሩ የማፊያው ማህበረ ቅዱሳን(ማህበረሰይጣን)አባላት መፈታት የለባቸውም፥፥መንግሥት ይህን ማፍያ ቡድን ማፈራረስ አለበት፥፥ማፊያው ማህበረ ቅዱሳን(ማህበረሰይጣን)አባላት የኦሮሚያ ና ብሔርብሔረሰቦች አባቶችን ለማገት የአፈና ቡድን አደራጅቶ ሲያፍን ሲያስፈራራ እና ሲያስር ቆይቷል፤፤ይህ በሃይማኖት ሽፋን የሚንቀሳቀሰው ማህበረ ቅዱሳን(ማህበረሰይጣን)ድርጅት የጦር መሣሪያ በድብቅ እንደሚያስቀምጥ ተነግሯል፤፤በየወሩ ከቤተክርስቲያኗ እና በቤተክርስቲያኗ ስም በሚሊዮኖች የሚቆጠር ብር በተለያዩ ባለሙያዎች ታግዞ ይሰርቃል፤፤የስለላ ስራዎቹ የሚታወቀው ይህ የፖለቲካ ድርጅት በፋኖ ተደግፎ ሌላ ዕልቂት ሳያስከትል በቁጥር ስር ሊውል ይገባል፤፤
    Ethiopian ruling party have to dissolve and take control over mahibreseytan, calling itself mahibrekidusan,before it is too late. The state don’t have to release its members and leaders.Mahibreseytan is working with fano and financed fanos .Mahibrekidusan members are father confessors of fanos and kinjit.

    • What a lie about Mehabere Kedusan. The cited story is like naming a cat a beef so to have it on a dinner table. Allowing such a fake story to have a space on Borkena is also a question on the auditor of the page. Questioning Borkena is reasonable than questioning the writer about this outrageous false narration on a religious institution.

  2. Subject: “U.S.-based Ethiopian organization calls on world leaders to influence change before explosive situation turns to
    catastrophe in connection with attack on Ethiopian Church ” borkena.com, February 14, 2023

    Classical Tragedy
    The ANCIENT country in the UNIVERSE — ETHIOPIA — is going down historical gutter in pieces.
    The SHAME is upon every single ‘so-called’ ‘PROUD’ [!?!?!?] Ethiopian — no doubt about it.
    The question will then be >>> will every single PROUD Ethiopian be happy?!?!?! going down the drain?
    Indeed, a CLASSICAL TRAGEDY.
    THE END

  3. What happened to the “You Shall Not Lie!” crap? The EOTC was the Monarchy’s tool. Amaras have always been the most dominant in the EOTC & its Synod. The other 85 ethnics have had no say. Painting EOTC as an all-inclusive institution is a malicious lie!

    It has become the signature and MO of Amara Supremacists to wear various Pro-Ethiopia Hats to further Amara Hegemony. Why would anyone stage murder using Ethiopians as cannon fodder, get them killed, and always blame Abiy for the remotely-triggered crime?

    Most Ethiopians abroad are beneficiaries of the former tyrant regimes that made Ethiopia synonymous with “Famine,” “World’s Poster Child of Poverty” and the song “We are the World.” Didn’t “We are the World” become the world’s ‘national anthem for Ethiopia’ because of them?

    Nobody should fall for their crocodile tears for the same Ethiopia they ruined. Over 75% of Ethiopians are under 45 and can run Ethiopia! If you are better than Abiy, give up your American citizenships, run in Ethiopian election, win in the election, and lead Ethiopia.

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