Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church denounces statement issued by the gov’t
By Staff reporter
ADDIS ABABA – The Ethiopian Orthodox Church says unless the government let the perpetrators of the attack, on Thursday, at St. George Church in Addis Ababa which left one person dead and may injured , bring to justice within 15 days, the Holy Church would be obliged to take action.
The Church has also said that it would not accept the statement issued by the Federal Communication Affairs Bureau.
Archbishop of Addis Ababa Diocese, His Grace Abune Henok , said on Friday that the government violated the honor and sovereignty of the Holy Church through the statement it issued regarding the incident.
“The statement rather confirms that the assault has been granted recognition by the government,” he added. Therefore, the government itself is accountable, according to the Archbishop. He also said that the assault claimed the life of a Christian laity and over 15 Sunday school students who sustained physical and psychological injuries, and were admitted to hospital.
“Following the firing of tear gas on March 02/2023 in the north section of the compound of St. George Church, the Sunday mass was disrupted at 10:00 am and the Ark was taken back into its Chancel. An Orthodox Christian worshiper died from suffocation by the tear gas and priests, other church service givers and laities sustained serious physical and psychological injuries. Sunday school service providing students numbering not less than 15 were admitted to the hospital,” His Grace Abune Henok said.
He further said that the Holy Church would never silently see the sordid assault and injuries perpetrated by the security forces against the church and the faithful.
“The government should have shouldered its responsibility by bringing before law the culprits who have perpetrated these shameful and saddening acts. However, the statement given by the Communication Affairs Bureau clearly indicates that the illegal act was acknowledged by the government,” His Grace Abune Henok said.
“The statement that recounts as if certain groups and their acts were responsible for the mess-up in the church is well beyond the actual truth witnessed in the area. ‘Certain groups’ did not do the act, which was given recognition by the government. Besides, we have known that the government has no interest in solving the problem. The church will never accept the long distance the government has traveled to find the perpetrator of the assault,” he said.
The Church strongly demanded the government to bring the perpetrators and officials, who gave order, to justice and make this known to the church and the public. It also asked the government to release those who were detained during the commotion caused by the illegal acts of the state security forces.
Abune Henok further noted that the assault perpetrated last Thursday against the church was not the first one. There was also another assault that was inflicted against St. Estifanos Church years ago.
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