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Ethiopian government imposes restriction on Meskel Celebration 

Meskel Celebration _ Ethiopia
Meskel Celebration at Meskel Square in Addis Ababa. (Photo : file/Ethiopian Calendar )

borkena

Meskel – One of Ethiopia’s sacred and magnificent open – air religious festivals is overshadowed by the security and political situations in the country. It is poised to be celebrated on Wednsday. 

Reports from local news sources seem to indicate that the Ethiopian government has imposed restrictions on how it is celebrated in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. It is clear that the State of Emergency is imposed in the Amhara region of Ethiopia – not in Addis Ababa.

But Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government is giving specifications – including the number of people who can attend and what they can or can’t dress.  Certainly, unheard of in the history of the country. 

Adebabay Media this week quoted Addis Maleda to report that the Addis Ababa City Council of Religious Affairs, Addis Ababa City administration, and heads of churches and monastery abbots to discuss how the Holiday should be celebrated in Addis Ababa.

 Based on the report, the religious festival is tailored to the political and security needs of the government rather than respecting the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church follower’s rights of worship. 

The laity is restricted from wearing historical Ethiopian national colors. It is going to be strictly the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Flag. 

Printing and selling of T-Shirts is not allowed too. “Since the holiday is a religious one, not commerce, no printing T-shirts is not allowed,”  it is said. 

Firework is not allowed. Traditionally, fireworks were not part of the religious festival and its restriction would rather be non-issue. 

What sounds rather harsh is the restriction on the number of choirs in uniform to escort the procession to Meskel Square where the festival is celebrated. Only 10,000 Sunday School students are allowed to be in uniform and sing. 

Security check arrangement is in place. All those who are heading to Meskel Square will be body searched. As many as 2,304 bonfires will be ready to be lit.  

Ethiopian Church fathers have apparently accepted the conditions for the celebration. But followers of the Ethiopian Church do not seem to be too happy about it. 

A noticeably considerable number of Ethiopian Church followers tend to think that the ruling Prosperity Party- whose leaders are predominantly said to be the “Prosperity Gospel” brand of Protestant faith  – is working to weaken or do away with the Ethiopian Church through the use of government power and “legal system.” The power elites in Ethiopia are said to have hostility – manifested or not – towards the Ethiopian Church. That has certainly added to the political tension in the country. 

The Federal government is waging a war in the Amhara region of Ethiopia where a state of emergency is imposed and that is seen as an excuse for the government to demand for the Meskel celebration to be tailored to its needs. 

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6 COMMENTS

  1. QUOTE: “… the government to demand for the Meskel celebration to be tailored to its needs”. UNQUOTE

    Humble Commentary, 26 Sept 2023
    1. “Meskel celebration” is NO LONGER for the PEOPLE but for the dictators!?!?!?!?
    2. No one can’t beat that !!!
    3. Not even my favorite the Graceful, World Known, Emperor of Ethiopia — the One, and Only One, Emperor Haile
    Selassie.
    4. Dear Reader, You may wonder if I am ADMIRER of the EMPEROR

    5. YES, YES, YES, I WAS > I AM > AND WILL ALWAYS be admirer of the UNIQUE EMPEROR THAT ETHIOPIA
    SHOULD BE PROUD OF, FOR HISTORY.
    6. And I ask you, Dear Reader, could you name another Graceful, Diplomatic, Full of Wisdom, LEADER in THE WORLD?
    7. THAT WAS WHAT ETHIOPIA HAD
    8. GO AHEAD PLEASE AND DISAGREE
    9. After all, that is the meaning of the so-called democracy, freedom, liberty, and other positive adjectives that should
    be bestowed upon the oldest free nation in the world —-ETHIOPIA.
    10. Do you disagree ? Go ahead with your narration. It is supposed to be FREE WORLD. ISN’T IT ?!?!?!?!
    ————- THE END ————–

  2. Adebabay Media is mahibrekidisan terrorist, genocider media.

    Having said that, the church leaders have already effectively and eloquently expressed their standing and passed their message to the entire congregation of the church regarding the anticipated nature and norm of the Holy Cross celebration.

    There is no problem accepting what the state declares as long as it guarantees the safety and security of the public and does not go against the core teachings of the church. Please take the evolving chaotic circumstances into account and remember how the people of Tigray and a large part of Oromiya were and are still unable to practice their daily tasks, including their annual religious festivities.
    The entire innocent Ethiopian population, regardless of their religion and ethnic affiliation, doesn’t need to suffer to understand this ugly and deadly circumstance.

    Flags and t-shirts are not going to please the incarnated Jesus Christ or dishonor His Holy Cross, on which He poured his blood to save the entire world, including those who do not believe in Him and crucify Him. The prohibited practices were carried out by those who are committed to serving their church earnestly and engage in any sacred act to demonstrate their fervent faith and sense of community with the congregation, rather than being an integral component of the church’s canonical order or doctrinal doctrine.
    All are enemies of Ethiopia and serve the interests of the West. The West systematically crafted, designed, and executed the destruction and genocide in Ethiopia.

    The West is compelling Ethiopian diaspora to show their role in opposition parties and instilling bad feelings about their own leaders and stand against fellow ethnic group . On the other hand, the West installs and supports terrorist leaders like Abiy Ahmed. Therefore, do not be surprised when the west tells you that Ethiopia will be like Yugoslavia foreignpolicy.com › 2020 › 12 › 31 › is-ethiopia-the-next-yugoslavia).
    They have subtly crafted it. It is easy; they can predict it. As the saying goes: The best way to predict the future is to design it. They are sinful murderers; they are not prophets. They are creating chaos, poverty, and war in Ethiopia by selling arms, robbing african resources, installing genociders like Aby Ahmed, and pamperinggenocidal totalitarian leaders when they are killing innocent civilians. Saddly, the Fannos and Ethiopian diaspora are serving the interests of the West in one way or another.

    May safety and security be bestowed upon all Ethiopians. Peace be upon Ethiopia. Happy Meskel Celebration to Orthodox church laity.

    May safety and security be bestowed upon all Ethiopians. Peace be upon Ethiopia. Amen!!!!!

  3. I was at the celebration yesterday, in person, with my family. I must say none the of the negative undertones of these commentary or comments rung true. The people’s, from all over the country were happy to be there and we had a wonderful Meskel celebration. The government carried well thier responsibility to gaurantee our security and if I could count, I guesstimate about 700,000 or possibly even a million people were there.

    The unfortunate events that happen in the recent past can only be judged in history not by the present day. What we are dealing with in the here-and-now are fruits of the seeds planted by those who came before us. The way forward is to recognise and resolve causative issues which stem from political and social structures, some of which are constitutionally sectarian, and also cultural matters – the worst being ‘an eye for an eye’ or ‘looking
    out for my own kind’ , have left many suffering. In this present day, a step forward into a modernized economy, society and future, Ethiopia can only move forward as One Nation, One People .

  4. Ethiopian church should moderare itself with only following basic religios concept rather than promoting hisgotical arrogance and pretending power monopoly with in nation.
    No more #Hegemony

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