An Orthodox Church priest, Qomos Abba Ermias, who is also head of Bole Bulbula Miskabe Kidusan Aba Smauel church, was shot on stage during an evening sermon this week while blessing the congregation.
According to an EOTC TV report, the gunman remains unidentified.
Qomos Abba Ermias is currently hospitalized in Addis Ababa, and reports indicate that his condition is stable.
On Tuesday, His Grace Archbishop Abune Henok, head of the Addis Ababa Diocese, visited him in the hospital, as reported by EOTC TV on Wednesday.
His Grace Abune Henok stated that discussions will be initiated by his Diocese with relevant government authorities to ensure the safety of those serving the church.
He views the attack on Qomos Abba Ermias as a violation of the sanctity of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church – not just an attack on a priest.
Inquiries were made by the Ethiopian Media Service (EMS) on Wednesday to His Grace Abune Petros, secretary of the patriarchate, regarding police involvement. Abune Petros mentioned that the police had not yet issued any remarks regarding the incident. He also noted that the Addis Ababa Diocese holds jurisdiction over the matter.
The assailant was not apprehended immediately after the attack and reportedly fired shots while “fleeing” the scene.
The legal division of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church will be following up on the incident, according to sources.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has faced persistent attacks, especially over the past five years, including attempts to create divisions within the Holy Synod of the church along ethnic lines. There are concerns that these attacks, as demonstrated at least in the Oromia region of Ethiopia, are clandestinely supported by political entities including from within both the Federal and regional governments.
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