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Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers in Germany oppose attacks on the church

Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers _ Germany
Protesters in Frankfurt, Germany. (Photo : DW Amharic)

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Toronto – Followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church from across Germany held a protest rally on Saturday in Frankfurt city. 

The peaceful rally is held in the name of Ethiopian Orthodox Church Germany Diocese. Church fathers and the laity took part in the  event, according to DW Amharic report.

 It has been 40 years since the Ethiopian Church in Germany was established. 

Asked as to what factor precipitated the rally, Li’qe Kahnat Merawi Tebeje, one of the organizers, said “they were compelled to organize the protest due to the atrocity, agony, contempt to monasteries, the killings of hermits and monks, displacement of people and the crisis seen in the country” pushed them to stage the peaceful protest. 

He specifically mentioned the incident whereby four four monks of Zequala Debre Kewakibet Abune Gebremenfes Kidus monastery were taken and savagely killed by gunmen.  In February 2024, the militant Oromo nationalist group that calls itself “Oromo Liberation Army,” took four monks from the renowned 12th century monastery – which is within a range of sixty kilometers from the capital Addis Ababa-  and brutally murdered them. The incident shocked the followers of the church in the country and abroad. 

“What was done in Debre Elias [ another monastery in Gojam], the destructions and massacres in other places upsets very much, makes us sad and angry. Our grievances are getting worse and worse day by day, so here we are raising our voice,” Li’qe Kahnat Merawi Tebeje added elaborating on the purpose of the demonstration.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has been systematically and openly targeted for attack in different parts of the country – mainly the Oromia region of Ethiopia – over the past six years. Dozens of churches have been burned and hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers were killed. 

The prime Minister himself – during a recent “discussion” he had with church leaders – accused the church of training armies in the monastery. Many followers of the church saw his remark as a dangerous one that would further make the church vulnerable to ethnic nationalists with whom the prime minister shares ideology.  Furthermore, Abiy Ahmed’s government in February 2024 deported His Grace Abune Petros – Secretary of the Holy Synod and Archbishop of New York Dioceses – up on arrival at Bole International Airport. 

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