Orthodox Christians Killed in Ethiopia


Due to a lack of news coverage on this topic, many might not know what is currently happening in Ethiopia. It is ironic because, 43% of Ethiopia is Orthodox Christian, and it is the dominant religion there. As an Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox believer and being a staff writer for the Highland Piper, I feel the need to inform you about what’s happening.

Recently, in Ethiopia, the government has been attacking, kidnapping, and killing Orthodox Christians as well as their church fathers. This happened after three rebel bishops unlawfully ordained 26 monks as bishops and assigned them with responsibilities. This was done in secrecy without the knowledge of the Holy Synod, which is the highest authority of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo faith. The three bishops said they did this because the churches in the Oromia region of Ethiopia were not getting enough commitment and resources. However, this claim was not apparent as services such as sermons, liturgical services, books and so much were being given for years before as declared by a statement from the general assembly of the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo church. After news got out about this, believers of the Orthodox church decided to protest about the unlawfully appointed bishops. The governments that had ruled over the country since the dethronement of Emperor Haileselassie I, have a solid history of trying to suppress the faith. Therefore when the government saw what was occurring, they used it as a political advantage to use this moment of weakness and divide the Orthodox religion. The government then chased away the actual bishops and replaced them with the wrongfully appointed ones. After a while, many church fathers and bishops were getting kidnapped and killed. As this continued, more people spoke out and more started to get attacked. The government then started to target Orthodox churches and their people. They killed advocates of the church. Believers in and around the churches were shot by snipers. The number of martyrs reached 37 in three days. Yet the government is denying what they are doing and are claiming that they are trying to help “resolve the issue”.

Many are dying and being killed for their faith. Until Al Jazeera did, no mainstream media or local news inside the country were reporting it. Why? Because the government has total control. When it actually comes down to the truth, the government would rather hide it than admit they are wrong. I’m hoping people will read this and take away any info that they can share to spread awareness and share the news. No more people should be harmed. This is saddening, and more people need to speak up about it.

Rest in peace to all the innocents who were murdered.