Ethiopian Orthodox Church patriarch condemns Tigray ‘genocide’

Addis Ababa, May 8, 2021 – (EthioHeadlines) –Patriarch Abune Mathias, Head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, declared that “genocide” is being committed in Tigray in a video recorded in and carried out of Ethiopia according to AP. 

Contrary to the claim by PM Abiy Ahmed that the war is a “law and order operation”, the Patriarch laments that the operation in Tigray is “cruel and barbaric” which is in full display for the whole world to see. He adds, “I am not clear why they want to declare genocide on the people of Tigray.” The Ethiopian government together with the Eritrean government committed genocide in Tigray he states. He added that the parties wanted to destroy Tigray. 

On the video the Patriarch stated that his efforts to intervene and speak out was denied several times. He says his voice was stifled and he could not get his words out. He stated that interviews he gave were not aired since “no permission was granted.”

The Patriarch appears to be a lone voice in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. His view does not appear to be the official position of the church. Supporters and organs of the Ethiopian Orthodox church are spearheading and financing a concerted campaign against what they call “genocide against the Amhara people.” However, they support and defend the genocidal war in Tigray including the invitation of Eritrean troops and deputization of the Amhara militia to do the dirty job for the weaker Ethiopian National Defense Force.

How the millions of the Christian faith followers and supporters of the church react to the Patriarch’s declaration is yet to be seen. This comes as PM Abiy and President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea are trying to divert attention away from Tigray. 

Many fear that the Patriarch’s statements might anger Isaias and his junior partner, Abiy, and jeopardize the wellbeing and life of the Patriarch. Abiy’s administration is notorious for political assassination since coming to power. 

The Patriarch’s statement puts pressure on the UN, US, EU, and international community to take actions against the perpetrators of the genocide. It is to be recalled that the US already called the atrocities committed in Tigray an “ethnic cleansing”.

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