Ethiopia’s Ethiopian Orthodox Church Faces Religious Persecution, Says Minister
Ethiopia’s Orthodox Christian church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Coptic Church, faces widespread persecution and has been denied access to government aid, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Cathedral and other churches in the country are in danger of being destroyed by Christian militants and religious extremists who consider them heretical.
Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest countries and is home to more than a million people of different religious denominations, including about half the population of Ethiopia’s Christians.
In 2013, Ethiopia’s president announced a series of reforms to address religious violence, but there has been little progress.
The new reforms came after a court issued an arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Abdul Kalam for the 2013 killing of the church’s vicar.
He was sentenced to death by a military tribunal for killing and injuring church members, but has appealed the sentence.
Ethiopia has been the subject of international concern over the church since 2012, when the Coptic Orthodox Church was founded.
It was banned in the kingdom by the military in 2010.
The government also outlawed the church in 2013 and has yet to lift the ban.
The Coptic church has long suffered from violence from armed groups who believe it is heretical to practice Christianity in the modern age.
The violence has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced more than two million.
In June, Ethiopian President Abdul Kalom signed a decree granting amnesty to all church members.
The church said in a statement on Monday that it was “deeply troubled” by the announcement, which it described as a “new and shocking step.”
The church was also granted a special dispensation in 2013 to allow it to resume activities, which included preaching and performing religious services.
The ruling is part of a larger crackdown on the church that includes the closure of more than 200 churches and the imposition of restrictions on the use of mobile phones and computers.
The president also approved the construction of a new church, which is slated to be completed in 2020.
Hopes and Opportunities: In Ethiopia, the church has made a few positive strides toward rebuilding, said Hanyu Geba, an independent scholar and expert on religious freedom in Ethiopia.
“The church is trying to reach out to the wider community and to try to make a connection with them and connect with people in other ways,” she said.
The new Ethiopian church has been granted access to funds and infrastructure, including a small church and a small clinic, but they face challenges, said Gebo.
For example, they are required to provide a building with toilets, which they do not have.
Also, the building was built in the 1990s and has a large amount of mud.
The minister’s announcement about the church being granted an emergency dispensation for religious freedoms comes amid growing concern about the security situation in the Middle East, including the Syrian conflict, which has been raging for years and killed more than 50,000 people, according to the U.N. and the World Health Organization.
Abdul Kalam said in 2013 that Christians in the West and in the East should not be discriminated against.
According to the minister, there is still a lot of work to be done, including in the area of interfaith dialogue, reconciliation and understanding, and religious freedom. “
Our goal is to help them recover from their wounds.”
According to the minister, there is still a lot of work to be done, including in the area of interfaith dialogue, reconciliation and understanding, and religious freedom.
It will take more than just religious freedom for the church to be a part of the Ethiopia that Abdul Kalame promised to be, Gebaa said.