OCP News Service – Menetasnot Desta – (Chief Administrator – OCP Amharic Service) – 4/6/2020
In November 2019, Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church prayed for Christians and other victims in Ethiopia. In his message, he showed solidarity with Patriarch Abune Mathias of EOTC and the Ethiopian community. Before and after this Pope’s message the Ethiopian Catholic Uniate Rite condemned a number of ethnic, political, and religious violence. The states were given directly by the Ethiopian Catholic Church as well in cooperation with the interreligious Council of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Catholic Rite (in any of their statements) did not mention a single attack on Roman Catholic Churches by the radicals in Ethiopia.
However, Crux Now, (an online media that focuses on Roman Catholic news and events) published an article (May 30, 2020) titled “Catholic Church Suffering Violence in Ethiopia and Eritrea“. The article states that “over the past 2 years over 30 churches have been attacked in Ethiopia – half-burned to the ground – leaving over 100 people dead”.
The news was published as an interview with Edward F. Clancy, the director of outreach for Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). The news was also published on ACN and various Catholic and Christian portals such as https://www.catholicculture.org/, www.lancasterdiocese.org.uk/, https://en.s4c.news/, etc. In his interview, Edward Clancy tries to describe the socio-political status of both countries and challenges faced by the Roman Catholic Church.
On behalf of the OCP Secretariat, I reached out to check the reliability of the news by contacting Crux and Ethiopian Catholic Church Secretariat. However, none of them responded.
It is important to note that OCP Media Network was at the forefront of reporting atrocities committed to Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and other minorities. Moreover, the Secretariat of the Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE Society petitioned a large number of international organizations, religious and political leaders to intervene in the Ethiopian crisis. Ethiopian Orthodox Christians suffered the most. The suffering was heavy and brutal. All reports and petitions can be accessed on our portal (OCP Media Network – http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/)
From our research and field reports, we understand that except for a few discrimination by the Law and violations, the Ethiopian Catholic Church was safe during the attacks. In February 2020, Cardinal-Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew, the head of the Ethiopian Catholic Uniate Rite was barred from entering Eritrea. Speaking of Eritrea, the story is totally different, as every religion in that country is persecuted one way or the other. Eritrean Orthodox Christian suffer the most in Eritrea as well.
We understand that the Roman Catholic outlets are attempting their level best to ‘Catholicise’ and take advantage of the suffering encountered by Orthodox Christians. The number of Orthodox Christians murdered and the number of Orthodox Churches destroyed has been tactfully utilized by the interviewee to attract global attention for the benefits of ACN, an international Roman Catholic pastoral aid organization. Persecution of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the Roman Catholic Charity activities.
The reality is that during the last two years Ethiopian Orthodox Church alone lost more than 30 church buildings and many Orthodox faithful were brutally murdered. Hence, it is indeed astonishing how a Media that focuses on Roman Catholic events blatantly makes use of the serious crisis and trauma experienced by the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and other minorities for earning sympathy and for the full benefit of the Roman Church.
OCP News Service