OCP News Service – 16/3/21
Moscow-Russia: Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent a letter of сondolences to Patriarch Abune Mathias of Ethiopia over the killing of Orthodox Christians in East Wellega Zone, in Oromia Region.
In his letter, the Primate of the Russian Church sympathised with the Church of Ethiopia and prayed for the souls of the victims. Patriarch Kirill also assured strong support for the suffering Christians in Ethiopia.
Russian Church is at the forefront of defending the rights of persecuted Christians in Ethiopia and elsewhere. In December 2020, an online conference titled ‘In Defense of Christians in Africa’, was initiated by the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Association for the Defense of Religious Freedom (RARS). Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE, Pan-Orthodox Christian Society was one of the partners and participant of the conference.
PATRIARCH-CATHOLICOS OF ETHIOPIA
My heart grieved as I learned about yet another tragedy that had occurred in Ethiopia – a brutal murder of the rector and dozens of believers, including women and children, of the Ethiopian Church’s parish, committed by extremists in East Wellega Zone, Oromia Region.
I express my sincere condolences to Your Holiness, as well as to all relatives and friends of the victims of this dreadful crime. The Russian Orthodox Church sympathizes deeply with fraternal Ethiopia, which is now undergoing hard ordeals.
I assure you that we will continue to strongly support the Ethiopian Christians in their inalienable right to live in peace and safety in their country. While mourning for all those who have died for the faith in recent years and hoping for the triumph of justice, let us remember that, as St. Paul said, for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6:23).
May the All-Merciful Lord grant peace and welfare unto the longsuffering land of ancient Abyssinia.
With love in the Lord,
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA