E.S – OCP News Service – 13/5/21
Addis Ababa-Ethiopia: In a leaked video on May 7, which was recorded more than two weeks ago on April 26, by Dennis Wadley, Director of Bridges of Hope International, the Ethiopian Patriarch, His Holiness Abune Matthias, addressed the Ethiopian people who are in the country and in foreign lands. His Holiness spoke about the atrocities that are being committed in different parts of the country (in Oromia, in Benshangul, in Shewarobit and other parts), and in particular about the situation in Tigray. His Holiness stated that it was because he was silenced and due to the fact that his press releases were being blocked (His Holiness mentions the instance of his interview on Miyazia 7/April 15 which was not allowed to be aired) that he was not able to publicly condemn the war crimes – the massacre of civilians, which His Holiness described as a “Genocide”.
The Patriarch added that the gravity of the situation in Tigray was dire and condemned the destruction of several monasteries, churches, the pillaging of properties and the raping of women. He noted that the dead were better off than the raped women because the women had to live with the mental trauma for the rest of their lives. The Primate also mentioned that farmers were not being allowed to cultivate their land which was confirmed by a Tigrayan official (Ato Abebe Teklehaymanot – Vice Executive of the regional administration) on May 10. The Patriarch in conclusion called on all the Churches of the world to hear and see this matter and to do their part, to give aid and support, and to be a voice for the voiceless. He urged governments of the world to provide aid hastily and to find a way to stop this atrocity.
After Patriarch Abune Matthias’ address was made public through different outlets, the Secretary of the Holy Synod Abune Yoseph on Monday stated that the Patriarch’s remarks were the Patriarch’s personal views and that they by no means reflected the views of the Holy Synod or the Acting Synod which in turn started a movement in support of the Patriarch who has been seen publicly and for several times lamenting and weeping for other atrocities in the country in the past few years and to provide backing to His Holiness so that the history of the martyrdom of the second Ethiopian Patriarch His Holiness St. Abune Theophilos by the Derg won’t repeat itself.
Dennis Wadley’s Twitter status that broke the news – https://twitter.com/
The leaked video original – https://www.youtube.com/watch?
The leaked video with subtitles – https://www.youtube.com/watch?
The Statement by the Tigrayan Official about the farmers – https://www.youtube.com/watch?
The Statement of the Secretary of the Holy Synod – https://www.youtube.com/watch?
CNN about the Statement – https://edition.cnn.com/2021/
05/08/africa/orthodox-church- tigray-ethiopia-intl/index. html?utm_term=link&utm_source= twCNNi&utm_content=2021-05- 08T17%3A47%3A45&utm_medium= social
The Guardian about the statement – https://www.theguardian.com/
world/2021/may/08/ethiopian- patriarch-pleads-for- international-help-to-stop- and-genocide-by-government- troops
Reuters about the statement – https://www.reuters.com/world/
ethiopian-orthodox-church- head-says-genocide-is-taking- place-tigray-2021-05-09/
OCP News Service