Ethiopians Must “throw out” War from Country's History for Survival: Catholic Bishops

Members of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE). Credit: CBCE

Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE) have urged the people of God in the Horn of Africa nation to put an end to war to save the country from perishing.

In their Tuesday, March 8 statement shared with ACI Africa, CBCE members highlight the role played by the Catholic Church in Ethiopia in an effort to restore peace and say they will continue pushing for peace through prayer and other possible ways deemed necessary.

“If war is not thrown out of Ethiopian history by us Ethiopians, it will be the war to throw out us Ethiopians from history,” Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia say about the ongoing violent conflict that started on 4 November 2020.

They call upon parties in the violent conflict to lay down their weapons and to embrace dialogue for a peaceful coexistence saying, “The Catholic Bishops Conference of Ethiopia renews its appeal to all parties involved in the conflict in our country to drop their guns and start genuine dialogue for the interest of the people and enable them to live in peace.”

CBCE members say that despite the efforts of the Catholic Church in conjunction with other stakeholders to stop the conflicts in the initial stages, the war still broke out and has brought so much pain and sadness to everyone.


In the statement, the Catholic Bishops say that they continued advocating for peace through public statements and enlightening those involved in the violent conflicts on the consequences of war.

“Since the very day the war broke out, the Catholic Church in Ethiopia did not keep silent. The Church made continuous public statements denouncing the war, loss of lives, displacement, loss of property and all consequences of the war,” Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia say.

They say that a call for dialogue and the need for a conducive environment for everyone has always dominated their statements.

“In these statements the Church denounces the war and all its consequences and appeals to the parties involved in the war to stop the war and choose the path of dialogue and create a conducive environment so that the people could live in peace and get their daily supplies smoothly,” CBCE members say in their March 8 statement shared with ACI Africa. 

Last month, Bishop Tesfasellassie Medhin of Ethiopia’s Eparchy of Adigrat, which covers the conflict-ridden Tigray Region invited CBCE members to speak and act against atrocities in the Horn of Africa nation.

More in Africa

“The Ethiopian Bishops' Conference, formed by the Catholic Dioceses of the country, has the Christian obligation to confirm towards the Eparchy of Adigrat a spirit of brotherhood with one another, particularly in these times of enormous difficulties due to the terrible tragedies inflicted on pastoral agents, the faithful, and all the people of Tigray”, Bishop Medhin was quoted as saying in a February 24 report by the information service of Propaganda Fide, Agenzia Fides.

The Ethiopian Catholic Bishop added, “It is in this context that the Eparchy constantly invites the Bishops of the country to condemn with words and actions the crimes committed against the Catholic faithful, the clergy, men and women religious and the entire people of Tigray.”

Bishop Medhin reiterated his appeal to CBCE members saying, “The Eparchy of Adigrat renews its invitation to the President and the members of the Bishops' Conference to remain faithful to the symbol of unity and solidarity in the ministry of Evangelization that we all represent together, the mission and values of the Conference itself, and to support all those in difficulty.”

“We officially invite you to express your solidarity in favor of the suffering people and to exert peaceful and tangible pressure for an end to this genocidal war. For its part, the Eparchy of Adigrat reconfirms full solidarity, prayer and works of charity,” the Bishop who has been at the helm of the Eparchy of Adigrat since his Episcopal Ordination in January 2002 further appealed to CBCE members. 

He added, “The atrocities committed so far against the Tigrinya population are not only against the right to the existence of human beings, but also against God who created us.”


In their March 8 statement, Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia reflect on Jesus’ statement, “The truth will set you free”, from the Gospel of John and say that the Catholic Church in the Horn of Africa nation is attentive to the ongoing “professional and legal impartial studies on the alleged human right abuses attached to the war in all conflict areas.”

They highlight the suffering of the people of God as a result of the violent conflict, call for the respect of human dignity and rights, and also pledge to continue praying for peace in the country.

CBCE members say in reference to humanitarian aid, “The Church will continue to work for all the suffering human beings wherever they are located without partiality but by compassion.”

Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia also highlight the humanitarian response provided by the Church and appreciate all the partners that have responded positively.

“Our Church not only made statements but also acted,” CBCE members say in their March 8 statement.

(Story continues below)

They explain, “The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Ethiopia appealed with all Catholic Partner agencies and with the lay faithful abroad and locally; and resources were mobilized and has been supporting with humanitarian aid to the affected people in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, Afar and Benishangul Gumuz with food and nonfood items.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.