“Blood of many citizens shed in vain”: Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia on Persistent Violence

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

Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE) have decried persistent violence in the Horn of Africa nation.

In a statement issued Tuesday, October 17, CBCE members say, “The blood of many citizens has been shed in vain.”

“Our country Ethiopia has gone through different political systems in the past years,” they say, adding, “In these political systems we can't discuss our problems in unity, brotherhood, and solve them in a way that respects the common interest of all citizens, so we have taken war and power as our only option.”

The Catholic Church leaders further lament, “Many have suffered physical injury and psychological crisis. Many have been displaced, generational wealth and property have been destroyed. Because of this, sadness has knocked on every house. It is still knocking today.”

CBCE members go on to highlight the various regions, where they say Ethiopians’ blood has been shed in vain. 


“In recent years, the blood of the citizens that has been shed in the land of Tigray and Amhara, Afar, Oromia, Benishangul gumz, South, Somalia and Gambela and other areas has saddened us all,” they lament.

“By making discussion and understanding first our culture, Fenta brothers have raised swords on brothers, citizens can live their lives in a painful condition,” they say, and continue, “Many hearts are heavy with sadness as the work of helping the families of those who lost their lives in the war in Tigray last week.”

CBCE members pray for those who have lost their lives amid violence in the Horn of Africa nation. 

“May the Almighty God rest their souls in heaven with the saints and the righteous,” they implore, and add, “Our church mourns with those who grieve, and weeps with those who weep.”

“According to the command of the Lord, the church's sorrow and weeping is based on the hope that it has in Christ who has risen from the dead,” the Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia note, and continue, “We express our condolences to the families who lost their dear children. We also believe that there are parents who don't understand that their children died. Our church prays for their souls.”

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“Our church expresses its sorrow for the people who are dying in the war that is going on in the Amhara region,” they further say.

The Church, CBCE members continue, “will come before God and offer her prayer for their souls. Even today, we learn from our past mistakes, confessing to God to forgive us for our past mistakes, discussing with each other in love and forgiving each other to solve our problems, avoiding war and living together as brothers and sisters in love.”

CBCE members say that the Church in the Horn of Africa nation “prays that God gives us the wisdom to live together.”

Ethiopia has witnessed violent conflicts, including fresh clashes between the military and local Fano militia in the country’s Amhara region that erupted in August, barely a year after the November 2022 peace agreement.

Fano is an Amhara militia in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. During the two-year conflict that ended in November last year, Fano militia supported federal and Amhara regional forces against rebels that were allied to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The members of the group have been accused of participating in ethnic massacres.


In September, CBCE members urged the people of God in the Horn of Africa country to “individually and collectively” work towards lasting peace.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.