Ethiopia’s Cardinal Urges Respect for Life, Constitutionalism Ahead of Christmas Day Jan 7

Berhaneyesus Cardinal Souraphiel

The need to respect human life and the upholding of the constitution in Ethiopia where violence in the country’s Tigray region is reportedly on the rise are some of the highlights of Berhaneyesus Cardinal Souraphiel’s message ahead of Christmas Day in the Horn of Africa nation.

In his Wednesday, January 6 message, Cardinal Souraphiel says, “Government should ensure the right to life of people and the supremacy of the constitution is respected and make sure that peace reigns.”

“What we hear every time happening in our country, the cries and suffering of many, the displacement, the dying of the people who are created in the image and likeness of God should stop,” the Cardinal adds in his message ahead of Christmas Day in Ethiopia to be marked Thursday, January 7.

War in Ethiopia’s Tigray broke out on November 4 after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed-led government ordered a military offensive against the authorities in Tigray state. The offensive was reportedly triggered by the alleged attack on the federal military’s Northern Command stationed in the region by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

The conflict has resulted in the deaths of thousands and the displacement of some 950,000 people, according to a Reuters report.

In his January 6 message, Cardinal Souraphiel urges the leadership of the landlocked nation to continue the efforts being undertaken “to ensure peace security in the country.”

The 72-year-old Cardinal also urges the people of God in Ethiopia to embrace one another and become agents of peace.

“We should live together as brothers and sisters despite our race, tribe, color, gender and age and moreover as one family support and help each other and stand as one,” the Ethiopian Cardinal says, reiterating the need for the people of God in the Horn of Africa nation to “hold each other in love.”

He also calls for solidarity with refugees and displaced persons during the festivities saying, “Let us, in a special way, support those who are refugees, displaced brothers and sisters. Through the love of our Lord, I encourage you to spend Christmas by doing charity.”

“We too have a debt to pay to people. And this debt is being good to everyone by being loving. Therefore, all faithful Christian, as our Lord has commanded us ‘help the needy,’” the Cardinal underscores.

Reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic that has reportedly infected 126,241 people and caused 1,963 fatalities while 112,813 persons have been cured in Ethiopia, the Cardinal calls on Ethiopians to protect themselves from the coronavirus, which he describes as “a threat to the world and to our country.”

“Follow all the possible ways of preventing COVID-19,” the Archbishop of Addis Ababa urges in his January 6 message ahead of Christmas Day in Ethiopia.


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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

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