Vatican City, 03 November, 2019 / 2:00 pm (ACI Africa).
Pope Francis Sunday asked for prayer for persecuted Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia, who have been targeted in ongoing ethnic clashes that have left 78 people dead.
“I am saddened by the violence of which Christians of the Tewahedo Orthodox Church of Ethiopia are victims,” Pope Francis said in his Angelus address Nov. 3.
“I express my closeness to this beloved church and her patriarch, dear brother Abune Mathias, and I ask you to pray for all the victims of violence in that land,” he said.
Since violent protests broke out in Ethiopia’s Oromia region Oct. 23, more than 400 people have been arrested and 78 have died, according to the office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
The Orthodox Christian community has been a target of violence in Oromia. A church official told AFP Africa that 52 Orthodox Ethiopians, including two church officials, have been killed in the violence since the protests began in October.