Addis Ababa, 06 December, 2019 / 3:14 am (ACI Africa).
In the wake of ethnic violence in Ethiopia’s Oromia region in October that resulted in the death of dozens of people and the persecution of Christians in the country, a Catholic Priest has identified the Catholic Church, which holds a minority Christian population, as best positioned for successful “mediation work” and reconciliation of the people in the Horn of Africa.
“As a minority Church serving society without any ethnic or religious distinction, the Catholic Church is in the best position to play a role in mediation work,” Fr. Petro Berga of the Diocese of Addis Ababa told Aid to the Church in Need.
“Though a tiny minority, the Catholic Church is playing a big role in promoting peaceful co-existence,” a role realized through “organizing workshops on peace building and dialogue,” among other initiatives that involve the people, Fr. Berga said.
The appointment of the Archbishop of Addis Ababa, Berhaneyesus Cardinal Souraphiel by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister to head the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission confirms the significant place of the Catholic Church in mediating between parties in conflict, Fr. Berga observed.
Violence erupted in Ethiopia's Oromia region, which is predominantly home to the Oromo community, in October after Janwar Mohammed, a self-declared activist and influential politician, told his supporters that the authorities wanted to arrest him.