The Catholic Church in Ethiopia has been vocal about the deteriorating humanitarian situation and insecurity in the country, describing it as a “silent genocide”.
In a message that was shared with the information service of Propaganda Fide, Agenzia Fides, on July 26, Bishop Tesfaselassie Medhin called upon those who are behind the massive loss of lives in Ethiopia’s Tigray region to work fast to resolve the situation.
“This continuous situation of silent genocide is consuming every day, minute and hour, an immense number of innocent lives of children, women and men of all ages,” Bishop Medhin said.
He added that Tigray, the Northernmost regional state in Ethiopia that was plunged into war in November 2020, is experiencing “a horrible situation”, which is getting worse.
The International Monitoring and Displacement Centre (IDMC) has reported that conflict and violence triggered over 5.1 million displacements within Ethiopia in 2021 – triple the number reported there in 2020 and the highest figure recorded for any country in a given year.
And according to the latest assessment by the Tigray Bureau of Education, 346 males and 1,798 females, totaling 2,164 persons in the education sector, have been killed. Out of those, 235 are teachers and other professionals including school principals and supervisors.
Agenzia Fides has also reported that over 2 million people live in IDP centers in various cities, towns and rural areas of Tigray, including more than 100,000 in Adigrat, without food, shelter, water, medicine and other basic needs.
In their August 1 report, Bishops in Ethiopia appeal to the people to pray and to ask for “God’s forgiveness and help with compassion and trust.”
“In order to spend this time with fasting, prayer and forgiveness, we ask our fathers… and priests, as well as our church servants at every level to coordinate this prayer idea and pray the mentioned days with sincerity and ask for God's forgiveness and help with compassion and trust,” CBCE members say.
They implore, “May our creator have mercy on our land and for all generations who have been hurt all these years to be comforted. In our country Ethiopia from north to south and east.”