Security forces in the Silte zone reportedly failed to stop the attacks on churches and the killings of Christians
A day after the tragic incident in Gondar where a reportedly escalated clash between two individuals from Islamic faith and Orthodox Church followers claimed 14 lives, according to the government, at least three churches were blazed with fire.
According to EOTV church TV, the perpetrators were what it called radicals [apparently from Islamic faith]. They broke into Rufael Church in Worabe , and vandalised it before they set it on fire. They also burned St. Gabriel and two other churches.
Apart from the burned churches, at least three people are reportedly killed from the church. The Diocese of Silete sent a letter to the Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate on Friday with a message to request the government to provide protection to the remaining churches in the Diocese and the followers of the Orthodox Church.
Protestant places of worship in the same locality were also attacked.
The Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia on Friday said the destruction of churches and other places of worship in the Silte zone of Southern Ethiopia as a pure criminal activity. It is unacceptable in any religion, it added.
His Holiness Abune Mathias, patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church , released a statement expressing his sadness over what has transpired in Gondar and the Silete Zone of South Ethiopia.
He described it as something embarrassing for Ethiopians in the face of the world. Saying that “Fire could not be put out with fire,” he pleaded for restraint.
His Holiness also called for religious leaders to diligently work on shaping the generation. His message for the government is that it has to deliver on the responsibility that it took from people and from God.
“My heart and mind has been in pain because of the horrifying things that have happened in Ethiopia,” he said. He called for the restoration of peace.
The Ethiopian government was warning that any attempt to spread religious violence in different parts of Ethiopia will not be tolerated.
Government is claiming that it has controlled moves to instigate similar attacks on churches in other parts of the country.
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