Wednesday 28 February 2024

Four monks from the 12th-century Ziquala monastery killed in latest radical Oromo groups attack

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church on Thursday announced that four monks at Zequala  Abune Gebre Menfes Kidus Monastery were killed. 

The monastery dates back to the 12th century – and of the major monasteries in the country linked to Saint Abune Gebre Menfes Kidus.

A brief statement from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church identified the victims as  Steward Abba Teklemariam Asrat, Abba Kidanemariam Tilahun (secretary of the monastery), Abba Gebremariam Abebe (scholar on books in the Ethiopian church education), ascetic Hailemariam Woldesenbet who was on probation to transition to be a monk.  

One other monk was wounded and is still in the monastery. He is identified as  Abba Kidane Mariam Gebresenbet.

This is the latest attack from a radical ethnic Oromo nationalist group – it is believed to have clandestine support from government authorities – operating in the region. The government calls the group “Shane” but the group calls itself the Oromo Liberation Army.  

The monastery was looted at different times and set on fire – by radical groups. 

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church said that the victims were taken by the armed group from the Monastery on February Tuesday and killed on Wednesday.  The Church cited Abba Kidane Mariam Gebresenbet,who is wounded and is staying in the Monastery, as a source of the news. 

The church said that the group OLF-Shane was behind the attack. 

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has expressed concern for the safety of the religious heritages in the monastery and the safety of the monastic community in Zequala. 

It is pleading for the Federal and regional security authorities to protect the monastery and the monastic community. 

The Ethiopian government has not remarked about the killing of four monks from Ziquala monastery  

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has been facing relentless attacks from the Ethiopian government authorities and armed groups in different parts of the country but it has been prevalent and recurring in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. 

Hundreds of followers of the Ethiopian Church followers have been killed and several churches burned since Abiy Ahmed took power as prime minister in April 2018. 

Recently, On February 6, 2024, Ethiopian Security Forces deported Abune Petros Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Rift between the Ethiopian Church and Abiy Ahmed is worsening after Abiy Ahmed’s government demanded the Ethiopian church condemn Archbishop Abune Lukas who vocally criticized Abiy Ahmed for the war his government is wagging in the Amhara region.