Addis Ethiopia Weblog

Ethiopia's World / የኢትዮጵያ ዓለም

  • January 2022
    M T W T F S S
  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

Posts Tagged ‘Churches’

Churches and Mosques In Tigray ‘Vandalised & Looted’ | Christian Heritage is Being Extinguished

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on January 17, 2021

👉 የኢትዮጵያ የክርስትና ቅርስ እየጠፋ ነው ሲሉ ባለሙያዎች ይናገራሉ!

👉Experts say Ethiopia’s Christian heritage is being extinguished„

ስንቱ ከአረመኔው ግራኝ አህመድ አሊ ጋር የተሰለፈና “በለው! ያዘው! ግደለው!”፣ ‘ኢትዮጵያዊ ነኝ፣ ተዋሕዶ ክርስቲያን ነኝ’ ባይ ወገን አሁን እየተደሰተ ይሆን?። እግዚአብሔር ይይላችሁ

The Telegraph UK

Some manuscripts dating to the 13th century may have been stolen and burned in ‘cultural cleansing’

Churches and mosques in Ethiopia are being attacked and their sacred treasures looted in a catastrophic conflict in the northern Tigray region that is causing destruction, loss of life and a surge of refugees to Sudan, according to international experts.

They are warning of historical vandalism and “cultural cleansing”, fearing that religious sites have not been exempt from shelling and that a nation is being robbed of its ancient religious heritage, to the distress of Ethiopians of all faiths.

There are reports of Christian manuscripts being stolen from churches and monasteries, and burned – with some manuscripts as old as the 13th century – and of historic Muslim sites being damaged and looted. They include the building housing the tombs of 12 of Muhammad’s companions, beside the Al-Nejashi Mosque at Negash, north of Wuqro – the most important Muslim pilgrim site in East Africa.

“This is cultural cleansing,” warned Michael Gervers, a professor of history at the University of Toronto.

“The government and the Eritreans want to wipe out the Tigrayan culture. They think they’re better than rest of the people in the country. The looting is about destroying and removing the cultural presence of Tigray. We don’t know where it’s going yet. One of the first reports I had is that manuscripts were being driven south… They’re emptying the physical evidence of culture from the province.”

On 4 November, Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed – who received the Nobel peace prize for ending a war with neighbouring Eritrea – ordered a military response to an attack by Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces on a military camp in the region. Both the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments have denied reports that Eritrean forces are in Tigray.

The United Nations has warned of mass killings in Tigray, as concern has grown for the safety of the refugees. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said office had received allegations of international humanitarian law and human rights law violations, including artillery strikes on populated areas, the deliberate targeting of civilians, extrajudicial killings and widespread looting.

Christianity arrived in the ancient Aksumite kingdom, with its centre in today’s Tigray, in the 4th century. Although Muslims founded their first mosque outside Mecca there in the early time of Muhammad, the community of Tigrayan Muslims is today a well-established minority. Tigray is home to thousands of churches and monasteries, with the oldest carved into rock-faces. Christian texts written in the classical language, Ge’ez, are among hundreds of thousands of sacred manuscripts in Ethiopia.

Prof Gervers spoke to the Telegraph about the “deplorable situation in Tigray”: “I know the province well, having worked there occasionally between 1982 and 1993, and annually since 2000. My objective has been to examine archaeological sites and to document Christian antiquities.”

Experts say Ethiopia’s Christian heritage is being extinguished

With a media blackout and local people frightened to talk, verifying reports is difficult, he said: “But I have heard that the ancient Muslim tomb at Negash has been badly damaged and the Amanuel church, which has sat on the top of a pinnacle for centuries, has been damaged through shelling. Around 800 Ge’ez manuscripts were looted from the Shire region… The list goes on. A Belgian team… managed to reach the town of Shire, where they videotaped a tank covered with looted goods.”

Dr Wolbert Smidt, a German academic who has long worked on historical sites in Tigray, said that “attacks and battles around, at and nearby such sites, show a very great danger for them”.

Referring to unverified reports of shootings around the most ancient and sacred church of Ethiopian Christianity, Maaryam Zion in Aksum – which is said to hold the Ark of the Covenant – and the attack on the tomb at Negash, he spoke of his shock that two of the most sacred sites for both Christians and Muslims have been targeted, perhaps from a “desire to attack places important for the local identity”.

He added that breaking “the traditional rule of sacred places being absolute sanctuaries” is a tragedy, both for an “already deeply-shocked local population” and the world’s heritage.

Prof Gervers said: “I’ve not heard more than rumours about the looting of the Arc from Maaryam Zion, but if it’s true that up to 750 died defending it, it is conceivable that the attackers didn’t stop there.”

ፓትርያርኮች አቡነ ማቲያስ እና መርቆርዮስ ባካችሁ የሚሊየን ክርስቲያን ሰልፍ በአዲስ አበባ ባፋጣኝ ጥሩ!!!

The International Tigrayan Muslims Association expressed outrage over the attack on the Al-Nejashi Mosque.

Prof Gervers called for “an intervention by whichever international power can pressure the Ethiopian government to lay off its onslaught”. He added: “To date, no one seems able or ready to step forward and call foul. If world powers stay aloof, it seems to suggest that they agree with what is going on.”

In an open letter of 13 January, academics from Hamburg University voiced alarm, calling for “the warring parties to abstain from attacking the cultural heritage and to respect the integrity of the places, both religious and secular”.



Posted in Ethiopia, Faith, Infos | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

የግብጽ እባብ | በረሃ ላይ አዲስ ቤተክርስቲያን ሠሩ፡ ክርስቲያኖች በብዛት በሚኖሩበት ሠፈር አራት አብያተክርስቲያናትን ዘጉ

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on January 17, 2019

በልደት ዋዜማ ቤተክርስቲያን ይከፍታሉ፤ በጥምቀት ዋዜማ ቤተክርስቲያን ይዘጋሉ!

ባለፈው የገና ዕለት በብዙ ሺህ የሚቆጠሩ ሙስሊሞች በፖሊሶች እየተደገፉ የኮፕት አብያተክርስትያናት ፊት ሆነው ክርስቲያኖችን ሲሳደቡና እነርሱን እንደሚያጠፏቸውም በጩኸት ሲዝቱባቸው ነበር።

አሁን ክርስቲያኖች በብዛት በሚኖሩባቸው የተለያዩ የግብጽ መንደራት የሚገኙትን አራት አብያተክርስቲያናት እንዲዘጉ የግብጽ መንግስት ትዕዛዝ አስተላለፈ። ይህ ውሳኔ ያደፋፈራቸው ሙስሊሞቹና ፖሊሶቻቸውም ቀሳውስቱንና መነኮሳቱን ጠፍረው በማሠር በከብት ማመላለሻ መኪናዎች ወዳልታወቀ ቦታ ወስደዋቸዋል።

አዎ! የእባብን ሥራ እያየን ነው? የግብጹ ፕሬዚደንት ከሁለት ሳምንታት በፊት አዲስ ካቴድራል በርሃ ላይ መርቀው ከፈተው ነበር። ባለፈው ጊዜ ልብ ያላልነው ነገር፦ እዚህ በረሃ ላይ፡ አንደኛ፤ ክርስቲያኖች አይኖሩም፣ ሁለተኛ፤ እዚህ አንጋፋ ካቴድራል አጠገብ በይበልጥ አንጋፋ የሆነ አዲስ መስጊድ በዚያው ዕለት በፕሬዚደንቱ ተመርቆ ነበር። አሁን ክርስቲያኖች በብዛት በሚኖሩባቸው ሠፈሮች የሚገኙትን አብያተክርስቲያናት ዘግተዋ፤ ክርስቶስንና ተከታዮቹን ለማዋራድም ቀሳውስቱን ጠፍረው በማሠር በከብቶች ማመላለሻ የጭነት መኪናዎች ላይ ወርወረዋቸዋል።

እነዚህ እርኩስ የዲያብሎስ ልጆች፣ የእነዚህ እባቦች ምላሳቸው ካልተቆረጠ በቀር መናደፉቸውን አያቆሙም፤ ቅዱስ ገብርኤል ምላቻቸውን በሰይፉ ፈጥኖ ይቁረጥባቸው!


Posted in Ethiopia, Faith | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

ባቢሎን ሳዑዲ አረቢያ በታሪክ ለመጀመሪያ ጊዜ አብያተክርስቲያናትን ለመሥራት ተስማማች

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 4, 2018

ከቫቲካን ቀሳውስት ጋር በመደራደር ነው አዲሱ የሳዑዲ ልዑል እዚህ ውሳኔ ላይ የደረሱት።

ተዓምረኛ የሆነ ዘመን ላይ እንገኛለን፤ ተመስገን!

ቫቲካን እስልምናን ፈጥራልች” ተብሎ የሚነገርለት የጭምጭምታ ታሪክ ምናልባት እውነት ሊሆን ይችላል። እኔም እንደሚመስለኝ እስልምናን የፈጠሩት ወይ ኢትዮጵያውያን፣ ወይ አይሁዶች፣ ወይም ደግሞ ሮማ ካቶሊኮች ናቸው።

የሙስሊሞች “ቅድስት አገር” ሳዑዲ ባርባሪያ፡ ጣረ ሞት ላይ ናት፤ በቃ እስልምና አለቀለት!! በራሳቸው “ሃዲት” እንደተጻፈውና ጂብሪል ለነብያቸው ሹክ እንዳለለት ከሆነ፦ “ኢቲዮጲያዊው ጥቁሩን የመካ ካባ ድንጋይ በቀጫጫ እግሩ እየረገጠ ያፈራርሰዋል”። የተበላሸ ሰዓት በቀን ሁለቴ ትክክል ነው፤ አዎ! የመካ መፈራረሻዋ ቀን ደርሷል፡ ስለዚህ የኢትዮጵያ ሙስሊም ወገኖቻችን ከእሳቱ ቶሎ ማምለጥ ይኖርባቸዋል።

በሌላ በኩል ደግሞ፡ በፈረዖናዊ ትዕቢትና ግትርነት “አክሱም ላይ አሁን መስጊድ መስራት አለብን” ይሉ ይሆናል፤ ግን ይህ ግብዝነት፣ ውስልትና እና ወንጀል ነው የሚሆነው።


Posted in Curiosity, Ethiopia, Faith | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Europe Quietly Destroys Its Past

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on January 24, 2018

The destruction of the St. Lambertus Church is still explosive all over Facebook. This elegant part of Western European heritage took the labour of many skilled men. Now it needs to make way for Green Germany to dig for coal. This fact again shatters the internet myth that Germany gets 80%+ of its energy needs from renewable Green magic.

This sad toppling of a stone pillar of European civilization is not unique. All over France any church is under threat because “ there are laws protecting old trees from indiscriminate cutting. But the state is free to flatten old Christian churches“. This mass destruction mirrors the early Soviet Period from 1917 till Stalin’s Purges of 1937. Obviously not all of them were destroyed. During WWII Stalin’s official “change of heart” lead to the restoration of the Patriarchy. Very quickly after the Revolution it became evident that cutting your entire society from its own past did not built a new Marxist Superman but instead lead to cultural rot. The Soviet Union would remain more or less pro-culture till the end.

Now, at great expense the same buildings that are being destroyed by a culturally masochistic Europe are being restored and rebuilt in Russia.

New cathedrals are also exploding over all corners of the country. This is not to say that Russia is “better” or “pious”. This piece is to say that other people have been down this road and they have turned back. Believing in Christianity is a culture’s choice. But wiping it out of your history when it is so deeply ingrained in it just rots the soul of the population cut off from their past.

Let the Churches stand even if they stand empty. You may not be able to see it but when your culture’s past is gone you will feel that it is missing.



Posted in Faith, Infos | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Many Believe Ethiopia Was The First Country To Accept Christianity – Now For Some It Is Being Outlawed

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on April 24, 2017

Christianity could be outlawed in Ethiopia for smaller congregations and house churches where worshipers meet for less formal prayer or smaller services.

Tigray State, in the north of Ethiopia, is considering changing its laws to ban Christian activities outside official church compounds, reports World Watch Monitor.

Evangelical Christians and other non-Orthodox groups would be the worst hit by the new law, which will set a minimum number of 6,000 members for any church wanted to authorized as official. Proselytism outside the new official compounds will be outlawed.

A similar law has already been enacted in a neighboring state.

Ethiopia, Africa’s oldest independent country, is believed by some to have been the first nation in the world to accept Christianity as its religion. Like many countries in Africa, the religious landscape is being changed by fast-growing Pentecostal churches.

It is currently at number 22 on the World Watch List of Christian persecution.

Christian believers are increasingly threatened by Islamist extremists.

WWM tells the story of Tutu, a widow, and her son who live in a mainly Muslim area and have faced difficulties since her husband died.

‘After his burial, local Muslims dug up his body and dumped it by the side of the road. In January, Biruk was assaulted and told that he and his mother would continue to face trouble until they converted to Islam. On March 4, their house was burned down,’ reports WWM.


My Note: I would be more than glad if those “evangelical Christians” were converting Muslims to Christianity. But, no!– though there may be individual Protestants who really love Our Lord and engage in this sort of conversion activity – the vast majority of them attempts to proselytize among Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo faithful, who are already Christians that practice the oldest of all Christian rites. (Converting these ancient Christians to any other faith/ideology is a HUGE SIN). Imagine these Protestants, who have discovered Jesus 500 years ago, telling Ethiopian Christians who know Their Lord for two Millennia to accept the new Jesus. Is there a new Lord?

In fact, in some Muslim majority regions like Jimma, some Protestant groups had joined Muslims to persecute indigenous Orthodox Christians.

I believe it’s is irresponsible, biased and dangerous that a protestant organization like OpenDoors“ placed Christian Ethiopia at number 22 on the World Watch List of Christian persecution – mind you, higher than notorious Christian persecutor states like Turkey, Palestinian Territories, Algeria, Kuwait, UAE, Indonesia, Bangladesh etc. Either they are ignorant and wicked or they have joined the luciferian forces to wage war against Orthodox Christians. It must be tempting for Satan to challenge the first Christian nation!

How primitive and boaring it has become that OpenDoors always puts North Korea (a Buddhist nation that doesn’t belong to Christians) at number 1 to appease the number one persecutors of Christians: Islamic countries. where Christians are indigenous.


Posted in Conspiracies, Ethiopia, Faith | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

The FACE of Dying Nations

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on August 5, 2016

‘It smells’ Migrants would rather go back to WAR than live in plush centre with TV and gym

FUSSY migrants have turned their nose up at a plush refugee centre complete with a TV, gym and leisure activities after insisting: “It smells.”


The group of 40 asylum seekers said they would rather go back to their war-torn homelands than continue living in “inhumane conditions” at the German camp.

The Iraqis and Syrians moaned that the accommodation, housed at a school in Meschede in north west Germany, smelled bad.

And they did not wait to hear from local authorities before upping sticks and ordering a coach to take them away from the taxpayer funded facility.

When the police arrived to the school on Monday night, the migrants had already booked transport to take them back to the nearby town of Bad Berleburg.

From there, the migrants explained that they would rather move back home to Syria and Iraq than go back to the school in Meschede.

One of the migrants said: “Some would be willing to live on the streets, or even go back to our countries and be exposed to war, but we are not going back to Meschede.”

When the authorities examined the school in Meschede, they could not see any evidence of any inhumane conditions.

One of the managers in Meschede, Jan Uelkes, said he even granted the migrants special requests.

He said: “One big family with children was offered a single room at the Haus Dortmund youth hostel as an alternative.”

The managers of the camp did admit that since it used to be a school, the rooms are all very big and have between 14 to 40 beds in them.

However, there are leisure activities at the camp, child care, a big TV, a gym and there are German courses.

Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, has faced a backlash for her lenient migrant policies; more than 1.1 million migrants entered Germany last year.


FRANCE: 2800 Churches to Be Demolished

Jihadists have slit the throat of a priest. Anne Hidalgo [the mayor of Paris] helps them by destroying churches.”

According to a report of the French senate, 2.800 churches across the country, many of them centuries old, will be demolished as restoration costs exceed the cost of demolitions over the next years. This church, Église Saint-Jacques d’Abbeville, a Neo-Gothic masterpiece in Abbeville, Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie dating back to 1868, was demolished for a total cost of 350,000€ in 2013. The reasoning: It was much cheaper to demolish it than it would cost to restore.

As the number of Frenchmen in France continues to decline due to record-low birth rates, high emigration and Muslim immigration, so do the members of catholic faith, who are now at an all time low. For many cities in France, especially cities in which Christians are the minority, the lack of interest and high property value on which the buildings stand simply does not justify the cost of restoring the churches. Many mayors choose the cheaper demolitions over costly restorations. Thousands of churches are to be demolished over the next years and replaced with shopping malls, stores, apartments or parking lots.

Mosque on the other hand, flourish. The Grand Mosque of Paris recently got a modern, fully retractable Roof, as it is usually only found in football stadiums and hundreds of new Mosques are built every year for the hundreds of thousands of new Muslims born or immigrating into French society, often with taxpayer money.

A HALAL supermarket has been told to start selling pork and alcohol, otherwise it will be shut down


Posted in Conspiracies, Faith, Infos | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Learn The Truth: Martin Luther Did Not Love The Bible, He Hated The Bible

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on July 29, 2015

ይህ፡ ለተታለሉት፡ ለተሞኙት እና ትክክለኛውን መንገድ ለሳቱት ጴንጤወገኖቻችን ጥሩ ትምህርት ነው


sin-2-Martin-Luther-On-His-DeathbedIn a time of great chaos and anarchy within the Church, it is necessary to identify the source of chaos and disorder, and thus seek to bring back order as Christ intended. More than ever before the modern Church has become less like the Bride of Christ and more as the Whore of Babylon. People have often asked the question of ‘Why?’ but have never identified the root cause of this anarchy. Instead, there has been an ever-growing increase in godlessness and infidelity along with sin being promoted in the name of ‘grace’.

Whether it is the sins of heresy and unbelief, as manifested in modernism; New Age teaching or some denial of Christian doctrine or Higher/Lower Criticism along with any other mockery of the Holy Scriptures or the Christian Faith. Or whether it is the open flouting of sin in the churches: promotion of sodomites/homosexuals and pedophiles in leadership; adultery amongst church leaders; open support of blasphemous material and teaching in the pulpit and so on. Whatever the situation, few have bothered to go to the historical root source and ask the right questions. In an age of political correctness and false ecumenism, the Church has sunken deeper into apostasy as manifested in the above mentioned sins. It is expected to kowtow to the errors and false doctrines of Satan, the god of this world and prince of the powers of the air. (II Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2), rather than be the Bride of Christ, unspotted and unblemished (Ephesians 5:25-32).

What is grossly tragic is that few have taken the time to examine the Holy Scriptures and the history of the Church to see where the modern evils are coming from. Amongst Christians, few have bothered to examine their roots and seek to correct the evil inherited. Many have grown around a myth or fable regarding personalities in the history of the Church, without fulfilling the Scriptural command to prove all things (I Thessalonians 5:25). Amongst the greatest and most destructive of these myths or fables that Scripture has warned about, is the legend built around Martin Luther. A number of Christians have been deluded into thinking that Martin Luther, the father of the Protestant Reformation, was a great hero who defended the Holy Scriptures and brought Scriptural knowledge to the world. When one begins to even make one criticism of this idol that has been made after deluded hands, then automatically he/she is accused of being a “Papist” or “Catholic sympathizer”. Luther is dead but his evil legacy has still continued throughout the world and in all Christian denominations. It is time for genuine Christians to undo this evil legacy before it destroys their souls and the Church altogether.

I do not fear the accusations and I wish to urge all Christians, regardless of denomination, to prove all things and to renounce the root of rebellion and anarchy in the churches. Let God be true and every man a liar. (Romans 2:4). By facing the reality of Luther, a genuine Christian can place the Holy Trinity, the True God (I John 5:7, 20) in the rightful place of the soul and banish the antichrist spirit that has spoken through Luther and other deceivers (I John 4:1-3). I provide the quotes in full lest anyone accuse me of distortion or taking statements out of context. 5 And now, I dedicate my life and soul to the most Holy Trinity and bring the whole Church before the throne of God. May the Church experience genuine revival out of the spiritual slumber of death and gain back the first love due. Glory be to God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus. (Apocalypse/Revelation 22:20)

Continue reading…

— A precursor to Nazism – Martin Luther’s dirty little book: On the Jews and their lies


Posted in Curiosity, Ethiopia, Faith | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Niger: Churches Destroyed in Muslim Mob Attack But Bible Survives

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on January 30, 2015


Neal and Danette Childs knew they were in danger.

From their compound in Niger’s capital city they could see three churches burning. The smoke was filling their home.

We immediately started packing a trunk, putting in our valuables, our documents, and we loaded up the car,” Neal told me. “There were concerns our family would be targeted.”

The Childs family had every reason to be alarmed. A rampaging mob was attacking Christian houses of worship, and Neal was the prominent leader of a Christian ministry in the mostly Muslim country.

Our immediate response — there is that little bit of panic,” he said during a telephone conversation from the West African nation of Niger. “We were ready. We were on guard.”

It was Jan. 16 and by the week’s end Muslims had set fire to at least 45 churches and looted the homes of a number of Christian ministers. Ten people were killed. Followers of Christ fled for the lives.

The protests were over the cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad that were published by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The horrors of that weekend did not generate all that much press coverage. There were no solidarity marches for Niger’s tiny Christian community. There was no wall-to-wall cable news coverage. Nor could I find any mention of the burnings on the White House website.

The New York Times published a dispatch from Reuters that appeared sympathetic to the mob. The story included quotes from a Muslim explaining why they were angry — but there were no quotes from the Christian victims.

Likewise, USA Today’s coverage lacked any commentary from pastors or priests. But they did find an imam who reminded the newspaper’s readers that the Islamic faith is peaceful.

Don’t forget that Islam is against violence,” he told USA Today as the ruins of 45 Christian churches smoldered across the nation.

But the story of what really happened during that terrifying weekend deserves to be told. And it needs to be heard.

The following day Neal and his wife ventured outside to survey the ruins of the church house.

It was still smoking and warm with ashes,” he told me. “As we were looking through the rubble my wife came across the Bible.”

The Bible was charred but not destroyed, and it caused a stirring in the hearts of the Christian couple.

It was an emotional moment as you see your church in ashes,” Neal said.

Continue reading…

At least 10 Christians from Nigeria including a pastor had died after being thrown overboard a Spain-bound boat because they prayed during the journey

The pastor and his fellow victims who were travelling from Morocco began to pray fervently for a better weather to save their boat from sinking after the sea became stormy.

Some of the survivors who probably did not join in the prayers disclosed in December 2014 that the two Muslim Cameroonians blamed the pastor and his Christian followers for causing the raging storm and pushed them all overboard in the middle of their prayers.

According to Sky News, the police became suspicious of the duo following the fearful attitudes of the survivors towards them after they arrived in Spain.

The police who confirmed the incident, “The detainees blamed the bad weather on the Nigerians who were praying and used the boards that covered the bottom of the boat to assault and throw overboard the pastor and the other Nigerian passengers.


Posted in Curiosity, Faith, Infos, Media & Journalism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Will President Obama Tell The Saudis to Respect Human Rights And Allow Churches?

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on March 22, 2014

Obama and the Churches of Saudi Arabia


When President Obama visits Saudi Arabia next week, he will have an opportunity to follow through on his inspiring words at the Feb. 6. National Prayer Breakfast. There, he told thousands of Christian leaders that “the right of every person to practice their faith how they choose” is central to “human dignity,” and so “promoting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy.”

The freedom so central to human dignity is denied by the Kingdom. The State Department has long ranked Saudi Arabia among the world’s most religiously repressive governments, designating it a “Country of Particular Concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act. Yet the Obama administration, like its predecessors, has not pressed Riyadh to respect religious freedom.

Saudi Arabia is the only state in the world to ban all churches and any other non-Muslim houses of worship. While Saudi nationals are all “officially” Muslim, some two to three million foreign Christians live in the kingdom, many for decades. They have no rights to practice their faith. The Saudi government has ignored Vatican appeals for a church to serve this community, despite the fact that in 1973 Pope Paul VI approved a proposal for the Roman city council to donate city lands for a grand mosque in Rome. The mosque, opened in 1995, is among the largest in Europe.

Christian foreign workers in Saudi Arabia can only pray together clandestinely. Religious-police dragnets against scores of Ethiopian house-church Christians, mostly poor women working as maids, demonstrate the perils of worshiping: arrest, monthslong detention and abuse, and eventual deportation. The more fortunate do what I did when I visited three years ago—sneak off to pray in a windowless safe room behind embassy walls.

It’s difficult to hide a worship service in the tightly-controlled kingdom. The Committee to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice, the religious police, is always looking for women and men mingling together, women who fail to conform to the state-mandated Muslim dress code, and the movements of foreigners. University of Milan Professor Camille Eid, who has worked in Jeddah, reported to the Catholic outlet Zenit in 2011 that he was afraid even to give Christmas or Easter greetings over the phone for fear “someone might be listening.”

Distributing Bibles in Saudi Arabia is illegal. Priests must go undercover, pretending to be cooks or mechanics, to celebrate underground Masses for the estimated 1.5 million Filipino, Indian and other Catholics working or living there. Crosses, rosaries and Christian literature and art must not be publicly displayed. Even the ruins of a fourth-century church in the Persian Gulf city of Jubail are kept off limits to the public and archaeologists.

The fanatical intolerance of everything Christian extends to a crackdown on red roses on Valentine’s Day. Visiting European soccer teams with cross logos must blur the icon on team jerseys. At one holiday party in the American school in Riyadh, a Santa Claus had to jump through a window to escape religious police, according to Mr. Eid’s account.

The official Saudi National Human Rights Commission director Bandar al-Aiban told me that churches are forbidden because the entire country is “a sacred mosque” for Islam’s holiest shrines in Mecca and Medina—two cities completely closed to non-Muslims. He seemed unperturbed that Saudi national borders are a modern invention dating to 1932, not to Prophet Muhammad’s era more than 1,300 years earlier.

No other country on the Arabian Peninsula adopts the Saudi anti-church stance. Qatar, which like Saudi Arabia practices strict Wahhabi Islam, allowed the first public Christian worship service in 1988 and has leased land for foreign workers to build more than a dozen churches since 2008. Last year Bahrain’s monarchy donated land for the peninsula’s first cathedral, a Catholic church called Our Lady of Arabia.

President Obama on his visit could ask King Abdullah to allow churches in the Kingdom. As the president explained in February, the right to worship is an essential human right that “matters to our national security.” Allowing a church would help foreign Christian workers and instill in Saudi society a sense of peaceful coexistence with the religious “other.” That may help us all.

The president could also call for other steps to temper national policies against Christians. Education Ministry textbooks, for example, still teach violent hatred against Christians, as well as Jews and other groups with different beliefs. A 10th-grade text tells students that homosexuals can be murdered by fire, stoning or being thrown from a high place. Saudi Arabia could also replace the state-employed religious leaders, who, the State Department reported in 2013, call for the destruction of all Arabian Peninsula churches and publicly pray for the “humiliation” of “polytheists,” a term Wahhabis apply to Christians, Shiites and Hindus.

The kingdom is now organizing internationally against Iranian and al Qaeda extremism, so this is an especially good time to implore the country to begin ending religious extremism at home. So far President Obama has only preached to the choir. In a few days he will have a chance to make his case before the Saudi king.


Why the Media Doesn’t Cover Jihadist Attacks on Middle East Christians

To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace”—[Hebrews 6:6]

MSMediaThe United Nations, Western governments, media, universities, and talking heads everywhere insist that Palestinians are suffering tremendous abuses from the state of Israel.  Conversely, the greatest human rights tragedy of our time—radical Muslim persecution of Christians, including in Palestinian controlled areas—is devotedly ignored

The facts speak for themselves. Reliable estimates indicate that anywhere from 100-200 million Christians are persecuted every year; one Christian is martyred every five minutes. Approximately 85% of this persecution occurs in Muslim majority nations. In 1900, 20% of the Middle East was Christian. Today, less than 2% is.

In one week in Egypt alone, where my Christian family emigrated, the Muslim Brotherhood launched a kristallnacht—attacking, destroying, and/or torching some 82 Christian churches (some of which were built in the 5th century, when Egypt was still a Christian-majority nation before the Islamic conquests).  Al-Qaeda’s black flag has been raised atop churches.  Christians—including priests, women and children—have been attacked, beheaded, and killed.

Nor is such persecution of Christians limited to Egypt.   From Morocco in the west to Indonesia in the east and from Central Asia to the north to sub-Saharan Africa to the south; across thousands of miles of lands inhabited by peoples who do not share the same races, languages, cultures, and/or socio-economic conditions, millions of Christians are being persecuted and in the same exact patterns.

Muslim converts to Christianity and Christian evangelists are attacked, imprisoned, and sometimes beheaded; countless churches across the Islamic world are being banned or bombed; Christian women and children are being abducted, enslaved, raped, and/or forced to renounce their faith.

Far from helping these Christian victims, U.S. policies are actually exacerbating their sufferings.  Whether in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, or Syria, and under the guise of the U.S.-supported “Arab Spring,” things have gotten dramatically worse for Christians.  Indeed, during a recent U.S. congressional hearing, it was revealed that thousands of traumatized Syrian Christians—who, like Iraqi Christians before them are undergoing a mass exodus from their homeland—were asking “Why is America at war with us?”

The answer is that very few Americans have any clue concerning what is happening to their coreligionists.

Few mainstream media speak about the horrific persecution millions of people are experiencing simply because they wish to worship Christ in peace.

There, is of course, a very important reason why the mainstream media ignores radical Muslim persecution of Christians: if the full magnitude of this phenomenon was ever know, many cornerstones of the mainstream media—most prominent among them, that Israel is oppressive to Palestinians—would immediately crumble.

The media simply cannot portray radical Muslim persecution of Christians—which in essence and form amount to unprovoked pogroms—as a “land dispute” or a product of “grievance” (if anything, it is the ostracized and persecuted Christian minorities who should have grievances).  And because the media cannot articulate radical Islamic attacks on Christians through the “grievance” paradigm that works so well in explaining the Arab-Israeli conflict, their main recourse is not to report on them at all.

In short, Christian persecution is the clearest reflection of radical Islamic supremacism. Vastly outnumbered and politically marginalized Christians simply wish to worship in peace, and yet still are they hounded and attacked, their churches burned and destroyed, their women and children enslaved and raped. These Christians are often identical to their Muslim co-citizens, in race, ethnicity, national identity, culture, and language; there is no political dispute, no land dispute.

The only problem is that they are Christian and so, Islamists believe according to their scriptural exegesis, must be subjugated.

If mainstream media were to report honestly on Christian persecution at the hands of radical Islamists so many bedrocks of the leftist narrative currently dominating political discourse would crumble, first and foremost, the idea that radical Islamic intolerance is a product of “grievances,” and that Israel is responsible for all Jihadist terrorism against it.

Continue reading…


Posted in Curiosity, Faith, Media & Journalism | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

“Church Forests” of Ethiopia

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on March 2, 2011


The image on the video shows a typical Ethiopian hillside “Church-Forest” – one of the symbolic reconstructions of the Garden of Eden that surround most Christian churches in the Northern part of the country.

The year 2011 was declared the International Year of Forests by the United Nations to raise awareness and strengthen the sustainable forest management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations.

In most parts of Northern Ethiopia, forests have been completely destroyed and converted into farms and grazing lands over centuries. Hence, when a traveler sees a patch of indigenous old-aged trees in the northern highlands of Ethiopia, he/she can be sure that there is an Orthodox Church in the middle. They are visible from a great distance, with a majestic appearance, usually built on small hills overlooking the surrounding villages. The local people call these churches with the surrounding trees as “Debr” or “Geddam” is seen by the followers as the most holy place religiously as well as a respected and powerful institution socially.

The following reading is taken from a fascinating post on the PLoS blog network:

In America, some fundamental Christians believe that man has a God-given right to use the earth and all its resources to meet their needs. After all, Genesis says so. But across the Atlantic, a different attitude prevails among followers in Ethiopia, which has the longest continuous tradition of Christianity of any African country. Followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Churches believe they should maintain a home for all of God’s creatures around their places of worship. The result? Forests ringing churches.

There are some 35,000 church forests in Ethiopia, ranging in size from a few acres to 300 hectares. Some churches and their forests may date back to the fourth century, and all are remnants of Ethiopia’s historic Afromontane forests. To their followers, they are a sacred symbol of the garden of Eden — to be loved and cared for, but not worshipped.

Most church forests are concentrated in the northern reaches of the country, especially in the Lake Tana area. Here, most of the Afromontane forests have been cut down to make clearings for agriculture, pastures for livestock and settlements. It is said that if a traveler to the area spies a forest, it surely has a church in the middle. Many also have freshwater springs.

These spiritually-protected woods, also known as coptic forests, comprise a decent chunk of the 5 percent of Ethiopia’s historical forests that are still standing. Massive deforestation has rendered these church forests as true islands — green oases peppering a land laid bare.

Continue reading…

Posted in Ethiopia | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: