ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers are set to hold a rally to ask government’s protection over the increasing attacks on churches and followers in parts of the country.
The rally will take place in a time the Church is a collision course with a group its clergy in the populous Oromia region.
The group seeking to break away, led by Belai Mekonnen, is unhappy that the Orthodox Church mainly conducts its services in Amharic, Ethiopia’s official working language.
The group wants church masses to be held in Afaan Oromo, which is spoken by the Oromo community, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group.
The organizers of Sunday’s demonstration told reporters it is not related to the controversy in connection to language use within the church.
The killing of priests and displacement of orthodox followers as well as burning of churches have become common, said the organizers.
The government ‘is not taking concrete measures to address these challenges, they alleged.
“We need a country of peace, and the government should give us assurance over the current church attack is not repeated again in Ethiopia,” said Seife Alemayehu general secretary at the office of Mahbere Kidusan.
Seife said more detail about the demonstration will be given on Friday.
By Sisay Sahlu