Ethiopia: massacre of 750 people reported in Aksum church complex

A Belgium-based peacebuilding non-profit is reporting 750 people killed in an attack on Ethiopia church.The attack was detailed in the January 9 'Situation Report' of the Europe External Programme with Africa (EEPA). The attack happened at the Maryam Tsiyon Church in Aksum, also known as the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion. The organisation said the massacre was carried out by Ethiopian federal troops and Amhara militia. Ethiopia is home to 36 million Orthodox Christians, the world's second-largest Orthodox population after Russia.

The Chapel of the Tablet, St Mary of Zion, Aksum, in Tigray. Source: Churchtimes

 

A Belgium-based peacebuilding non-profit is reporting 750 people killed in an attack on Ethiopia church.The attack was detailed in the January 9 ‘Situation Report’ of the Europe External Programme with Africa (EEPA). The attack happened at the Maryam Tsiyon Church in Aksum, also known as the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion. The organisation said the massacre was carried out by Ethiopian federal troops and Amhara militia. Ethiopia is home to 36 million Orthodox Christians, the world’s second-largest Orthodox population after Russia.

 

Painting of the nine saints (not all in photo) of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, as depicted on the mural in the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion. Source: Wikipedia, Jialiang Gao

 

 

Massacre ‘of 750’ reported in Aksum church complex, Tigray, Ethiopia

REPORTS of a massacre of 750 people in the cathedral complex that reputedly houses the Ark of the Covenant have emerged from the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

Accounts have come from those who fled the town of Aksum and walked more than 200km to the regional capital, Mekelle.

The massacre was first reported in dispatches from the Belgium-based NGO European External Programme with Africa (EEPA). The area is sealed off to journalists, but many reports of massacres have nevertheless emerged, some of which have been documented by Amnesty International.

The former BBC World Service Africa editor and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, Martin Plaut, said that those who escaped the Aksum massacre had reported that the attack began after Ethiopian federal troops and Amhara militia approached the Church of St Mary of Zion.

Up to 1000 people were believed to be sheltering in the church complex. One of the chapels, the Chapel of the Tablet, is believed by Ethiopian Christians to contain the Ark of the Covenant, which is hidden from the view of everyone, apart from a single priest who never leaves the compound.

EEPA’s latest dispatch on the situation in Tigray, on Tuesday, reports that 750 people were shot in Aksum, although this has not been verified. It says that the massacre was carried out by Ethiopian federal troops and Amhara militia.

The Church is not thought to have been damaged, and Mr Plaut said that the Ark is likely to have been hidden before troops arrived, although it has not been possible to confirm this.

The Ark is believed by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians to have been hidden in Aksum by Menelik I, the son of King Solomon of Israel. The kingdom of Aksum was one of the four great powers of the ancient world, and the town of Aksum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

The Maryam Tsiyon Church in Aksum is believed by Ethiopian Christians to house the Ark of the Covenant. Source: Christian Today

 

Fighting broke out in Tigray in November, after the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, sent federal troops, supported by militia and troops from Eritrea, to fight the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which he accused of holding illegitimate elections (News, 20 November 2020). The TPLF was part of the governing coalition of Ethiopia until 2019. The government declared that the conflict was over after it captured Mekelle, in late November, but the TPLF continues to fight a guerrilla war.

 

Source: part of the article published by Church Times, link: https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2021/15-january/news/world/massacre-of-750-reported-in-aksum-church-complex-tigray-ethiopia

Published on January 15, 2021. Please read the complete article on the already indicated link of the Church Times. Republished by Intell News Romania in English on January 25, 2021

 

About Claudiu Victor Gheorghiu 115 Articles
My name is GHEORGHIU CLAUDIU VICTOR and I was born in October 1967 in Bucharest. In 1998 I took the master degree at University from Bucharest , the Faculty of History- universal old history section- with theme (Constantine the Great and Christianity) at professor LIGIA BARZU. In 1991 I graduated Art School , Painting section, with TITU DRAGUTESCU. I painted sacred pictures from 1990, in technique tempera or tempera with egg on wood. In the period 2004-2016, I had the honor to have the encouragements, the advices, the friendship of the Master PAUL GHERASIM(1925-2016), my mentor, the founder of the "Prolog" group. During the period 1992-1994 I was artistic advisor at Coleus contemporary art gallery . I am titular member of the Association Branch of Religious Plastic Arts and Restoration - AFAPRR of UAP from Romania: Visual Artists’ Union from Romania from April 17, 2019, admitted by contest, as well as I was trainee member during the period 2016-2019, admitted by contest. I was member in Plastic Background(FP) belong Visual Artists’ Union from Romania(UAP) from 7th of December 2000, admitted by contest. From 25th of May 2015 I was elected Media advisor of the Steering Committee of the Association Branch of Religious Plastic Arts and Restoration : AFAPRR of UAP from Romania: Visual Artists’ Union from Romania. From 2014 I am member Visarta( from March 31, 2017, I was elected in the Steering Committee of Visarta, during the period 2017-2022), the Romanian Visual Arts Copyright Collecting Society. I had 4 Personal Exhibitions with sacred art, organized by UAP from Romania- Visual Artists’ Union from Romania, in Bucharest (2001, 2003, 2004 at ArTei Gallery, 2007 at Galateea Gallery), also another two at Silva Gallery in Busteni(2007-2008), Sabion Gallery in Bucharest(2019, together with Cristina Georgescu). I had also 2 Personal Exhibitions in Italy : I was Honor Guest, representing Romania, with sacred art, June 2003 at Pisa and in October 2006 ”The icons, sacred pictures in contemporary world” at Viadana(Mantua). I won some prizes in Italy and I participated, admitted by contest, at some art fairs and international exhibitions around the world, representing Romania: most of them in Italy(Pompeii, Pisa, Turin, Milan, Reggio Emilia, Bari, Viadana, Mantua), but also in France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland; in secondary also I am cultural journalist: from May 2015 to January 2016 I was Contributing Editor at Culture (Fine Arts, Exhibitions, History, Religion) at the newspaper Jurnalul Bucureştiului. From 17th of January 2016 I was advanced Senior Editor at the same newspaper, which has been called since April 2020 the Jurnalul Bucureştiului ,,Le Petit Parisien”, with a different leadership and a different format. From 1st of November 2015 to 31st of December 2016 I was Contributing Editor and Thematic Advisor at News Agency Lacasuri Ortodoxe and Press service LO News. From 1st of January 2016 I am Senior Editor of the Intell News(Global news, press and event analysis) and coordinator of the Culture pages (in Romanian and English, named Intell News Romania). From May 3, 2019, I am also publisher commentator at the newspaper Ultima Oră.