ETHIOPIA: Cardinal Souraphiel Calls for Solidarity with Displaced People

By Arnold Neliba

ADDIS ABABA, JANUARY 12, 2021 (CISA)-The President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Ethiopia and Archbishop of Addis Ababa Berhaneyesus Demerew Cardinal Souraphiel has urged the government and its people to show solidarity with those affected by conflicts in the country.

“Let us, in a special way, support those who are refugees, displaced brothers and sisters. Through the love of our Lord, I encourage you to spend Christmas by doing charity,” Cardinal Souraphiel said in his message for Christmas which in Ethiopia was celebrated on January 7, following the Julian calendar.

The cardinal was referring to the war in Tigray region between government forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which has caused the displacement of at least 950,000 civilians and forced about 60,000 Ethiopians to fee to neighboring Sudan.

“We should live together as brothers and sisters despite our race, tribe, color, gender and age and moreover as one family support and help each other and stand as one,” Cardinal Souraphiel said while also calling for cohesion with refugees and displaced persons.

While addressing the government, Cardinal Souraphiel asked authorities to guarantee people’s right to life, respect for the supremacy of the Constitution and ensure that peace reigns.

“What we hear every time happening in our country, the cries and suffering of many, the displacement, the dying of the people who are created in the image and likeness of God should stop,” Cardinal Souraphiel said also appealing to the public to follow the measures to prevent Covid-19, in a country where 126,241 people have been infected which has caused 1,963 deaths.

As the country marked birthday celebration Jesus Christ the cardinal reminded Christians that “We also have debt to pay for people in Christ’s birthday. This is to do good deeds that is love for all humans. Therefore, all Christians are displaced by the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. I would like to say that you should do your Christian duty by helping, supporting, loving the Lord and doing good things together.”