June 19, 2008

አርባ ምንጭ ከተማ ውስጥ ሰልፍ የወጡ ክርስቲያኖች ታሰሩ

ሪፖርተር ጋዜጣ
በታምሩ ጽጌ
በደቡብ ክልል አርባ ምንጭ ሲቀላ ከተማ ውስጥ የደብረ ሣህል ቅዱስ ገብርኤል አስተዳዳሪ የነበሩ አንድ መነኩሴ ወደ ሌላ ቦታ መቀየራቸውን በመቃወም በሚል ሰልፍ የወጡ ከ60 በላይ የሚሆኑ የክርስትና እምነት ተከታዮች መታሰራቸውን ምንጮች ገለፁ፡፡ የክልሉ ፖሊስ የታሰሩት አራት ብቻ ናቸው በማለት አስተባብሏል፡፡
የእምነት ተከታዮቹ ሰልፍ የወጡበትን ምክንያት ምንጮቻችን እንደገለፁት፣ አስተዳዳሪው ይሰሩበት በነበሩበት ቤተክርስቲያንና ይሰጡት በነበረው የሀይማኖት ትምህርት በኅብረተሰቡ ዘንድ ተቀባይነት በማግኘታቸው፣ ነገር ግን አስተዳዳሪው ወደ ሌላ ቤተክርስቲያን እንዲቀየሩ የሚመለከተው አካል ወስኖ በክልሉ ጳጳስ (አቡነ ኤልያስ) አማካኝነት ደብዳቤ ሲደርሳቸው፣ ደብዳቤውን በመቃወም መሆኑን ገልፀዋል፡፡

በርካታ የከተማው ነዋሪዎች የተቃውሞ ሰልፍ ሲወጡ፣ መጠነኛ ሁከት በመቀስቀሱ ከ60 በላይ ምዕመናን መታሰራቸውን ምንጮቹ ገልፀዋል፡፡

ኃላፊው ከቦታው እንዲነሱ የተወሰነው ከመጋቢት ወር 2000 ዓ.ም ጀምሮ መሆኑን የገለፁት ምንጮቹ፣ በወቅቱ ምዕመናኑ ሰልፍ ወጥተው ተቃውመው ስለነበር እስካሁን እንዲቆዩ ተደርጐ አሁን እንዲነሱ ቢደረግም ተመሳሳይ ሁኔታ መፈጠሩን ተናግረዋል፡፡

ሰኔ 6 ቀን 2000 ዓ.ም የጀመረው የምዕመናኑ ተቃውሞ እስከ ትናንት ሰኔ 10 ቀን 2000 ዓ.ም ድረስ መቀጠሉንም ምንጮቹ ተናግረዋል፡፡ የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን የበላይ ኃላፊዎችን ስለ ጉዳዩ ጠይቀናቸው ችግሩን መስማታቸውንና ሁኔታው በማረጋጋት ላይ እንደሚገኙ ተናግረዋል፡፡

ፖሊስ ከጉዳዩ ጋር በተገናኘ የታሰሩት አራት ሰዎች ብቻ መሆናቸውን ገልፆ በአሁኑ ሰዓት ሁሉም ነገር ሰላም ነው በማለት አስተባብሏል፡፡

June 15, 2008

Pope of Coptic Church Has 'Successful' Surgery in Ohio

CLEVELAND (AP) - Pope Shenouda III, the leader of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, had surgery Thursday to repair a broken thigh bone suffered in a fall at his Cairo home.


The surgery on his left femur lasted one hour at the Cleveland Clinic.

"The surgery was successful and he is recovering well," said Dr. Wael Barsoum, an orthopedic surgeon at the research hospital. "He will remain in the hospital for approximately one week and then receive physical rehabilitation as a part of his recovery."

Shenouda, 84, fell in his bedroom Monday evening and was flown to Cleveland on Wednesday aboard an ambulance plane provided by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

In 2006, Shenouda had spinal surgery at the Cleveland Clinic and last year he made several trips to the U.S. to have back problems treated.

The Coptic community makes up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 77 million, making it the largest Christian community in the Middle East. Shenouda has led the church since 1971.

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

ETHIOPIA: ISLAMISTS RECEIVE LIFE SENTENCES FOR CHURCH ATTACKS



ETHIOPIA: ISLAMISTS RECEIVE LIFE SENTENCES FOR CHURCH ATTACKS
Church appeals ‘secretive’ ruling; three officials said to be instigators remain free.
ISTANBUL, June 13 (Compass Direct News) – In a snap ruling that surprised local Christians, an Ethiopian court has sentenced three Muslim men to life imprisonment for a deadly machete attack on two churches last March.

At the initial hearing on March 26, the West Arsi Zone Higher Court handed down four sentences – life in prison for three attackers, and a three-month suspended sentence for an accomplice – for the March 2 assault in south Ethiopia that killed one and injured 17. The victims’ families said they had been told the hearing would take place on April 25 and only learned of the sentencing after their right to appeal had expired.

“Usually, cases will take months and years to pass such a sentence, but this one was dramatically ended so fast and secretly,” said one observer in Addis Ababa.

Christians from Nensebo Chebi village, 240 miles south of Addis Ababa, overcame bureaucratic red-tape to appeal the verdict out of concern over the “secretive” way the case had been handled.

Of another 17 people initially arrested for the attack in the Muslim-majority area, six remain in prison while the rest have reportedly been set free. Local Christians said they have been refused information regarding whether these people will be tried.

Three local Muslim officials arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attack are now back in their government positions even as a separate investigation against them continues, local Christians said.

“The appeal’s objective is to get the attention of higher officials,” said the observer. “The church members are afraid that if it is not seriously handled, then in the near future it can be taken to a [local] government body to give parole or pardon for the [attackers].”

The court in Shashemene city handed life sentences to the three Muslims at the March 26 hearing for the attack in Nensebo Chebi. Gemeda Beriso, 20, Kedir Beriso, 20, and Keyrudin Muhammad, 19, were convicted of “deliberate brutal killing.”

Judges Ashenafi Tesfay, Haji Shalo and Bejiga Kefeni found a fourth Muslim man guilty of cooperating with the criminals. Hajji Kuma Ngero was given a suspended three-month jail sentence based on his need to remain free to care for his 12 children, the verdict noted. Ngero will only serve time if convicted of another crime within the next two years.

During the Sunday morning attack on March 2, men wielding knives and machetes simultaneously broke into two churches, half an hour’s walk apart from each other, and began hacking worshippers. One man died instantly from a machete blow to his neck while two others lost hands, and another 15 people sustained wounds on their necks, legs, arms, shoulders and backs.

The four men convicted of the crime reportedly confessed while in police custody to attacking the Kale Hiwot and Birhane Wongel Baptist churches. Survivors said that during the attack the assailants cried, “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “Allah is greater.”

Having only learned of the verdict on April 13, church leaders faced a number of irregularities in their attempts to appeal, local sources said.

The Christians immediately traveled to Shashemene, where court officials appeared unaware that a ruling had taken place. The court registrar, who typically files all court documents, did not have a copy of the verdict. It was eventually found in the hands of the state prosecutor.

“What we have seen in the court office tells us that there was a deliberate action to stop us from appealing and taking it to the highest level for better treatment,” a local Christian said.

The Christians also faced difficulties appealing the case to a higher court in Addis Ababa because the 15-day period for making an initial complaint had passed. But after citing extenuating circumstances, including the Christians having been unaware of the hearing and having been preoccupied with caring for the wounded, an Addis Ababa prosecutor accepted the appeal.

Official Involvement in Attack

Christian sources have named three local Muslim officials they believe instigated the attack.

Hussein Beriso, house speaker of the Nensebo District Council, forced church members at gunpoint to bury the murdered victim, Tula Mosisa, just hours after the attack, Christian sources from the area said. After Christian leaders protested, security forces exhumed the body and sent it to Awasa for an autopsy.

One of the many wounded
Local Christians have also accused Beriso of buying and distributing machetes for men involved in the church attacks. They said that Beriso had made public comments against Christians in February, warning the village’s Muslims to resist any attempts to convince them to leave Islam.

Located in the predominantly Muslim Oromiya state, both Baptist churches have members who converted from Islam to Christianity.

Christian sources also named Nensebo district militia leaders Zerihun Tilahun and Sheik Kedir as having instigated the violence.

A Christian district politician who attempted to expose the role of these three men in the attacks has been removed from his position, a local source said. Getahun Bekele, Nensebo district deputy administrator, was fired in May ostensibly for being unable to “mobilize the public for development endeavors,” the source said. But Christians suspect the real motivation for his dismissal was his attempt to report Hussein Beriso’s involvement in the church attack to his superiors.

“In the meeting he exposed his colleagues for their failure to fulfill their duties to prevent the March 2 incident,” one Christian said. “We feel [he] is deposed just because he spoke in favor of us.”

Federal Police spokesman Cmdr. Demsash Hailu declined to comment regarding the investigation against the three local officials suspected of involvement in the attack.
END

June 10, 2008

Holy Synod Held Fruitful Meeting

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Holy Synod held a fruitful meeting this month in Addis Ababa. According to Deje Selam sources, unlike the ususal Synod meetings, members raised important issues of general Church activities. Patriarch Abune Paulos was stunned by the reaction he gets especially from new bishops whom he thinks are his confidant.


Our sources also disclosed that Synod members opposed Patriarch's limitless power, the rampant corruption his family members commit at different levels, and requested investigation into the matter.

It is known that His Holiness Abune Paulos assigns corrupted relatives and friends in different Church positions. The corruption level is never seen in the history of the Church. Whereas monasteries, traditional schools and their Liqawenat are in serious financial crisis. Most of them are at the verge of stopping services. God willing, we will deal with the meetings' decision soon.

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የአቡነ ጳውሎስ "ሐውልተ ስምዕ"

ነጻ ፓትርያርክ ምርጫ ቢሆን ኖሮ ማንን ይመርጡ ነበር? እንበልና ሁሉም ነገር ሥርዓቱን ጠብቆ የተከናወነ የእጩዎች ምርጫ ቢሆን ኖሮ፣ አሁን የምናነሣቸው ጉድለቶች ባይኖሩ ኖሮ፣ 6ኛው ፓትርያርክ እንዲሆን የምትመርጡት ማንን ነበር? (ማሳሰቢያ፦ አሁን ያለው ክፍፍል እና የመንግሥት ተጽዕኖ ባይኖር ኖሮ ተብሎ የሚመለስ ጥያቄ ነው። የምን “ባይኖር ኖሮ ነው” የሚል አስተያየት ካለዎትም እናከብራለን።)