March 31, 2009

The monastic community of Ethiopia

(By Robert Van de Weyer)
The following is a description of the life of the Ethiopian monastic community (nefru gedam), based on visits to 18 major monasteries and lengthy interviews with the monks. It is remarkable that from one end of Ethiopia to the other the life of the monasteries is essentially the same, varying only in degrees of strictness. It is possible therefore to typify that life.

Fortunately monasticism also spread southwards to the Land of Sheba. Ethiopians coming to be ordained by the Coptic Patriarch would often stop at the desert monasteries on their way to Alexandria, and on their return imitated what they had seen. Over the centuries the monks of Ethiopia have jealously guarded the primitive traditions, and they claim that even today their monastic communities are identical to those of the early desert fathers.

The Monastic Village

Like the first convents of Egypt the monasteries of Ethiopia are built like ordinary villages, using the same materials as the poor people. In Eritrea and Tigre it is rough, dry stone, and in the southern provinces mud and eucalyptus. Most have between 50 and a 100 monks, usually with about half as many boys studying in the monastery school. Each monk has his own hut, perhaps eight or 10 feet square, in which he has a skin to sleep on, a drinking gourd, a bowl for food and a prayer book. An older monk may have a few luxuries such as a metal bed and a torch. The students, on the other hand, have no privacy, three or four sharing one hut, and are allowed no extra possessions. There is a common kitchen where the food is cooked over an open fire, a granary and an assembly hall. Dominating the whole is the church, and this alone is built in expensive materials, such as cut stone and mortar or, in modern times, brick and concrete. Next to it is the sacristy where the vestments and sacred objects are kept.

The monasteries are mostly situated on mountains or cliffs since many of the founders were hermits living in mountain caves, and the original communities grew up around them. Debre Libanos of Ham, for example, is on a narrow ledge in a sheer rock face where Abba Libanos used to meditate in the fifth century; monks and visitors climb down to it by the hand and foot holes which Libanos's disciples are said to have cut into the cliff. Debre Damo and Debre Salam are both reached by rope up a perpendicular wail of rock, and legends abound on how their founders made the first ascent. Some monasteries are at the bottom of a steep valley or ravine, such as Gunda-Gundet which takes five hours to reach from where it is first visible from above. Few are easily accessible.


The center of the monks' life is prayer. The monks rise on most mornings at around four o'clock and assemble in the church to chant the morning office (Sa'atat) which last about two hours. On Sundays and major feast days they start the office at midnight and then perform the Mass (Kiddase), finishing at dawn. Unlike the large secular churches few monasteries have trained singers and the monks do not dance as the secular priests do. Some of the more ascetical monasteries do not even chant the office and the Mass, but prefer simply to say them. In mid-afternoon the monks gather once again, usually in the assembly hall, for a short office of about 15 minutes. Apart from these common prayers the monk is expected to pray frequently in private. Each monk is free to choose his own method of private prayer, though certain ways are common. Many retire to their huts every one or two hours and say the Lord's Prayer and the Canticle of St. Mary. Others repeat " Jesus Christ, please save me " or " Through Blessed Mary, have mercy on me " 41 times. Most monks also spend long hours at night in silent contemplation.


The monasteries all own sufficient land for the monks, needs. Although manual work is not considered essential in the monk's life, as it is in the contemplative communities of Europe, the stricter monasteries such as Debre Libanos of Ham and Waldebba regard it as important that the members plough the land themselves. At harvest time all able-bodied monks and students are working in the fields, and only the old and lame remain behind. However in most monasteries a proportion of the land is rented to peasant farmers in return for a share of the crop. At Abba Gerema, where almost all the land is rented out, the monks explain that at the foundation of their monastery in the sixth century the Emperor dispossessed all the peasants living nearby to give their land to the monks; since the peasants then starved the monks in their mercy gave back the land in return for a third of the crop, an arrangement persisting to this day. The domestic work - cooking, cleaning, carrying water and the like - is mostly done by the students. Nevertheless some monks want a daily occupation and volunteer to do some particular chore: at Sequar, for example, two venerable monks have been the wood­cutters for the past half century and, as one of them said, death alone will make him lay down his axe.
Almost all monasteries trade with the local people, and every week on market-day a group of monks go to the nearest town with mules carrying produce from the monastery lands. In exchange they buy soap and candles and any other small luxuries. Some monasteries purposely grow fruit and vegetables which they never eat themselves to sell at the market; at one community they even grow cha'at, a drug forbidden to Christians, for the local Muslim population, and they have become so proficient that their cha'at is reckoned the best in the province. Most monasteries, however, simply sell their surplus grain. Apart from the obligations of prayer and work, the monk is free to use his time as he thinks fit. The monks spend many of their leisure hours chatting with each other, and it is not uncommon to hear a heated discussion coming from one of the huts. On Sundays and feast days many visit nearby villages, and they are invited into the peasants' homes to drink barley beer (talla). Some go regularly to teach in the village schools: even today most children are educated by the clergy, and monks are usually preferred as teachers to secular priests. For spiritual guidance also people prefer to come to a monk since he can listen to their problems with detachment. Once a year on the feast of the founder the village people are invited to the monastery, and the monks entertain them with bread and beer.


In contrast to the Western monastery where the monks always eat in common, in Ethiopia they eat separately. After mid-afternoon prayers in the assembly hall the daily food is brought from the kitchens by students and distributed. The monks take it to their huts and eat it as and when they please. The food is generally bread and boiled beans, with a cup of barley beer or, for sick monks, a cup of milk. In stricter monasteries the bread and beans are served on alternate days. A few monasteries, such as Assabot and Zuquala, allow the monks to grow their own vegetables near their huts which they can cook themselves to supplement the diet. The monks keep all the normal fasts of the Church, and add many private fasts of their own. On major festivals the monks have stewed meat, and on these occasions they eat together in the assembly hall. The students receive the same food as the monks, though occasionally an older monk or one undergoing a private fast may give some of his food to a favourite boy.

Old Age and Death

As in every other part of the world, be it Buddhist, Christian or whatever, Ethiopian monks have a reputation for longevity. Yet in most monasteries no special provision is made for the decrepit and helpless old monk; his food is brought to him each day in his hut where he lies waiting for death. A few monasteries, however, have an infirmary. At Dalshiha, for instance, they have a long hut with bamboo beds on either side: the old monks chat to each other, those still able to see read the prayers and psalms for those who cannot, and students are always on hand to serve them. In Debre Libanos of Shoa old monks are taken to a nunnery two kilometres away where the nuns look after them. The normal funeral service for a monk is the same as for an ordinary lay person. A few monasteries, however, such as Abrentant profess such contempt for the human body that the monk is buried without ceremony.

Abbe Minet

The Chief Monk Each monastery is entirely independent in administration, both of other monasteries and of the local bishop. The head of the monastery in all temporal matters is the Abbe Minet. He does not directly order the monks as the abbot in the West does, but he appoints three senior officers to govern each area of the community's life (see next section). In most monasteries the Abbe Minet makes these appointments alone, but in some he calls a meeting of all the monks to hear their views. For example at Enda Abuna Booroch after the harvest the monks meet to review the work of the previous year, and if necessary to advise on the replacement of senior officers. Sometimes an officer asks to be dismissed, and it is not uncommon for a newly-appointed officer to have disappeared by next morning.

The main job of the Abbe Minet is not in the monastery at all, but is as ambassador to the outside world. He usually has a house in the nearest large town where he spends most of his time, dealing with disputes over monastic lands - in a country where the monasteries are major landowners the Abbe Minet can be no stranger to the law courts - and employing men to ensure that the tenants pay a fair share of the crop. He also has much influence in local church affairs. In Eritrea, for instance, the bishop calls a council one or two times a year of the Abbe Minets of the 18 major monasteries to discuss major decisions of policy in the diocese.

The Abbe Minet is elected by the monks of his monastery for life or until he desires to leave the post. On the whole he is an untypical monk since he is chosen for his worldly wisdom, and many are quite young, some apparently in their early thirties. There is no special ceremony for the installation of a new Abbe Minet, but prayers for his guidance are added to the morning office, and at midday there is a feast in his honour. Occasionally an Abbe Minet is promoted to the episcopate, but more often he retires to pass his declining years as an ordinary monk.

Senior Officers

The Abbe Minet's deputy is the Afe Memhir, and he has charge of the monastery when the Abbe Minet is away. The Afe Memhir keeps the general discipline of the community, and he has the authority to judge and to punish. Students who fight or who are insolent or disobedient, the Afr Memhir orders to be beaten, appointing a junior monk to administer the punishment. This happens quite frequently, and no shame attaches to the offending student. Monks, on the other hand, he rarely needs to punish, and it is considered a terrible disgrace. For such offences as persistent disobedience or physical violence the Afe Memhir sentences the monk to be put in the stocks: the offender's legs are put through two holes in a rough log, his feet are tied together, and he sits on a flat stone. For extreme crimes, particularly any kind of sexual immorality, the monk is expelled.

As far as the ordinary monks and students are concerned, the most important officer is the Magabi. He governs the whole livelihood of the community and assigns each person to his task. He decides when the seed should be sown and the grain harvested, and he ensures that the food is distributed fairly each afternoon. He does not have his own hut, but generally sleeps in the granary to guard against thieves. Above the granary door at Enda Bona hangs a fading sign, supposedly inscribed 700 years ago by the monastery's founder, which reads: " No one may enter without the Magabi's permission." The Magabi's job is so hard that, although only young and able-bodied men are chosen, after two or throe years he usually retires and a replacement is found. The church and sacristy tire maintained by the Gabaz. Apart from students who clean the buildings, the Gabaz has under his direct charge an Ackabeit who guards the sacristy, sleeping there at night, and a bell-ringer who calls the monks to prayers. In large monasteries, such as Debre Bizen and Debre Libanos of Shoa, the Abbe Minet also appoints two or three older monks as advisers. They have no authority of their own, but they often accompany the Abbe Minet to meetings in town, and help to keep him informed of events within the monastery. Most monasteries, however, are sufficiently small and intimate to make such advisers unnecessary.

Komas - The Spiritual Father

The spiritual head of the monastery is the Komas. He is appointed by the bishop as his representative, and is often an older monk known for his exceptional sanctity. He does not guide the individual monk's inner life, as the Spiritual Director in the West does, but he gives advice when it is asked for, arbitrating in any conflicts in the community. As one monk described it: " While the Afe Memhir punishes by the rod, the Komas punishes by prayer." Large monasteries may have more than one Komas, and new bishops are appointed from the Komases.

The School

The monastery school is intended to prepare the students for ordination, either as secular priests or as monks, and its syllabus is the same as that of the normal seminary attached to a large church. The type of student, however, is quite different. The pupils of the normal seminary are mostly the sons of priests, and boys who have no relatives in the priesthood are often refused entry or charged a large fee. The monastery schools, on the other hand, are bound by tradition to welcome all comers. No fee is charged and the students are given free food and lodging, since the menial work they do is considered sufficient payment. Thus most of the monastery students are from peasant families. In many cases they come from villages hundreds of miles away to avoid parental opposition, since by entering the monastery they are depriving their families of their labour.

Two or three of the most learned monks are appointed by the Abbe Minet as teachers. During the day when they have finished their chores the students are taught to read Geez and to memorize large portions of the religious books. Their raucous voices reciting in unison what they have just learnt frequently breaks the calm of the monastery. After dark they learn the liturgical chants. The school has no classroom, but generally there is a small courtyard where the students squat on the ground while the teacher sits on a low stool in their midst.

Over half the students drop out after one or two years and return to their villages. After about three years the promising student is sent to the local bishop to be ordained deacon which allows him to assist at the Mass. After several more years when they consider him fit the senior monks give the student a test of his reading ability and his knowledge of the holy books. A failed student can re-take the test indefinitely, and almost everyone passes eventually. The majority then want to become secular priests, and so they go to serve as deacons in a village church for a year or two before being ordained into the priesthood by the local bishop. A minority decide to become monks.


Most of those who profess as monks are graduates from the monastery school. The rest are widowers with no family ties; of these most are laymen with little or no education, though a few are secular priests or lay scholars. The intending monk firstly has a long interview with the Abbe Minet. The Abbe Minet does all he can to discourage him from his vocation, explaining the rigours of the monastery compared to life in the world. At the end of the interview the Abbe Minet asks: "Are you prepared to serve God as a monk, according to the ancient traditions governing the monk's conduct?" The candidate simply replies: " Yes, I am."

The ceremony of profession is held a few weeks later in the church, usually on a feast day. Traditionally the candidate is wrapped in palm leaves, the funeral dress of the poor, and the monks sing the funeral requiem to signify his death to the world. He then rises up and the Komas places on his head a cotton cap (kob) which he must always wear in future as the sign of his profession, and gives him a new name. For the next 40 days the new monk often chooses to confine himself to his hut, in imitation of Christ in the wilderness, to prepare for his future life.

About a year after profession the young monk who previously graduated from the monastery school goes to the local bishop to be ordained priest. The uneducated widower, however, is considered unfit for ordination.


The monks do not have a reputation for scholarship, and few receive a higher education. Rather it is the lay scholars (debteras) who devote themselves to study. The monks, however, have traditionally patronised the lay scholars, inviting distinguished teachers and their students to live at the monasteries and giving them food and lodging. With the general decline in recent decades in the higher learning of the Church this patronage is becoming less common, though still in the large monasteries such as Debre Libanos of Shoa lay teachers and students live side by side with the monks.

Many monasteries, however, retain great numbers of manuscripts which were mostly donated by kings and noblemen in the past for the use of the lay scholars. Some libraries, such as those at Waldebba and Gunda-Gundet, remain justly famous for their collections of rare works. The manuscripts are generally kept in the sacristy, and though so few monks can appreciate them, they are greatly treasured.

Leaving the Monastery

The majority of monks spend their whole lives in the community where they professed. Nevertheless a monk is free to leave his community at any time, and he will be welcomed at any monastery in the country. The small number of monks who desire a higher education leave in search of a suitable teacher unless there is already one in their monastery. Generally they do not return, but either settle permanently where they find a teacher, or become perpetual wandering scholars moving from one teacher to another. A few leave to seek a more or less strict life than that of their present community. At Abrentant, for example, which is reputed to be one of the most ascetical monasteries in the country, hundreds of monks come each year to try the life, though few stay. Abba Gerema, on the other hand, where the monks do no manual work has a number of monks from other monasteries who have come to enjoy a more leisured life. A sick monk may move to a monastery with a healthier climate, as did one of the present teachers at Enda Sellassie in Adua who came to escape the heat of Hallelu, his original monastery. Occasionally a monk leaves because of a bitter feud with another monk.


Though it has long since disappeared in the West, the eremitical life is still widespread in Ethiopia. The cenobitical monks and indeed the ordinary people regard the hermitage as Man's highest abode on earth, and often monks seem fearful at the possibility of God calling them to it. In almost every monastery there are a number of monks - perhaps one tenth of the total-who confine themselves to their cells. They are described as " the monks who never see the sun." They have no responsibilities within the community and do not attend the daily common prayers. Food is brought to their huts each day by a single monk permanently designated to the task, and the hermit only emerges for the Mass in church on Sundays and feast days. Usually their cells are within the monastery compound, though sometimes they are a short distance away: at Debre Damo, for instance, hermits can be seen in apparently inaccessible caves in the sheer cliff beneath the monastery. Other monks or lay people can visit them (if they can reach their cell), and even today many of the rulers of Ethiopia, including the Emperor himself, frequently seek the advice of these hermits on both spiritual and temporal matters.

Besides these monastic hermits, there are countless holy men (ba'atawi) living in remote forests and caves throughout Ethiopia. These men have totally rejected human contact, and if they ever visit a church they "come by night, crawling through the undergrowth so as not to be seen." as an admiring priest described it. They live only on the wild fruits and herbs which Nature provides. A few of these holy men are ordained monks who have left their communities, but mostly they are lay people - as another monk put it, " God has called them to holiness from nothing, as Christ called Peter and Paul."


The Benedictine monastery of Europe, in the words of the founder, is" a school of perfection": the monk's daily life is a continuous lesson within a rigidly ordered institution, prescribed in detail in a written rule. By the same analogy the Ethiopian monastery is a university: each monk studies perfection in his own way within a loosely-knit community, governed by traditional rules and customs. Ethiopian monasticism has retained the flexibility and freedom of the first desert convents of Egypt. The monk is within broad limits his own master, both spiritually and physically. He can participate in the community life as much or as little as he chooses, from being a hard worker who enjoys the company of his fellows in his leisure hours, to being a hermit.
St. Benedict in the sixth century purposely moved away from this kind of monasticism, but in recent years the pendulum has begun to swing back in the West. The Western monks may now be reverting to the primitive traditions which Ethiopia has preserved for 15 centuries. (The research on which this article is based was done jointly by the author, his wife Sarah, Father Thomas Conway and Miss Jocelyn Grigg).

March 29, 2009

የመንግሥት ኃላፊዎችና ሠራተኞች የሃይማኖት ግጭትን በማባባስ ረገድ ሚና ነበራቸው

በሃይማኖታዊ ወገናዊነት” ኢሕአዴግ የመንግሥት ባለሥልጣናትን ወቀሰ
Sunday, 29 March 2009
ኢሕአዴግ አንዳንድ የመንግሥት ኃላፊነዎችና ሠራተኞች የሃይማኖት ግጭትን በማባባስ ረገድ ሚና እንደበራቸው ይፋ አደረገ፡፡

የኢሕአዴግ ልሣን የሆነው አዲስ ራዕይ መፅሔት በየካቲት ወር ዕትሙ “ሃይማኖትን እንደሽፋን . . . የከሠሩ ፖለቲከኞች የወቅቱ ስልት” በሚል ርዕስ በወጣው ፅሁፍ ላይ እንደተመለከተው “ከሃይማኖት ተፅእኖ ነፃ መሆን ያለበትን መንግሥት የሃይማኖት መሳሪያ ለማድረግ በሚካሄደው ጥረት ሠለባ የሆኑ የመንግሥት አካላት መኖር ነው፡፡ አልፎ አልፎ እንደሚታየው በተለያዩ ደረጃዎች የሚገኙ አንዳንድ የመንግሥት ኃላፊነች በግላዊ እምነታቸውና በመንግሥት ኃላፊነታቸው መካከል ልዩነት ማድረግ ሲሳናቸው ይታያል” ይላል፡፡

“ሃይማኖት መንግሥታዊ አገልግሎትን ለዜጐችና ለሕዝብ ለመስጠት መስፈርት ሆኖ እንዲያገለግል ማድረግ በሕግ የተከለከለና የማይገባ ነው” የሚለው ልሣኑ ይሁን እንጂ ቀላል ባልሆነ ደረጃ ሃይማኖታዊ አምልኳቸው በመንግሥታዊ አገልግሎት አሰጣጣቸው ላይ ጣልቃ የሚገባባቸው የመንግሥት ሠራተኞችና ኃላፊዎች እየተበራከቱ እንደመጡ ያስረዳል፡፡

“የኦርቶዶክስ አማኝ ከንቲባ ሲሆን ለኦርቶዶክስ መሬት እንደልብ የሚሰጥበት፤ የፕሮቴስታንት አማኝ ለፕሮቴስታንት፣ የእስልምና እምነት ተከታዩ ደግሞ ለሙስሊም ሃይማኖት መሬት ቅድሚያ የሚሰጥባቸው አካሄዶች በአንዳንድ አካባቢዎች በግልፅ የታዩበት ሁኔታ አጋጥሟል” የሚለው አዲስ ራዕይ በዕለት ተዕለት የአገልግሎት አሰጣጥም ላይ የሕዝብን ችግር ከመፍታት ይልቅ ሃይማኖታዊ ወገናዊነትን ታሳቢ ያደረጉ እንቅስቃሴዎች የሚያካሂዱ የመንግሥት ኃላፊዎችና ሰራተኞች መኖራቸውን ያስረዳል፡፡

በመንግሥት ኃላፊዎችና ሠራተኞች የሚደረገውንም ይህንን ዓይነት አሠራር “ፍትህ አልባነትን ከማስከተሉም በላይ የከሠሩ ፖለቲከኞች ሃይማኖትን ሽፋን በማድረግ ግጭት ለመቀስቀስ የሚያደርጉትን ጥረት የሚያግዝ፣ የችግሩንም ትክክለኛ አፈታት የሚያወሳስብ ሆኖ ይገኛል” ይለዋል፡፡ ችግሩን በአፋጣኝ ለመፍታት የመንግሥት አካላት ሁሉ ሥራቸውን በሕገ መንግሥቱ መሠረት ብቻ መፈፀማቸው ማረጋገጥ እንደሚያስፈልግ ገልጿል፡፡

March 28, 2009

ልብስ እና ምላስ

ከዚህ በታች የምታገኙት ፎቶ የተነሣ የጋዜጣ ቁራጭ የዲ/ን ዳንኤል ክብረት ጽሑፍ ነው። ጽሑፉ ከፍ ብሎ እንዲነበባችሁ ፎቶው ላይ ይጫኑ። እስቲ እናንብበው።
ቸር ወሬ ያሰማን


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March 24, 2009

Paltalk Jihad on Ethiopia

«ኃጢአት በንስሀ፣ እድፍ በውሃ»

ሩቢን አዘሃርዲን /ከሀላባ ቁሊቶ/
(ENA): ዕለቱ የበጋው ]ሐይ ገና ረፋዱ ላይ ግር ብላ የወጣችበት ነው፡፡ ብትወ ጣም ግን ብዙ መፋጀት አልጀመረችም፡፡ በዚህ የአየር ሁኔታ ውስጥ ነው እኔና ጓደኛዬ ሳምንት ሙሉ በሥራ የተጠመድንበትን አዕምሮአችንን ዘና ለማድረግ አላባ ደነቤ ፋማ ወደሚገኘው ሞቅ ያለ ካፌ ጎራ ያልነው፡፡ ካፌዋ በተለይ በዕረ ፍት ቀናት የሚያዘወትራት ስለሚበዛ መሟሟቋ አዲስ ነገር አይደለም፡፡ አጠገባችን የነበሩ ሰዎች መጀመሪያ ተራ ወሬ የሚያወሩ መስሎን ነበር፡፡ እያደር ግን ክርክርም ንትርክም የሚመስል ነገር ማድመጥ ጀመርን፡፡ የተነሳው መከራከሪያ ጉዳይ አንድ ሁለት እያለ ደርቶ እኛንም ተሳታፊ ያደርገን ጀመር፡፡ ሆኖም ጉዳዩ በተለይ ከሃይማኖት መቻቻል ጋር የተያ ያዘ ስለነበር እኔና ጓደኛዬ የተወሰኑ ሃሳቦች ከሰነዘርንና መሆን የሚገባውን ከተናገርን በኋላ ከውይይቱ መውጣትን መረጥን፡፡ ከውይይቱም ከካፌውም ከወጣንና ወደየቤታችን ከተበታተንን በኋላ ግን የተነሳው ርዕሰ ጉዳይ እያደር ውስጤን ስለከነከነው በጉዳዩ ዙሪያ ለምን የበኩሌን አልልም አልኩኝ፡፡ «የወለዱትን ሲስሙለት» ነውና እነሆ ታነቡት ዘንድ ጀባ ልበላችሁ፡፡

ባለንበት ነባራዊ ሁኔታ ሰላም በሀገራችን ልማትና ዴሞክራሲን እውን ለማ ድረግ በፍጹም አማራጭ የሌለው ጉዳይ እንደሆነ ይታወቃል፡፡ ሰላም ግን ስለ ተፈለገ ብቻ ሊረጋገጥ አይችልም ፡፡ ሰላም ሊረጋገጥ የሚችለው የግጭት ምንጭ ሊሆኑ የሚችሉ ነገሮችን በማስ ወገድ ብቻ ነው፡፡ ከዚህ አኳያ ሲታይ ሰላም ለዴሞክራሲና ለልማት ያስፈልጋል ብቻ ሳይሆን ለዴሞክራሲና ለልማት እውን መሆን ሰላም እጅግ መሠረታዊ ተፈላጊነት ያለው ምሰሶ ነው፡፡ አገራችን እንደ ሌሎች የአፍሪካ አገሮች ሁሉ በተደጋጋሚ ለውጭ ወራሪ ተጋልጣ በጦርነት ታምሳለች፡፡ ከዚህ አኳያ ኢትዮጵያውያን ከሌሎች አፍሪ ካውያን ወንድሞቻቸው የሚለያቸው ነገር ቢኖር በተለያዩ የታሪክ አጋጣሚዎችና ምክንያቶች ችግር ቢገጥማቸውም ነጻ ነታቸውን ጠብቀው ለመኖር መቻላ ቸው ነው፡፡ ዛሬም ቢሆን ኢትዮጵያም ሆነች ሌሎች የአፍሪካ አገሮች የውጭ ጥቃት ሰነዘርባቸው እንደሚችል ይገመታል፡፡ ዋናው የሰላም ጠንቅ ግን ከውጭ የሚ መጣ ወራሪ ብቻ አይደለም፡፡ አፍሪካን ከዳርእዳር እያመሰ ያለው ጉዳይ በአንድ ሀገር ህዝብ መካከል የሚፈጠር የእርስ በእርስ ግጭት ነው፡፡ ከውጭ ጥቃት ሊሰነዘርብን የሚ ችለው የውስጣችን ጥንካሬ ሲዳከም ብቻ ነው፡፡በኢትዮጵያ ብሔርብሔረሰቦችና ሃይማኖቶች መካከል በመፈቃቀር ላይ የተመሠረተውን ጠንካራ አንድነት ለማ ፍረስ የውጭ ጠላትና ጥገኛው፣ ሃይማኖቶችን በመከፋፈልና በማጋጨት ማዳ ከም ወይም መበተን እንችላለን ብለው ያምናሉ፡፡

ይሁንና የእምነት ነፃነትና የሃይ ማኖት እኩልነትን ያረጋገጠው ህገ መንግሥታችን ከ]ደቀ ወዲህ በሃይማኖቶች መካከል ያለው መከባበር ተጠናክሯል፡፡ ጥንትም ቢሆን በአገራችን የተለያዩ ሃይማ ኖቶች ለብዙ መቶ ዓመታት አብረው ኖረዋል ወደፊትም ይኖራሉ፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ የክርስትናም ሆነ የእስልምና ሃይማኖትን አስቀድማ የተቀበለች ነች፡፡ በዚሁ መሠ ረት የእስልምናም ሆነ የክርስትና ዕምነ ቶች በእኩል ደረጃ ተከባብረው በፍቅርና በመቻቻል፣ በዋናነት በሰላምና እንደ እምነቱ ባህሪ አንዱ የአንዱን አክብሮ እየኖሩ ናቸው፡፡ ሆኖም የግል የፖለቲካ ፍላጎት ያላ ቸው ኃይሎች የሃይማኖቶች ግጭቶችን ለማነሳሳት ይሞክራሉ- የፖለቲካ ትግላቸ ውን ዓላማ በሽፋን ለማራመድ፡፡ የሀገራ ችን ሃይማኖቶች ተቻችለውና ከዚያም አልፎ ተከባብረው የሚኖሩበት ሁኔታ ሥር እየሰደደ ነው፡፡ ሀገራችን እስልምናና ክርስትና ለመጀመሪያ ጊዜ አብረው የኖ ሩባት ሀገር በመሆኑዋ ለረዥም ጊዜ አብረው ከመኖራቸው ጋር በተያያዘ በተለ ይም በተራው አማኝ አካባቢ ሥር የሰደደ የሃይማኖት መቻቻልና የመከባበር ባህል አለ፡፡ ይህ ባህል እየተጠናከረ ከመሄድ ይልቅ እየተሸረሸረ የሚሄድበት ሁኔታ እንዲፈጠር የጥፋት ኃይሎች የማይፈ ነቅሉት ድንጋይ የለም፡፡

ይህ ክስተት መነሻው የግል ፍላጎትና በዋናነት በውጭ ተጽዕኖ የሚፈጠር ነው፡፡ አንዳንድ ትምክህተኞች የሁሉንም ሃይማኖት እኩልነት ለማረጋገጥ የሚወ ሰደውን እርምጃ የሌሎች ሃይማኖቶችን ተከታዮች መብትና ክብር የሚነካ አድ ርጎ በማቅረብ ለሌሎች ሃይማኖቶች ክብር ባለመስጠትና መቻቻልን በመቃወም አክራሪነት እንዲሰፍን ይሯሯጣሉ፡፡
በዚህ ዙሪያ ጥቅማቸው የተነካባቸው ያለፈው ሥርዓት ቅሪቶች በግንባር ቀደምትነት በመሰለፍ በአክራሪነት ዙሪያ የሕዝቡን ድጋፍ ለማግኘት ይሞክራሉ፡፡ በሌላ በኩል ደግሞ አንዳንዶቹ የሃይማ ኖት እኩልነት መከበር ማለት የሌሎች ሃይማኖቶችን ማንቋሸሽና መበተን፣ ክብራ ቸውን መንካት፣ በመተሳሰብ ሳይሆን በእ ልህ የሃይማኖት እምነትን የመግለጽ ጉዳይ አድርገው በመውሰድ በአክራሪነት የሕዝቡን ድጋፍ ለማግኘት ሲጣጣሩ ይታ ያሉ፡፡

በዚህ መልኩ የሚከሰተውን አክ ራሪነት በዋናነት አማንያንና የሃይማኖት መሪዎች ተገቢውን የማስተካከያ ትም ህርት ሰጥተው ድርሻቸውን በመወጣት ረገድ መታገል ይኖርባቸዋል፡፡ ለዚህም ነው ሃይማኖትን ሽፋን በማ ድረግ ግጭት የሚቀሰቅሱና ሁከትን የሚ ያነሳሱ ግለሰቦችም ሆኑ ቡድኖችን የሃ ይማኖት አባቶች፣ የየእምነቱ ተከታዮች እና ተቋማቱ ለሕግ አሳልፈው እንዲ ሰጡ የፌዴራል ጉዳዮች ሚኒስትር ዶክ ተር ሽፈራው ተክለማርያም ሰሞኑን ጥሪ ያቀረቡት፡፡ የአዲስ አበባ ከተማ አስተዳደር ከፕሮቴስታንትና ከካቶሊክ ዕምነት መሪዎች ጋር ሰሞኑን ሲወያይ ደግሞ የአዲስ አበባ ከተማ ከንቲባ የሕዝብ ግንኙነት አማካሪ አቶ ሬድዋን ሁሴንና የአስተዳደሩ ፍትህና ሕግ ጉዳዮች ቢሮ ኃላፊ አቶ ]ጋዬ ኃይለ ማርያም እንደተና ገሩት፤ ሃይማኖትን ሽፋን በማድረግ የሚፈጸሙ ሕገ ወጥ ድርጊቶችን መከ ላከል ከተቋማቱ ይጠበቃል፡፡
እምነትን ሰበብ በማድረግ የሚከ ሰቱትን ድርጊቶች ለመከላከልም የሁሉም የእምነት ተከታዮች ችግሩን ለመመከት የጋራ ግንዛቤ ይዘው ሊንቀሳቀሱ እንደ ሚገባም አስገንዝበዋል፡፡

ይህ ብቻ አይደለም በኢትዮጵያ ውያን መካከል ለዘመናት ጸንቶ የቆየው ነባር የመቻቻልና የመከባበር ባህል እንዲ ጎድፍ ሲንቀሳቀሱ የነበሩ ኃይሎች እኩይ ዓላማ በኅብረተሰቡ የተቀናጀ ጥረት መና መቅረቱን ከአዲስ አበባ ከተማ የእስልምና እምነት ተከታዮች የተውጣጡ የሃይማ ኖት አባቶችና የአዲስ አበባ ከተማ አስተ ዳደር በተወያዩበት ወቅት ገልጸዋል፡፡ በኢትዮጵያ በተለያዩ እምነት ተከታዮች መካከል ለዘመናት የነበረውን መቻቻል ለማደፍረስ የሚያሴሩ ኃይሎችን በጋራ መከላከል በሚቻልበት ጉዳይ ላይም መክረዋል፡፡

በውይይቱ የተሳተፉ አንዳንድ የሃ ይማኖት አባቶች ለዘመናት የኖረው አብሮ የመኖር ባህላችን ጠንካራና የማይናድ በመሆኑ በሃይማኖት ሽፋን ብጥብጥና ሁከት ለማነሳሳት የሚሞክሩ ኃይሎች ያሰቡትን የጥፋት ተልዕኮ ማክሸፍ መቻሉን ገልጸዋል፡፡
የሃይማኖት አባቶቹ እንዳሉት እስልምና የመቻቻልና የመደጋገፍ አስተምህሮት እንጂ ግጭትንና ትርምስን አይፈቅድም፡፡
እንዲያም ሆኖ በእስልምና ሃይማኖት ሽፋን ስም ችግር ለመፍጠር የሚ ንቀሳቀሱ ኃይሎችን ተከታትለው በማጋለጥ መንግሥት አስፈላጊውን የሕግ ማስከበር እርምጃ እንዲወስድ ድጋፍ እንደ ሚያደርጉም አረጋግጠዋል፡፡ ከንቲባ ኩማ ደመቅሳ ከአዲስ አበባ አገረ ስብከት ሊቀ ጳጳስ አቡነ ሳሙኤል ጋር በተወያዩበት ወቅት ደግሞ እንዳስታወቁት፤ ሃይማኖት የሰላምና የልማት ማራመጃ ሲሆን ከዚህ ውጪ የሚንቀ ሳቀሱ ኃይሎችን ሁሉም ኅብረተሰብ ሊከላከላቸው ይገባል፡፡
በሕገ መንግሥቱ የ]ደቀውን የሁ ሉም ሃይማኖቶች እኩልነት የማስጠበቅ ኃላፊነት የመንግሥት በመሆኑ ከእምነት ውጪ ሌሎች ዓላማዎችን ለማራመድ የሚጥሩ ኃይሎችን በትዕግስት አይመ ለከታቸውም፡፡

በመሆኑም ኅብረተሰቡና የሃይማኖት ተቋማት ለዘመናት የቆየው አብሮ የመ ኖር፣ የመከባበርና የመቻቻል ባህል
ተጠናክሮ እንዲቀጥል ተባብረው ሊሰሩ ይገባል ብለዋል ከንቲባ ኩማ፡፡ በኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን የአዲስ አበባ አገረ ስብከት ሊቀጳጳስ አቡነ ሳሙኤል በበኩላቸው እንዳሉት፤ ሕገ መንግሥቱ ለሁሉም ሃይ ማኖት የሰጠውን እኩልነት በመጠቀም የሌላውን መብት ሳይነኩ እምነትን ማራ መድ ይገባል፡፡ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር መለስ ዜናዊም የዕምነት ግጭቶችን መንግሥት ለመቆ ጣጠር የተለያዩ እርምጃዎችን መጀ መሩን ሰሞኑን ለ¬ርላማው ገልጸዋል፡፡ «አንዱ እርምጃ ግንዛቤ ማስረፅ ነው፡፡ ይህ ሥራ ተጠናክሮ የተወሰነ ርቀት ከሄደ በኋላ የሚነሱ ችግሮችን ለመፍታት ግን መንግሥት አስፈላጊውን እር ምጃ ይወስዳል፡፡ ሥራው በፖሊስ ብቻ የሚከናወን ባለመሆኑ ኅብረተሰቡ እነ ዚህን ኃይሎች አንቅሮ ሊተፋቸው፣ የሃይ ማኖት መሪዎችም ሊያስታግሷቸው ሲን ቀሳቀሱ ነው ውጤት የሚገኘው» ብለዋል፡፡

ከዚህ በላይ ያሉት ንግግሮች እንዲሁ የተደረጉ አይደሉም፡፡ መጀመሪያ ሕዝቡን ስለሁኔታው ማስረዳት፣ በሕዝቡ አማካይነት እነዚህን ኃይሎች መከላከል፣ ይህ ሁሉ ሆኖ እነዚህ ኃይሎች ማረፍ ካልቻሉ ሕግና ሥርዓትን ማስከበር አስፈላጊ መሆኑን የሚያሰምር ነው፡፡ የሕዝቡን ግንዛቤ የማዳበሩ ጉዳይ ደግሞ በየደ ረጃው ተጀምሯል፡፡ ተጠናክሮም ይቀጥላል፡፡
እዚህ ላይ በመደጋገም ሊሰ መርበት የሚገባው የሃይማኖት እኩልነት በጥብቅ ተግባራዊ መሆን መጀመሩ ሁሉም
ሕዝ ቦች በሰላምና በመፈቃቀር እንዲጠቀሙ የማድረግ እንጂ የማንንም እምነት ክብር የመቀነስ እንዳልሆነ በሁሉም ሃይማኖቶች ተከታዮች ዘንድ የመታወቁ ጉዳይ ነው፡፡

የተለያዩ አስተሳሰብ የሚያራምዱ ወገኖች ከጥቅማቸው በመነሳት ሃይማ ኖትን የጥገኛ ጥቅማቸው መሸፈኛ ለማድረግ የሚፈልጉ ኃይሎች እንደ ሆኑ ሕዝቡ ተገንዝቦ ሊታገላቸውም ይገባል፡፡ በተመሳሳይ መልኩ በሃይማኖት እኩልነት ረገድ የሚኖሩ ጉድለቶችን ለማስተካከል የሚደረገው ተገቢ ጥረት በእልህ ሳይሆን በመተሳሰብ በጥላቻ ሳይሆን በመቻቻልና በመከባበር ላይ የተመሠረተ መሆን ይኖርበታል፡፡ ከዚህ አኳያ እልህና ጥላቻ ለማስፋፋት የሚሞክሩ አክራሪዎችን አጀንዳቸው የእምነት ነጻነት የሃይማኖት እኩልነት ማረጋገጥ ሳይሆን በዚሁ ሽፋን ጥገኛ ጥቅማቸውን ለማሳደድ ነው፡፡ የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች ለዘመናት ያቆ ዩትን ተቻችሎና ተከባብሮ የመኖር አኩሪ ባህላቸውን በጽኑና ዘላቂ መሠረት ለማስቀጠል በጋራ ትግላቸው በተጎናጸፉት ድል ተጠቅመው ሕገ መንግሥታዊ ዋስትና እንዲያገኙ ማድረግ ችለዋል፡፡ ሕገ መንግሥቱ ባረጋገጠላቸው የሃይማኖት እኩልነትና ነጻነት ተጠቅመው የሁሉም ሃይማኖቶች ተከታዮች ልማታቸውን በማ ፋጠን የሀገራችንን ገጽታ በተሻለ ደረጃ ለመለወጥ ባደረጉት ጥረት ተስፋ ሰጪ ውጤቶችን በማስመዝገብ ላይ ይገኛሉ፡፡

እነዚህ ተስፋ ሰጪ ውጤቶች ተጠናክረውና ዳብረው እንዲቀጥሉ በሃይማኖቶች መካከል የቆየውና የኖረው የመቻቻል ባህል እንዲጠናከር ከምን ጊዜውም በላይ አማኒያንና የሃይማኖት መሪዎች በብቃት መታገልና መመከት አለባቸው፡፡ ከዚህ የዘለለ ነገር ሲያጋጥም ደግሞ መንግሥት ሕግ የማስከበር ኃላ ፊነቱን መወጣት ይጠበቅበታል፡፡ ኃጢ አት በንስሀ፣ እድፍ በውሃ እንዲሉ የጥፋት ኃይሎች፣ በሃይማኖት ሽፋን ትርምስ ለመፍጠር የምትንቀሳቀሱ ኃይሎች ከዚህ ተቻችሎ ከኖረ ሕዝብ እንዲሁም ሰላም፣ ዴሞክራሲና ልማት ለማራመድ በፅናት ከቆመ መንግሥት ጋር ከመጣላታችሁ በፊት ከድርጊታችሁ ሰብሰብ በሉ፣ ንስሃ ግቡ፣ በሰላምም ተንቀሳቀሱ ምክሬ ነው፡፡ ሰላም::

በሃይማኖት ሽፋን ግጭት የሚያነሳሱ ግለሰቦችን ለማጋለጥ እንደሚንቀሳቀሱ የዕምነት አባቶች ገለፁ

Monday, 23 March 2009
አዲስ አበባ፤መጋቢት14/2001/ዋኢማ/ሃይማኖትን ሽፋን በማድረግ ግጭት እንዲፈጠር የሚያደርጉ ግለሰቦችን በማጋለጥ ከመንግስት ጎን ሆነው እንደሚሰሩ የኮልፌ ቀራኒዮ ክፍለ ከተማ የተለያዩ የዕምነት አባቶች አስታወቁ።
በክፍለ ከተማው የሚገኙ የተለያዩ የዕምነት ተቋማት አባቶች ትናንት በክፍለ ከተማው ቀበሌ 01/05 የመሰብሰቢያ አዳራሽ ባካሄዱት ውይይት ላይ እንዳስታወቁት፤ ሐይማኖትን ሽፋን በማደረግ ዕኩይ ዓላማቸውን ለማሳካት የሚጥሩ ግለሰቦችን ነቅሶ ለማውጣት ይሰራሉ።
የአገር ቅርስ በሆኑ የሀይማኖት ተቋማት ላይ ጥፋት በሚያደርሱ ወንጀለኞች ላይ የሚጣልባቸው ቅጣት ቀላል መሆኑ ቀርቶ ሌሎችን በሚያስተምር መልኩ ሊሆን እንደሚገባውም ገልጸዋል።
ኢትዮጵያ የተለያዩ የዕምነት ተከታዮች ለዘመናት ተቻችለውና ተከባብረው የኖሩባትና የሚኖሩባት አገር መሆኗን ጠቁመው፤ በአሁኑ ወቅትም ህገ-መንግስቱ የዕምነት ዕኩልነትንና ነጻነትን በማረጋገጡ የተለያዩ የዕምነት ተከታዮች እምነታቸውን በነጻነት እያራመዱ ናቸው ብለዋል።
የኮልፌ ቀራኒዮ ክፍለ ከተማ ዋና ስራ አስፈጻሚ አቶ ሺሰማ ገብረስላሴ በውይይቱ ላይ እንደተናገሩት፤ በአገሪቱ ሀይማኖትን ሽፋን በማድረግ ድብቅ የፖለቲካ አጀንዳቸውን ለማስፈጸም የሚንቀሳቀሱ የጥፋት ሀይሎችን በጋራ በመመከት ለዘመናት የዘለቀውን ተቻችሎ የመኖር እሴት መጠበቅ ይገባል።
መንግስት የዕምነት ግጭት መንስኤ የሚሆኑ ድርጊቶችን በመለየት ከሀይማኖት ተቋማት ውጭ የሚካሄዱ አላስፈላጊ ቅስቀሳዎችን ለመቆጣጠር በሚያደርገው ጥረት ህብረተሰቡ ከመንግስት ጎን በመሆን አጥፊዎችን መንጥሮ ማውጣት እንደሚኖርበት አቶ ሺሰማ አሳስበዋል።
በውይይቱ ላይ ከተለያዩ የዕምነት ተቋማት የተወከሉ የሀይማኖት አባቶች፣ የተለያዩ ዕምነት ተከታዮችና የክፍለ ከተማው አስተዳደር ካቢኒዎች ተሳታፊ መሆናቸውን የኮልፌ ቀራኒዮ ክፍለ ከተማ ማስታወቂያ ፅህፈት ቤት የላከውን ዘገባ ጠቅሶ ዋልታ ኢንፎርሜሽን ማዕከል ዘግቧል።

Gospel singer creating waves

By arefe

Zerfe Kebede is creating waves in Ethiopia with her new gospel songs. The 25-year-old Orthodox Church singer has enjoyed unprecedented success, breaking through to mainstream audiences. Her debut album, “Ruhama,” is a massive hit in Addis and other major towns. It was reported that 5,000 original CDs and 30,000 cassettes were sold in less than three weeks. The album is literally being heard everywhere, in taxis, cafés, and restaurants. Her smooth, warm, expressive voice seems to strike the right chords as praise keeps on coming from the media. Unusual for a church singer, she has become a cover girl in many secular magazines.

The album’s 12 tracks, written by well-known names like Begashew Desalegn, Tizitaw Samuel, and Gashaye Melaku, contains messages of love, hope and worship, God’s grace, salvation, affirmation and similar themes. The lyrics are strongly influenced by the Bible, particularly the Old Testament and other books like Taemere Eyesus. Described as an uplifting and rousing work, the album blends traditional Orthodox Church vocal style and contemporary vocal styles, giving her music a richness and vitality that make the popularity of her album understandable.

Zerfe first came to attention singing decidedly secular songs. She grew up in Asab until the age of 13 and moved to Dessie with her parents when Ehio-Eritria war broke out. By her own admissions, she wasn’t a church going girl and only recalls singing and listening to music constantly during her childhood. As she grew into her teens, music remained at the center of her life. When Zerfe was 16, she was discovered by the Amhara Region Music Squad. “They put me in test with other competitors; I stood first from the all of Woldia zone and Wollo,” she recalls. There, she started practicing scales and vocalizing to develop her ranges.

In 2000, she joined the Police Music Squad in Bahr Dar and quickly started playing music with a band. Her big break came when she got a chance to perform with musical giants like Tilahun Gessesse, Mahamoud Ahmed and Bisatat Seyoum in a bazaar organized by the Amahra region in Bahr Dar town. After watching her play live, Bistaet was so impressed that she asked her to work in her night club in Addis. That excited and thrilled Zerfe.

She came to Addis and started working at Bestaets’ night club where she started to build up a loyal fan base. She was performing the recordings of the established singers, like Aster Aweke, Hamalmal Abate, Fikire Addis Neka Tibeb. She later managed to get a weekly gig at Crown and Global hotels. An occasion took her to Tanzania with Abate Mekuria studio.

Months later, she found herself in Dubai performing in hotels known as Sandris Inn and later in Ejiman Holiday Beach, where she has been making more lucrative gigs.

Today though Zerfe is thrilled to be singing about her Lord, often dresed in white netela,swaying to the pulsing beat of gospel music.She has been doing that since the past four years, giving up the world and committing herself to God. She told Royal magazine that, ‘I think God for finding me worthy to carry these messages. I’m elated I’m able to do this at this stage.” The songs bear witness to her own personal salvation.One talks about a soul searching wanderer in the desert of sin.

Zerfe’s songs revealed a spiritual voice fairly steeped in the secular style. Some complain that her songs sound “too secular”. Others praise her for getting the message of the Gospel to a wider audience with the voice the Lord has blessed her.”

Whatever the case, the public affection for her doesn’t seem to wane.

March 23, 2009

Who is Intolerant?

The following is a reader's comment posted under the picture-news "Ethiopian Muslims Demonstrate in DC". We wanted to put to our readers' attention in case you may overlook.
Cher Were Yaseman,
Negash Mulugeta has left a new comment on your post "Ethiopian Muslims Demonstrate in DC":

Shame, shame, shame! Shame on you, you Islamists! How could you! Ethiopia is the last place on earth to be accused of intolerance, not by the likes of you, not by anyone on this planet.

Is there any other faith on this world that speaks of in an irreverent or impious manner, by blaspheming the Almighty God, mocking sacred Christian teachings, than Islam? Isn't Islam telling the world for ages that our Lord Jesus Christ is not God but a mere Prophet, and that he has not died on the Cross? Isn't Islam teaching everybody that Christians are liars who have corrupted their Bible? Is there something more harmful, despicable and contemptible for Christians than this claim by Islam? Have you ever seen Christians protesting, not to mention killing, because of these words which are presented in a hateful and offending manner in the Quran?

You might believe that Jesus existed, but you don't believe He is the Son of God risen from the dead; the devil also believes that Jesus existed. Do you think that the devil is going to be in paradise because he believes in Jesus?

John 2:22 — Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist — he denies the Father and the Son.

Many million Ethiopian Christians were murdered by Muslims during the Ahmed Grange invasion. Muslims had collaborated with the fascist Italians to wage genocide against million Ethiopian Christians, against Christian fathers and mothers, you were capable of destroying many of their churches and books. Have you acknowledged that and apologized for this shameful barbaric act? No, you haven't, because you still are filled with hatred and antipathy towards Christian Ethiopia, and you will never sleep until you have seen this great nation destroyed.

Last week, Osama Bin-Laden has called Somalis to massacre Ethiopian infidels. Did you say something against it? Of course, not! Because that's your ultimate goal.

Ali Gom’a, the grand mufti of Egypt, the highest Muslim religious authority in the world, supports murdering non-Muslims. In the daily Al Ahram (April 7, 2008), he says, “Muslims must kill non-believers wherever they are unless they convert to Islam.” He also compares non-Muslims to apes and pigs, not only the Jews.

Did you protest against him? No! Because he is your brother, and you're taught from birth that you must support and fund your cleric and his causes. But, have you ever seen a Christian threatening to kill such preachers of hatred? No!

There are only two Kingdoms: The one is the kingdom of God on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ; and those who desire from their heart to be united with it...The other is the kingdom of Satan...those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law, and who have many aims of their own in contempt of God, and many aims also against God.

We will protect our sacred identity and heritage, country and nationhood by our divine spiritual power. There is absolutely nothing you could do against it. Ethiopians are very patient and quite, but the good ones will ultimately create a tsunami of public outrage. And I swear to Amlak that some of you will never set down your feet on the holy land of Ethiopia. I promise that to you!

Posted by Negash Mulugeta to DEJE SELAM ደጀ ሰላም at March 23, 2009

March 22, 2009

Ethiopia, an Astonishing Christianity on African Soil

By Sandro Magister
Chiesa (
An exhibition in Venice sheds light on a Church that is almost unknown in the rest of the world, and yet is numerous and flourishing, with extremely ancient origins and strong Jewish traits.
ROMA (Chiesa) - On the eve of Benedict XVI's trip to Cameroon and Angola, in Italy for the first time a major exhibition has been opened on another region of Christian Africa, Ethiopia, with icons, illustrated manuscripts, crosses, sculptures, paintings of evocative beauty, never before shown to the public.

The title of the exhibition is: "Nigra sum sed formosa," I am dark but lovely. These words from the Song of Songs are traditionally seen in reference to the queen of Sheba, the progenitor of Ethiopia in the national epic poem "Kebra Negast," the glory of kings.In the poem, which in part coincides with the biblical book of Kings, the queen of Sheba visits King Solomon in Jerusalem, and conceives a child with him. With her, Judaism set down roots in Ethiopia.

But the queen of Sheba also has a prominent place in Christian art and tradition. It is told how during her visit to Jerusalem, seized by prophetic intuition, she knelt in front of the wood of the bridge in the pool of Siloam, the wood destined one day to become the cross of Jesus.

The exhibition is being hosted in Venice, the city that especially in the 15th century had a close relationship with that faraway African kingdom.This nation and its Christianity are still remote today. Most people are unaware of them. Ethiopia is one of the very few countries in the world in which not even a traveling pope like John Paul II ever set foot.The exhibition therefore marks an end of isolation. Finally, attention is turning to this astonishing Christianity on African soil.

According to the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 8, the first pagan converted to the Christian faith was an Ethiopian follower of Judaism, a high official in the kingdom, baptized by the apostle Philip along the road between Jerusalem and Gaza.

In any case, Ethiopia was already Christian by the first half of the fourth century. Its closest connection was to Alexandria in Egypt, the patriarch of which appointed the metropolitan archbishop of the kingdom's capital. The two Churches, Coptic Egyptian and Ethiopian, have also been bound together since then by their Monophysite faith, which recognizes only the divine nature of Christ. They accept the first three councils, of Nicaea, Constantinople, and Ephesus, but not the Council of Chalcedon in 451, which established the doctrine of the two natures of Christ, divine and human. For this reason, the Coptic and Ethiopian churches are also called "pre-Chalcedonian."

The isolation of Christian Egypt was reinforced by the expansion of Islam, which surrounded the kingdom and repeatedly tried to conquer it, but was always pushed back by a tenacious resistance.The greatest danger came in the 16th century. Ethiopia asked for help from Portugal, which sent an armada and defeated the Muslims. At that time, an attempt was also made to bring the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia back into union with the Church of Rome. St. Ignatius of Loyola worked on it personally. Jesuit missionaries arrived in two waves. At the beginning of the 1700's, Ethiopian kings embraced Catholicism. But immediately afterward, this attempt at union foundered.

In the 20th century – after the bloody interlude of the Italian colonial war – efforts were made to reinvigorate the Ethiopian Church by the emperor at the time, Haile Selassié. Until then, the sole bishop of that Church had been appointed and sent by the Coptic patriarch of Alexandria in Egypt. Haile Selassié first obtained an autonomous ecclesiastical hierarchy, and then, in 1959, autonomy in appointing the metropolitan, who was elevated to the dignity of patriarch.

In 1974, the Marxist-Leninist regime of Colonel Menghistu seized power. Patriarch Teofilos was arrested and later strangled in prison. His successor, Paulos, was also imprisoned and tortured, for seven years, and then sent into exile in the United States. He returned to his country in 1992, after the fall of the Menghistu regime, and is still in office. In 1993, he met at the Vatican with Pope John Paul II, who offered him a church in Rome for the celebration of liturgies for Ethiopian rite immigrants.

Patriarch Paulos described the Church of Ethiopia in interview published in this year's January issue of the Italian monthly "Jesus":

"At the moment, we have more than 50,000 churches in the entire country. Our young people go to Mass regularly, with participation of about 70 percent; overall, therefore, considering the regularity with which the adult and elderly age groups attend the liturgy, we reach 80 percent participation at Mass each Sunday. But there is another aspect that I would like to highlight, and that is monastic life: more and more young people are asking to become monks. We have 1,200 monasteries in the whole country, and about 50,000 monks and nuns. Overall, we can say that we have 45 million faithful if we consider the many Ethiopian Christians living abroad, to whom we have dedicated 17 archbishops. Inside the country, there are 45 bishops. In short, we are very proud of our history and our presence."

To this it can be added that the clergy, who are extremely numerous, are for the most part married, but only before they are ordained, while the bishops are chosen from among the celibate monks. In the rural areas, the priests work as farmers, and are viewed favorably by the population. Many widowers and widows also retire to the the monasteries, groups of huts where an austere and penitential life is lived. The formation of the clergy is mostly limited to liturgical arts. The language of the sacred texts and rituals is ancient Ge'ez, but today Amharic is also used, the language of an ethnicity in the highlands north of the Blue Nile, the cradle of Ethiopian civilization.

The churches have a unique structure. The altar is inside a closed space called "the holy of holies," where only the priests (and, in the past, the kings) can enter. Around it is a circular area for the deacons and cantors, who belong to a lay confraternity. Then there is a space for the ordinary faithful, many of whom follow the ceremony outside of the church not only because of the crowd, but also because they are catechumens or penitents.

Ethiopian Christians always wear around their necks a cord called a "mateb," which they receive with baptism. Boys are circumcised eight days after birth, and presented at church forty days later, just as Jesus was. They enter church barefoot, as God ordered Moses from the burning bush. They do not eat unclean foods, such as pork, as prescribed by Leviticus. They claim to have the Ark of the Covenant and the Tablets of the Law, entrusted to them by King Solomon. In other words, they have preserved some features of Judaism.

Almsgiving and help for the poor are widely practiced.The same is true of fasting from meat and dairy products, which is observed about 180 days per year. There are frequent pilgrimages to shrines, especially in Axum, the historical and religious capital, and to Lalibelà, with its ten churches carved into the rock in the 12th century, symbolically representing the topography of Jerusalem.

The calendar is of twelve months with thirtty days each, plus a thirteenth month of five days, or, every four years, six days. The leap year is called the year of Luke, while the other three years take their names from the other three evangelists, in the order John, Matthew, and Mark. The rhythm of life is heavily influenced by the liturgical seasons. Christmas corresponds to January 7 for us. Lent lasts seven weeks, and each Sunday takes its name from its respective gospel passage: of the Sabbath, of the Temple, of the Paralytic, of the Mount of Olives, of the Good Servant, of Nicodemus.

Ethiopian sacred art also has original features. And all it takes to enjoy its extraordinary beauty is to go to Venice, to the magnificent exhibition "Nigra sum sed formosa".

March 21, 2009

Ethiopian Muslims Demonstrate in DC

The much awaited March 20/2009 demonstration by the Ethiopian Muslims was staged infront of the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington DC. 200 demonstrators came to the embassy to ask for justice about the Orthodox Christians whom they alleged insult Islam and Muhammed.

The delegates reported talking to ambassador Samuel Assefa and staff in delivering their plea to the premier.

March 20, 2009

ከሃይማኖት አባቶች ጋር የተደረገው ተከታታይ የምክክር መድረክ ውጤታማ እንደነበር ተጠቆመ

ሰሞኑን በተከታታይ ከሃይማኖት አባቶች ጋር የተደረገው የምክክር መድረክ ውጤታማ እንደነበር የፌዴራል ጉዳዮች ሚኒስቴር አስታ ወቀ፡፡ በቀጣይም ከተለያዩ የኅብረተሰብ ክፍሎች ጋር ውይይት ይደረጋል፡፡ የፌዴራል ጉዳዮች ሚኒስትር ዶክተር ሽፈራው ተክለማርያም ሰሞኑን ከተለያዩ የሃይማኖት አባቶች ጋር የተካሄደውን የምክክር መድረክ በተመለከተ ትናንት ለጋዜጠኞች በሰ ጡት ማብራሪያ እንደገለጹት፤ ከሃይ ማኖት አባቶች ጋር የተካሄደው ውይይት አበረታች ውጤት የታየበት እንደነበር አስታውቀዋል፡፡
ሚኒስቴሩ ሁሉም የሃይማኖት አባ ቶች በተነሱት የመወያያ ርዕሰ ጉዳዮች ላይ ተመሳሳይ አቋም ማሳየታቸውም የውይይቱን ውጤታማነት ያሳያል ብለ ዋል፡፡
በውይይት መድረኩ የተካፈሉት የሃይማኖት አባቶች በተነሱት ርዕሰ ጉዳዮች ዙሪያ ተመሳሳይ አቋም መያዛቸው ለወደፊት ለሚደረገው ቀጣይ መድ ረክ ትልቅ መነሳሳትን ፈጥሯል ያሉት ሚኒስትሩ፤ በውይይቱ ችግሮችን በመለየትና መፍትሔ በማፈላለጉ ዙሪያ የጋራ መግባባት ላይ መደረሱን አመልክተዋል፡፡
የተለያዩ የሃይማኖት ተቋማትን ወክለው በውይይቱ ላይ የተሳተፉት የሃይማኖት አባቶች በሃይማኖት ሽፋን የሚካሄደውን የፅንፈኞች እንቅስቃሴ በመከላከል ረገድ የሃይማኖት አባቶች ከመንግሥት ጋር አብሮ ለመሥራት ያላቸውን ሙሉ ዕምነት ፈቃደኝነት ማሳየታቸውን ሚኒስትሩ ግልጽ አድርገዋል፡፡
ከሃይማኖት አባቶች ጋር በተደረገው ውይይት የተነሱትን ችግሮች በሙሉ ለመቅረፍ የመፍትሔ ርምጃዎችን ተግባራዊ ለማድረግ ተቋማዊ የሆነ የሰላምና የመቻቻል ኮሚቴ በራሳቸው በተቋማቱ ውስጥ መዘርጋት አስፈላጊ ሆኖ መገኘቱን አመልክተዋል፡፡ ሚኒስትሩ አያይዘውም በግል የሚፈጠረውን ተቋማዊ አሠራር በመጠቀም የጋራ የሆነ ኮሚቴ ማዋቀር ይቻላል ብለዋል፡፡
የሃይማኖት ተቋማቱ የሚፈጥሩት የሰላምና የመቻቻል ኮሚቴ ኃላፊነት በዋነኛነት በተቋማቱ ውስጥ የተመረጡ ሥራዎችን የማቀድና የመፈጸም፣ የሕግ የበላይነት የማስከበር፣ ሃይማኖቱና አባቶቹ የማይፈቅዱትን ተግባር በግልና በቡድን ለማስፈጸም የሚደረግ እንቅስቃሴን የሚቃወም ብቁ ዜጋ የመፍጠርና መንግሥትና የሃይማኖት አባቶች በተስማሙባቸው ነጥቦች ዙሪያ መሥራትን እንደሚያካትት ዶክተር ሽፈራው አስታውቀዋል፡፡
መንግሥት ከሃይማኖት አባቶች ጋር ያደረገውን ውይይት ከተለያዩ የኅብረተሰብ ክፍሎች ጋር ለመቀጠል ማሰቡንም ዶክተር ሽፈራው አስታውቀዋል፡፡
እስከአሁን ያሉ የተናጠል መድረክ ወደጋራ መድረኮች ይቀየራል ያሉት ሚኒስትሩ፤ በዚህ መድረክ የሚነሱና የጋራ መግባባት የሚደረስባቸው ጉዳዮችን በመያዝ ከወጣቶች፣ ከምሁራን፣ ከታዋቂ ግለሰቦችና ከሽማግሌዎት ጋር ምክክር እንደሚካሄድም ሚኒስትሩ አስረድተዋል፡፡
ከአነዚህ የተለያዩ የኅብረሰተብ ክፍሎች ጋር የሚካሄደው የምክክር መድረክ ላይ የሚነሱና የጋራ መግባባት የሚደረስባቸውን ጉዳዮች በመያዝ በቀጣይም ሀገራዊ ኮንፈረንስ እንደሚዘጋጅ አስታውቀዋል፡፡
ሀገራዊ ኮንፈረንስ ከማካሄድ ጐን ለጐን የሃይማኖት አባቶች የጋራ መግባባት በተደረሰባቸው ነጥቦች ዙሪያ የሚጠበቅባቸው ሥራ መኖሩን ዶክተር ሽፈራው ጠቁመው፤ ከዚህ አንፃር የሃይማኖት አባቶች ተከታዮቻቸውን የማብቃት ሥራ ሊሠሩ፣ ከአቅም በላይ የሆነ ጉደዮች ሲያጋጥምም ከመንግሥት ጋር አብሮ የመሥራት ዝንባሌን ሊያሳዩ ይገባል ብለዋል፡፡
አሁን ባለንበት ሁኔታ በኢትዮጵያ በምንም ዓይነት መንገድ ለአክራሪነትም ይሁን ለፅንፈኝነት መነሻ ሊሆን የሚችል አንዳችም ነገር አለመኖሩን ሚኒስትሩ አመልክተዋል፡፡ የአገሪቱ ሕገ መንግሥት በግልጽ ያስቀመጠውን ጉዳይ ባለመረዳት ፅንፈኞች የሚያካሂዱት አንቅስቃሴ ፈጽሞ የተሳሳተ መሆኑን አስታውቀዋል፡፡ የዚህ አጀንዳ አራማጆች ከስህተታቸው ታርመው ሃይማኖች አባቶቻቸው ጋር ቀርበው ሊመካከሩና ለጥቃቄዎቻቸው መልስ ሊያገኙ እንደሚችሉም አስረድተዋል፡፡
በዚህ ከመንግሥት ተወካዮች ጋር ለአራት ቀናት በተካሄደው ተከታታይ የምክክር መድረክ የካቶሊክ፣ የፕሮቴስታንት፣ የኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ሃይማኖት አባቶች ተካፍለዋል፡፡ ውይይቱም ግልጽነትና መግባባት የሰፈነበት እንደነበር ለማወቅ ተችሏል፡፡

መንግስት ሁከት ለመፍጠር የሚንቀሰቀሱ ግለሰቦችን ለመከላከል ከዕምነት ተቋማት ጋር ይሰራል

አዲስ አበባ መጋቢት 10/2001/ዋኢማ/ መንግስት የኃይማኖት ተቋማትን ተገን አደርገው ሁከትን በመፍጠር የህብረተሰቡን ደህንነትና ሰላም ለማደፍረስ የሚንቀሳቀሱ ግለሰቦችን ለመከላከል ከተለያዩ የዕምነት ተቋማት ጋር እንደሚሰራ የአዲስ አበባ ከተማ አስተዳደር ከንቲባ አቶ ኩማ ደመቅሳ ገለጹ። አስተዳደሩ ከኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ጋር በኃይማኖት መቻቻል ላይ ያተኮረ ውይይት አካሄዷል።

የከተማው ከንቲባ አቶ ኩማ ደመቅሳ ዛሬ ከኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን ጋር በጽህፈት ቤታቸው ባደረጉት ውይይት እንደገለፁት፤ የፖለቲካ አጀንዳ ይዘው በዕምነት ተቋማት መካከል ግጭቶችን ለመፍጠር የሚንቀሳቀሱ የጥፋት ምንጮችን መንግስትና የተለያዩ የእምነት ተቋማት የማድረቅ ኃላፊነት እንዳለባቸው አስገንዝበዋል።
መንግስት የአገሪቱን ሰላም፣ ደህንነትና ህግ ማስከበር ዋነኛ ተግባሩ መሆኑን ያመለከቱት ከንቲባው፤ በኃይማኖት ሽፋን አፍራሽ ተልዕኮ አንግበው ውዥንብር የሚነዙ ኃይሎችን በመከላከል ረገድ ትኩረት ሰጥቶ እንደሚሰራ ተናግረዋል።
በአሁኑ ወቅት በአገሪቱ ከመቼውም ጊዜ በበለጠ የኃይማኖት ነጻነትና ዕኩልነት የተረጋጋጠበት ጊዜ መሆኑን ያመለከቱት አቶ ኩማ፤ ህብረተሰቡም በዚህ ተግባር ላይ የተሰማሩ ግለሰቦችን በመከላከልና ለህግ አሳልፎ በመስጠት የድርሻውን ሊወጣ ይገባል ብለዋል።
ኢትዮጵያ ሁሉም ዜጎች በመከባበርና በመግባባት የሚኖሩባት አገር መሆኗን አቶ ኩማ አመልክተው፤ ከዚህ አኳያ በአገሪቱ በመከባበር ላይ የተመሰረተው ባህል ይበልጥ ሊጎለብት እንደሚገባ ጠቁመዋል።
የከንቲባው የህዝብ ግንኙነት አማካሪ አቶ ሬድዋን ሁሴን በበኩላቸው፤ የተለየ አጀንዳ ይዘው በህብረተሰቡ መካከል ግጭት በመፍጠር ሰላምና ጸጥታን ለማወክ የሚንቀሳቀሱ ግለሰቦችን መለየት እንደሚገባ ጠቅሰው፤ የዕምነት ተቋማት ከዚህ አኳያ የጎላ ሚና መጫወት እንደሚኖርባቸው አስገንዝበዋል።
በአዲስ አበባ ሀገረ ስብከት የብፁዕ ወ ቅዱስ ፓትርያርክ ረዳት ሊቀጳጳስ ብፁዕ አቡነ ሳሙኤል በበኩላቸው፤ የአገሪቱ ህገ መንግስት ከምንጊዜውም በላይ የዜጎችን የኃይማኖት ነጻነት የሚጠብቅና የሚያረጋግጥ መሆኑን ገልጸዋል።
ኢትዮጵያ የተለያዩ የዕምነት ተከታዮች በፍቅር፣ በሰላምና በመቻቻል እንደሚኖርባትና የዳበረና የካበተ ልምድ እንዳላት አመልክተው፤ ይህንኑ ባህላዊ ዕሴት ለማፋለስ የሚንቀሳቀሱ ግለሰቦችን በጋራ መከላከል እንደሚገባ ጠቁመዋል።
በአገሪቱ ከሰፈነው የዜጎች የዕምነት ነጻነት መረጋገጥ ጋር ተያይዞ የመቻቻልና የመከባበር ባህል መዳበር እንዳለበት ገልፀው፤ ለተግባራዊነቱ ቤተ ክርስቲያኒቷ ጥረት በማድረግ ላይ እንደሆነች መናገራቸውን ዋልታ ኢንፎርሜሽን ማዕከል ዘግቧል።

March 17, 2009

በሃይማኖት ሽፋን አፍራሽ አጀንዳዎችን ይዘው ወደ አደባባይ የሚወጡ ፀረ ሠላም ሃይሎችን ማጋለጥ እንደሚገባ ተነገረ

ድሬዳዋ፤ መጋቢት 5/2001/ዋኢማ/
በሃይማኖት ሽፋን አፍራሽ አጀንዳዎችን ይዘው ወደ አደባባይ የሚወጡ ፀረ ሠላም ሃይሎችን በማጋለጥ ለዘመናት የቆየውን ተከባብሮ የመኖር ባህል ለቀጣዩ ትውልድ ለማስተላለፍ እንደሚሰሩ በድሬዳዋ ከተማ የሚገኙ የእምነት አባቶች ገለፁ።
የአስተዳደሩ ፀጥታና ፍትህ ጉዳዮች ቢሮና የማስታወቂያና ህዝብ ግንኙነት ቢሮ በጋራ ያዘጋጁት የውይይት መድረክ ላይ ተሳታፊ የነበሩት የኦሮቶዶክስ፣ የካቶሊክ፣ የእስልምና፣ የወንጌላውያን ህብረት መሪዎች እንደገለፁት፤ እምነቶችን ሽፋን በማድረግ በሲዲዎችና በህትመት ስራዎች ተገቢነት የሌላቸውን መልእክቶች የሚያሰራጩ ግለሰቦችን በማጋለጥ ለዘመናት የቆየውን የመቻቻል ባህል እንዳይደናቀፍ ይሰራሉ።

ሁሉም ዜጐች እምነታቸውን አጠናክረው በመያዝ ለአገሪቱ የልማት እድገት ሊሰሩ ይገባል ያሉት የየእምነት መሪዎች፤ ያሉትን መግባባቶች መቻቻልንና አንድነትን ለማደናቀፍ የሚሞክሩ ድርጊቶችን በመከላከል ማክሸፍ የየእምነቱ ተከታዮች ሃላፊነት እንደሆነም ገልፀዋል።

ከቀድሞ አባቶቻችን የወረስናቸውን መልካም እሴቶች ለቀጣይ ትውልድ ለማስተላለፍ በእምነት ተቋማቱ የግብረገብ ትምህርቶችን ማስተማር ሃላፊነታቸውን እንደሚወስዱ የየእምነቱ መሪዎች ጠቅሰው፤ መንግስትም በእምነቶች መካከል አፍራሽ ድርጊት በመፈፀም ችግር በሚፈጥሩ አካላት ላይ ህገ መንግስታዊ እርምጃ መውሰድ እንዳለበትም አስገንዝበዋል።

በአስተዳደሩ የሚታየውን የእምነቶች መቻቻልና መግባባት ተጠናክሮ ለማስቀጠልና በየእምነቱ መካከል ግጭት ለማስነሳት የሚንቀሳቀሱ አካላትን ለመቆጣጠር የሚያስችል 12 አባላት ያሉት የሰላም ኮሚቴ ከሁሉም እምነቶች ተውጣጥተው ተቋቁመዋል።

የአስተዳደሩ ፀጥታና ፍትህ ጉዳዮች ቢሮ ሃላፊ አቶ ኢብራሂም ዮሱፍ በበኩላቸው፤ ህገ መንግስቱ የእምነት እኩልነት ማረጋገጡን ጠቅሰው፤ በሲዲ አማካኝነት የሚታዩ ስህተቶች የክርስትናና የሙስሊሙን አማኞች የማይወክል መሆኑን መንግስት ይገነዘባል ብለዋል።

ነገር ግን ድርጊቱን በሃይማኖቱ ስም የሚፈጽሙ ስግብግብ ግለሰቦች ለማጋለጥና ለይቶ ለማውጣት በጋራ ማቆም ይገባል ማለታቸውን ዋልታ ኢንፎርሜሽን ማዕከል ዘግቧል።

በመርካቶ አካባቢ ፓለቲካና ሃይማኖት ቀመስ ግጭት ተፈጠረ

በመርካቶ አካባቢ የተነሣ ግጭት ፓለቲካና ሃይማኖት ቀመስ ገጽታ ተላብሶ እንደሰነበተ የጀርመን ድምጽ ራዲዮ በሰኞ ማርች 16/2009 ዝግጅቱ ዘገበ። ካለፈው አርብ ጀምሮ እስከ እሑድ ድረስ ሚና በለዩ ወጣቶች መካከል በአዲስ ከተማ ክፍለ ከተማ በተነሣው በዚህ ግጭት ሁለት ሰዎች መሞታቸውም ታውቋል። በከተማው የተከሰተውን የውሃ መጥፋት ተከትሎ ውሃ ፍለጋ ወደ ሌላ ቀበሌ በሄዱ ወጣቶች መካከል በተቀሰቀሰው ጸብ ከደብረ አሚን ተ/ሃይማኖት ቤተ ክርስቲያን ቅዳሴ አስቀድሰው ይመለሱ የነበሩ ምእመናን “ለማገቻነት በመያዝ” በመሰለ አካሄድ ታጅቦም እንደነበር የሬዲዮው የአዲስ አበባ ሪፖርተር ታደሰ እንግዳው ዘግቧል።
ከቅርብ ጊዜ ወዲህ በመስፋፋት ላይ ያለው የዚህ ዓይነቱ እምነትን መሠረት ያደረገ ጸብ “በከፊል በመልካም አስተዳደር እጦት፣ በከፊልም በድህነትና ሥራ አጥነት” ምክንያት እንደሚባባስ የጠቀሰው ጋዜጠኛው የጥምቀት መውረጃ ቦታን ለመስጊድ መሥሪያነት በመስጠታቸው ግጭት ለመቀስቀስ ምክንያት ሆነዋል ያላቸውን የጎንደር ከተማ ባለሥልጣናት ተጠያቂ አድርጓል።

መንግሥት ይህንን የፖለቲካ ዓላማ ባላቸው ሰዎች የሚመራ ነው ያለውን ግጭት ለመስበር ቁርጠኛ መሆኑን በተደጋጋሚ የገለጸ ሲሆን በውጪው ዓለም የሚገኙ ሙስሊሞች በበኩላቸው የኦርቶዶክስ ቤተ ክርስቲያን እኛ ለመጨቆን ካላት የቆየ ፍላጎት የምትቀሰቅስብን ነው ሲሉ ይከሳሉ። ይህንንም ለመቃወም በመጪው አርብ ማርች 20/2009 ዋሺንግተን ዲሲ በሚገኘው የኢትዮጵያ ኤምባሲ ፊት ለፊት ሰላማዊ ሰልፍ ለማድረግ በዝግጅት ላይ ይገኛሉ። በዚህ በኩል ቤተ ክርስቲያን ሙስሊም ኢትዮጵያውያን ላይ ጥላቻ እንደሌላት ለማሳየት ወይም ጉዳ ን ለማስተባበል አስተያየት የሰጠ የኦርቶዶክስ ቤተ ክርስቲያን አባት ሊገኝ አልቻለም።

«በአገሪቱ ለዘመናት ተጠብቆ የቆየውን ተቻችሎ የመኖር ባህልን ለማጠናከር እንሠራለን»

(ቀን፡ 2009/03/14)
በአገሪቱ በተለያዩ የዕምነት ተከታዮች መካከል ለዘመናት ተጠብቆ የቆየው ተቻችሎ የመኖር ባህል የበለጠ ተጠናክሮ መቀጠል እንዳለበት የኢትዮጵያ ወንጌላዊት ቤተክርስቲያን መካነ ኢየሱስ ፕሬዚዳንት አስገነዘቡ፡፡
የፕሮቴስታንት የሃይማኖት አባቶች ከመንግሥት ጋር ባካሄዱት የምክክር መድረክ ላይ የቤተክርስቲያኗ ፕሬዚዳ ንት ቄስ ዶክተር ዋቅስዩም ኢዶሳ ባደረ ጉት ንግግር በኢትዮጵያ በሃይማኖት መካከል የቆየው ተቻችሎ የመኖር ባህል ተጠናክሮ እንዲቀጥል እንሠራለን ብለ ዋል፡፡ ይህም የቤተክርስቲያኗ አቋም ሆኖ እንደሚቀጥል አረጋግጠዋል፡፡

በሀገሪቷ የሚገኙ ሃይማኖቶች መከ ባበርንና ሰላምን አብሮ ከመኖር ጋር በማ ጣመር ለጋራ ዕድገትና ለሀገር ብልፅግና የሚያበረክተውን አስተዋጽኦ ከግምት ውስጥ ማስገባት ይገባል ያሉት ፕሬዚዳ ንቱ ቤተክርስቲያኗ በዚህ ረገድ ኃላፊነት ዋን እንደምትወጣ አስታውቀዋል፡፡
የየትኛውም ሃይማኖት ተከታይ ከተቀረው ሕዝብ ጋር በጋራ የመኖርን፣ የመተባበርንና የመቻቻል ባሕልን ሊያጠናክር ይገባል ያሉት ፕሬዚዳንቱ፤ ከዚህ ውጪ የሚመጣ ጉዳይን የሚያስተናግድ ካለ ሃይማኖት ነው ለማለት አያስደፍርም ብለዋል፡፡

የሃይማኖት አባቶች ተቻችሎ የመ ኖርን ባሕል ለተከታዮቻቸው አጠናክረው እንዲያስተምሩና ለተከታዮቻቸውም ጥሩ ምሳሌ መሆን እንዳለባቸው ቄስ ዋቅስዩም አስገንዝበዋል፡፡ የሰባተኛ ቀን አድቬንቲስት ቤተክር ስቲያን ዋና ፀሐፊ አቶ አገኘሁ ወንድም በበኩላቸው፣ በሀገሪቱ የሃይማኖት እኩ ልነት እስከተረጋገጠ ድረስ አንዱ ከአንዱ የሚበልጥበትም ሆነ የሚያንስበት ሁኔታ እንደሌለ ገልጸዋል፡፡ በሃይማኖት ዙሪያ የሚነሱ ችግሮ ችን በመንፈሳዊ መልኩ መፍታት አለብን ያሉት አቶ አገኘሁ አልፎ አልፎ ጉዳዩ ከቁጥጥር በላይ ሲሆን፤ የመንግሥት አካላት ተገቢውን ድጋፍ ሊያደርጉ ይገባል ብለዋል፡፡

በሃይማኖት ሽፋን ሌላ ጉዳይን የሚያራምዱ አካላትን መከላከልና መቋቋም የሚቻለው የተለያዩ የውይይት መድረኮችን በመፍጠር ስለሆነ በቀጣይም የዚህ ዓይነቱ መድረክ ተጠናክሮ ሊቀጥል እንደሚገባ አሳስበዋል፡፡ የጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ የብሄራዋ ደኀንነት አማካሪ ሚኒስትር አቶ ዓባይ ፀሐዬ በዚሁ ጊዜ እንደገለጹት መንግሥት በአገሪቷ የሚገኙ ሁሉንም ሃይማኖቶች በእኩልነት የማስተናገድ ግዴታ አለበት፡፡ አያይዘውም መንግሥት ከአስተዳደራዊ አገልግሎቶች ረገድ ሁሉንም ሃይማኖቶች በአንድ ዓይን የመመልከት ኃላፊነቱን ይወጣል ብለዋል፡፡

መንግሥት በሀገሪቱ የሚወጡ ሕጐችና መመሪያዎች የማስከበር ኃላፊነት እንዳለበት ጠቁመው፤ የእምነት ነፃነት
እንዲኖር እንዲሁመ የመቻቻል ባህሉ እንዲጠናከር ሁሉመ ሃይማኖቶች ኃላፊነት እንዳላባቸው አስገንዝበዋል፡፡ ሁሉንም
ሃይማኖቶች በሕግም ይሁን በፖሊሲ እኩል ተጠቃሚ የማድረግ ኃላፊነት እንዳለበት መንግሥት ይረዳል ያሉት ሚኒስትሩ ከየትኛውም የሃይማኖት አቅጣጫ የሚመጣ ከሕግ ውጪ የተፈጸመ ተግባርን በእኩል ዓይን የማስተናገድና የመዳኘት ኃላፊነት ይጠበቅበታል ብለዋል፡፡
ሁሉም የሃይማኖት ተቋማት በቅድሚያ ራሳቸውን ከሕግ አንፃር ሊቆጣጠሩ እንደሚገባ የገለጹት አቶ ዓባይ መንግሥት ለየትኛውም የሃይማኖት ተቋም ከአቅም በላይ የሆነ ችግር ሲያጋጥም ብቻ ድጋፍ እንደሚያደርግ አስታውቀዋል፡፡
የፌዴራል ጉዳዮች ሚኒስትር ዶክተር ሽፈራው ተክለማርያም በበኩላቸው ባደረጉት ገለጻ እንዳስታውቁት፤ በየሃይማኖቱ ያሉትን አሠራሮች ዴሞክራሲያዊና ዘመናዊ ማድረግ እንደሚጠበቅ ገልጸዋል፡፡
የዕምነት ነፃነትና መቻቻል የሚለውን ጉዳይ አጠናክሮ የመቀጠሉ ጉዳይ እንዳለ ሆኖ የየእምነት ተቋማቱ በተከታዮቻቸው ዘንድ ተጠያቂነት ያለው አሠራር እንዲከተሉ ምዕመናኑም ይህንን ተገንዝበው ኃላፊነታቸውን እንዲወጡ አሳስበዋል፡፡

መንግሥት ከሃይማኖት አባቶች ጋር ለመወያየት ባዘጋጀው መድረክ በእስካሁነ ሂደቱ ከካቶሊክ፣ ከእስልምናና ከፕሮቴስታንት የሃይማኖት አባቶች ጋር ውይይት አድርጓል፡፡ በነገው ዕለትም ከኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተ ክርስቲያን የሃይማኖት አባቶች ጋር እንደሚወያይ ይጠበቃል፡፡

ሪፖርተር፡ አርአያ ጌታቸው
ቀን፡ 2009/03/14

March 14, 2009

Islam and Terrorism

Islam and Terrorism
An Address By: Dr. Labib Mikhail
Symposium on Islam
February 15, 2003
The Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill

I was quite honored when the Christian Coalition of America invited me to be part of this symposium on Islam. My subject is “Islam and Terrorism.”

To begin with, I have to define the word “terrorism”. According to Reader’s Digest Illustrated Encyclopedic Dictionary, the word terrorism means: “the use of terror, violence and intimidation to achieve a political end. To coerce or maintain control by intimidation or fear.” (p. 1707-1708)

By this definition, we might ask: “Are Islam and terrorism related to each other?” To answer this question correctly, we have to understand the Two Phases of Islam.

The First and Gracious Phase of Islam

When the prophet Muhammad began to call people in Mecca to Islam, he was weak. He needed the help of the Jews and the Christians, so he praised them. Here is what the Koran, the holy book of Islam says about Jews and Christians at that time:

Verily, those who believe [Muslims] and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:62)

In this verse the Koran puts Jews and Christians at the same level and privilege as Muslims.

There are many kind verses quoted in the Koran from this first and gracious phase of Islam. Muslim Clerics used such verses to establish that Islam is a religion of freedom and peace. However, these verses were abrogated lately, which means they were cancelled.

The Second Phase of Islam

The later phase of Islam, and I may say the permanent phase of Islam, according to the doctrine of abrogation in the Koran, came when the prophet Muhammad migrated to Medina and organized a strong army. When he saw that Jews and Christians rejected his prophethood and Islam, he commanded the Muslims to change the Kibla, the direction in which Muslims turn when they pray, from Jerusalem to the Kaaba in Mecca. At that time in history the Kaaba was a shrine for 360 idols.

Then Muhammad exterminated Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula. He renounced Jews and Christians as polytheists, therefore impure and defiled. As such, Muhammad commanded that they never come near the Kaaba in Mecca. To this day no Jew or Christian can enter the Mecca, or come near Al-Kaaba, the Holy shrine in Saudi Arabia. Here are the words of the Koran:

O you who believe [Muslims] the Mushrikun [polytheists and unbelievers in Allah and the Message of Muhammad] are najasum [impure, defiled]. So let them not come near Al-Masjd Al Haram [the Kaaba in Mecca] after this year. (Surat Al-Tauba 9:28)

This is the phase of Islam we encounter today.

To be sure Islamic Terrorism was practiced in Muhammad’s days. The Koran commands Muslims to terrorize and strike the necks and smite the fingers and toes of the infidels [Jews and Christians]. The Koran says:

I will cast terror into the hearts of those who are infidels, so strike them over the necks and smite over all their fingers and toes. This is because they defied and disobeyed Allah and His Messenger [Muhammad]. And whoever defies and disobeys Allah and His Messenger, then verily, Allah is severe in punishments. This is (the torment), to taste it; and surely, for the infidels is the torment of the fire. (Surat Al-Anfal 8:12-14)

Before September 11th, we saw Islamic terrorism in Egypt—where many Egyptian Christians were murdered—in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and other parts of the world. When the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., occurred on September 11, 2001, Americans woke up, as from a nightmare. Their financial and military institutions had been attacked. And a third plane was aimed to destroy the White House, the executive institution. But, thank God, it crashed in Pennsylvania.

On that day, Americans began asking three questions:
First, “Who are those people who attacked us?”
Second, “Why do they hate us?”
Third, “What motivated them to commit these horrific attacks?”

Before answering these three questions, I have to say that there are three kinds of Islamic Terrorism:

• First, physical terrorism,
• Second, intellectual terrorism,
• Third, psychological terrorism.

By discussing these three kinds of terrorism, we will have the answer for our three questions.

Physical Terrorism

Shortly after the barbaric attacks, the investigations of the CIA and FBI concluded that the attackers were deeply religious young men from Saudi Arabia and Egypt, who dedicated their hearts, minds, and souls to the religion of Islam. Blas Pascal, a mathematician who lived in 1670 AD, said, “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”

The hatred ignited by the teaching of the Koran, in the hearts of those young men who attacked us was so horrible. It blinded them from thinking or imagining the agony and suffering of those thousands of innocent men and women who were murdered in the attacks and the terrible grief of those loved ones who were left behind.

The most horrible thing is that those attackers did not feel any sense of guilt. The Koran taught them that their acts are not acts of evil, but rather acts of a high level of righteousness intended to eradicate the infidel Christians from the face of the earth. The Koran taught them also that there is a great reward waiting for them in paradise if they die as martyrs.

The Koran taught them that their sins will be forgiven, and each one of them will be married to one hundred virgins, with wide lovely eyes in paradise. These are the words of the Koran:

And if you are killed or die in the Way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than all that they amass [of worldly wealth].
(Sural Al-Imran 3:157)

Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers [Muslims] their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah’s cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth, which is binding, on Him. (Surat Al-Taubah 9:111)

The Koran describes life in paradise in the following verses:

Eat and drink with happiness because of what you used to do. They will recline (with ease) on thrones arranged in ranks. And we shall marry them to Hur (fair females) with wide lovely eyes. And we shall provide them with fruit and meat such as they desire. (Surat Al-Tur 52:17-20,22)

Paradise is all sensual, nothing spiritual.

Another picture of paradise is described in the following words:
The second picture:

Water flowing constantly and fruit in plenty whose supply is not cut off and reclining on couches raised high: verily we have created from them (women) of special creation and made them virgins of equal age.
(Surat Al-Waqiah 56:31-37)

The third picture:
Gardens and vineyards and young full-breasted virgins of equal age and a full cup of wine. (Surat Al-Naba 78:32-34)

With these pictures of paradise—dreaming about one hundred virgins awaiting each one of them—those young people with their Egyptian leader Muhammad Atta committed suicide and died with their victims.

Preparations for the September 11th attacks took many years. Ben Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahri with their associates of men of very evil minds began to test the Americans with terrorist attacks. They saw that Americans ran away from trouble in Beirut, Lebanon where 243 marines were murdered. Americans ran away from Somalia, and they did not do anything when they were attacked in Saudi Arabia, Nairobi, and Yemen.

Ben Laden, who is from the radical Wahhabi Islamic sect established in Saudi Arabia in the 18th century, and with roots even well before that, concluded that America is a paper tiger. Hit Americans hard and they will collapse. Ben Laden thought, that the time had come to establish an Islamic Empire, where Islam would be the only recognized religion in the world, and the sharia (law) of the Koran will be the only law. Ben Laden and his followers were in great shock, when they saw what America did in a short time in Afghanistan. They saw that America is not a paper tiger but a fierce tiger.

They are now living in hiding, somewhere in an Islamic country. That indicates that there are Muslim countries who harbor terrorists and sympathize with Ben Laden’s beliefs and terrorism. If Islam is a religion of peace and freedom, Ben Laden should be arrested by the Islamic country which gives him refuge. For Ben Laden and his associates to be given refuge, in any Islamic country is a declaration that Islam and terrorism are associated.

Last November, Russian president Vladimir Putin made a strong statement. The London Telegraph reported on November 12, 2002, the following:

Islamic radicals are pursuing the systematic annihilation of non-Muslims…president Putin said that western civilization faced a mortal threat from Muslim terrorists, and claimed that they had plans to create a world wide caliphate which means a world wide Islamic Empire.

At this point I will mention but a few of the physical terrorist attacks committed by Muslims after the September 11th.

• On April 22, 2002, four Islamic fundamentalists kidnapped and killed Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, in a barbaric, horrific way, just because he was an American Jew.
• On May, 12, 2002 a gas cylinder was set on fire under Milan’s huge Gothic cathedral in an apparent bid to cause an explosion. Police found a cloth scrawled with the Islamic cry “God is great” nearby (The Washington Times, May 13, 2002).
• On October 23rd Chechen Muslim gunmen seized the Moscow Theater and took hundreds of people hostage. 129 hostages died and 41 hostage-takers were killed (The Washington Post, January 26, 2003).
• On November 28, 2002, suicide bombers destroyed an Israeli-owned beach resort in Mombassa Kenya, shattering lives of villagers outside Mombassa. The terrorists tried to attack an Israeli jet liner taking off from the airport nearby, but they failed.
• On December 30, 2002, gunman killed 3 U.S. missionaries at a hospital in Yemen. Those were medical doctors serving the Yemeni people for many years (The Washington Times, December 31, 2002).
• On January 7, 2003, British anti-terrorism police discovered traces of ricine, a highly toxic poison in a north London apartment. Six Africans, all of North African origin, were arrested. Prime Minister Tony Blair said after the arrest “this danger is present and real and with us now, and its potential is huge” (The Washington Post, January 8, 2003).

Time will not allow me to tell you about many other terrorist attacks around the world. The most recent ones are the murder of the American diplomat in Amman, Jordan, and the attack on the club in Bali, Indonesia.

We have heard through the media, that the terrorists attacked us because we stand with Israel against the Palestinians. This is a totally false accusation. Many centuries before the existence of the state of Israel, in the year 1895, the Turkish Muslims massacred more than 60,000 Armenian Christians in many cities in Turkey and crushed them like grapes during the vintage in one night. There was no Israeli-Palestinian conflict during that time. Those butchers were motivated by their Koran.

When we say that Islam and terrorism are related to each other, is this a false accusation? Is it to insult Islam? Or is it a fact based on the clear worlds of the Koran?
Please listen carefully to these verses from the Koran:

(1) The Prophet Muhammad urges Muslims to fight in the cause of Allah,
O prophet Muhammad urge the believers [Muslims] to fight.
(Surat Al-Anfal 8:65)

(2) The Koran commands Muslims not to befriend Jews or Christians.
O ye who believe [Muslims] take not the Jews or the Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors of each other. And he among you that turn to them [for friendship] is of them.
(Surat Al-Maidah 5:51)

(3) The Koran commands Muslims to fight Jews and Christians.
Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, no forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger [Muhammad] and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (Islam) among the people of the Scripture [Jews and Christians] until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Surat At-Taubah 9:29)

We have to understand that Jizyah is a special high tax to be paid only by Jews and Christians who live in Islamic countries and who do not want to renounce their religion and convert to Islam.

(4) The Koran declares that those who wage war against Allah and Muhammad must be crucified and tortured in a sadistic manner.

The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger Muhammad and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in the world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter. (Surat Al-Maidah 5:33)

(5) The Koran commands Muslims to fight the infidels who are neighbors and close to them:
O you who believe [Muslims]! Fight those of the infidels who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you; and know that Allah is with those who are pious. (Surat Al-Taubah 9:123)

(6) The Koran commands Muslims to convert non-Muslims to Islam by force.

Kill the Mushrikun (polytheists, Christians and non-Muslims), wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But, if they repent and perform As-salat (public prayer with Muslims) and give Zakat (Islamic alms), then leave their way free. Allah is oft forgiving, most merciful.
(Surat At-Taubah 9:5)

(7) The Koran commands Muslims to fight non-Muslims until they exterminate all other religions and make Islam the only religion in the world.

And fight until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (alone).
(Surat Al-Bagarah 2:193)

There are almost one hundred verses in the Koran calling Muslims to Jihad, holy war against Jews, Christians, and non-Muslims. Do these clear verses of the Koran indicate that Islam is a religion of peace?

Intellectual Terrorism

There is another kind of terrorism in Islam: intellectual terrorism. Islam is a prison with no way out. Once a person enters that prison, he cannot leave it alive. In Islam, the democratic right to free thought and individual decision concerning religious matters is totally denied. We have more than one example of this intellectual terrorism, I will mention but a few.

The first is Salman Rushdie. Salman Rushdie was born to a Muslim family in Bombay, but spent much of his life in London, England. He wrote a book entitled The Satanic Verses. Muslims though this book was an insult to the Prophet Muhammad and Islam. So Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini issued an order to assassinate Rushdie and promised $5 million to the one who would kill him. Khomeini, Iran’s spiritual leader at that time, said in a statement read for him on the radio in 1989: “Anyone who died attempting to kill Rushdie,” he promised, “would go straight to paradise.” Rushdie’s head is very expensive!!

The second is Dr. Farag Foda, the great author who was assassinated in Cairo, Egypt in 1993 because he wrote many books exposing the true face of Islam and Islamic society. He was accused of being an apostate Muslim and was shot and killed in front of his son.

The third is Professor Nasr Hamid Abu Zeid, who was accused of being an apostate Muslim because of his books about the Koran. The court in Egypt ruled that he must divorce his wife, Ibihal Younes. He fled from Egypt and is now living with his wife in Holland.

The fourth is the well-known Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz, who became the first Egyptian to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Muslims stabbed him in front of his house in an attempt to kill him. The man is over 80 years old. They wanted to kill him because they thought that he insulted Muhammad in his novel, The Children of Gabalawi. It is of great importance for any American or any secular Muslim to know what kind of society he or she will live in if fundamentalist Muslims rule.

Psychological Terrorism

That brings us to the third kind of terrorism in Islam: psychological terrorism.
Instilling fear in the hearts of those who disobey the Koran is a vital factor in Islam. This psychological terrorism was practiced when the Taliban regime ruled Afghanistan. During that period of time any woman who would show more than her eyes was flogged in the street. Music, television, even sports were not allowed.

In Saudi Arabia, a woman is banned from driving a car or from walking down the street alone, or without covering all her body with the hejab. Women in Islam live under constant fear of beating or divorce. The Koran says the following in Surat Al-Nisa Chapter 4:34:

As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them, refuse to share their beds (which means do not have sex with them) and beat them.

Add to all that the threat against any Muslim who apostates from Islam (renounces Islam). He or she is to be executed. Today we are hearing on radio and television many Muslim Clerics saying that Islam means peace. The truth is that the word Islam means submission, not peace. A Muslim is one who is in submission to Allah. Since Allah is invisible, so submission should be to the sharia (law) of the clerics who interpret the Koran. Peace is granted only to Muslims.

Islam divides the world’s population into two camps, Dar Al-Harb (House of War) where Jews and Christians live, and Dar Al-Islam (House of Islam) where Muslims live. They believe that Jihad, Holy War, should continue against those who live in the House of War until they are all exterminated or converted to Islam.

Fundamentalists dream of a global Islamic empire. They believe that if they destroy America and western countries they will achieve this dream.

Christianity and Islam

Al-Shaab, the weekly News paper of the Labour Party, published in Egypt, wrote the January 27th issue, that this symposium of Christian Coalition of America is aimed to create hatred for Muslims in the US.

Let me tell the Muslims, we cannot hate you, because we are commanded by Christ our Lord to love you, even after that horrible attack on the 11th of September. These are Christ’s words in Matthew 5:44-45:

Love your enemies, bless those who curse your, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

Meantime, I would like to say to the Muslims that there are major differences between Christianity and Islam. Christianity created free societies, where freedom of religion is granted. Muslims took advantage of this freedom and built hundreds of Mosques in England, in Australia, in Canada, and in the United States of America. While in Saudi Arabia, they do not permit the construction of even one church. In Afghanistan, during the reign of King Zahir Shah the only existing church, which had been built by president Eisenhower’s request of King Zahir, was demolished on May 17, 1970.

While the Saudis distribute thousands of copies of the Koran in the US and elsewhere, they do not permit even one Bible into the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is one major difference between Christianity and Islam.

The other major difference, which really should be the first, is the denial of the crucifixion of Christ in the Koran. We have the testimony of many witnesses, who saw with their own eyes the crucifixion of Christ, and the print of nails in his hands after his resurrection, and testified that he was crucified, and sealed their testimony with their blood, yet the Koran attacks the cross and denies the crucifixion of Christ. Listen to the words of the Koran, in Surat An-Nisa 4:157:

That they said, “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah,” but they killed him not, nor crucified him. Only a likeness of that was shown to them. And those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no [certain] knowledge. But only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they kill him not.

Charles Haddon Surgeon, who was called the prince of the British preachers said the following:

Leave out the cross and you have killed the religion of Jesus Christ. Atonement by the blood of Jesus is not an arm of Christian truth; it is the heart of it. The cross answers the question of every human being. Who will pay the penalty for my sins? Christ paid that penalty when he shed his blood on the cross.

This is the greatest major difference between Christianity and Islam.


Now, how do we solve this problem of Jihad and Islamic Terrorism? I have two suggestions to the Muslims.

First: It is the responsibility of the intellectual Muslims, and they are many, to join hands and declare to the Muslims and Muslim countries that the verses of the Koran calling for Jihad and killing of Jews and Christians were for Muhammad’s time. These verses should not be applied in our modern civilizations for they create havoc.

Second: I would suggest to all Muslims, since they shout in every occasion, “Allah Hu-Akbar” (Allah is greater) to leave Allah to defend Islam. If Islam is the only religion He accepts, then let him defend it. Using young men and women to be suicide bombers is an insult to the greatness of Allah, if they really believe that Allah is great.

I would advise Muslims to join the forces of freedom and advanced inventions, to make the planet earth a better place for human life instead of making it a jungle of beasts.

To the Christians, I would repeat the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Preach the gospel to the Muslims, they most of all, are people who need to hear and know and understand the gospel of the love of God, demonstrated by the death of His son on the cross.

May God bless you.
May God bless America
May He protect us all from evil.

March 11, 2009

Negash Mulugeta has this to Say

Negash Mulugeta has left a new comment on your post "The Religion of the Moon "God"":

Muslims say they are better than the rest. At the same time, if you look around, they live in permanent fear and paranoia. They don't allow fellow Muslims to change their religion, they don't tolerate to live alongside folks of different denominations. They insult, terrorize and kill innocent Christians wherever they find. Even in the Web, you all see it how apprehensive, more fearful they sound when they try to defend their faith. If they are the best, then what are they afraid of?

I believe, Muslims suffer from a strong sense of superiority, despite spiritual, intellectual and technical inferiority. This leads to Self-hatred caused by recognition of their actual state of inferiority as well as the impurity of their own desires. No practical means of escape from genuine and never ending humiliations, combined with the promise of rewards (monetary, honor, and sensual), in this life and/or the next.

We Christians would like to be sympathatic to the spiritual sufferings of the Muslims, which had been inflicted on them by Mohammad, but the Muslims don't give us the chance. Let's be honest, almost every one of them is schooled to hate Christians, they are taught to feel more superior and more vigilant than Christians. So why should we be nice to someone who swimms in an ocean of false superiority complex? Of course, every human is forced to disrespect their cause, abominate whatever action they take against non-Muslims. The truth hearts, but no rational humanbeing shouldn't care a bit about this sort of behaviour. So, apologists of Islam, back off!

Yo all know, many who have known devout followers of Allah have felt the distance between themselves and their associates. This anti-social philosophy also goes a long way to explain the experiences of many women who have married Muslims, only to be turned into slaves or otherwise treated harshly.

For example, in the officially ‘state sponsored’ Wahhabi controlled elementary schools in Saudi Arabia, Iran or other Muslim states, there is a fifth-grade lesson book that reads as follows: "It is forbidden for a Muslim to be a friend of one who does not believe in Allah and his Messenger or who fights the Islamic religion. God has severed the friendship between Muslims and infidels. The Muslim, even if he lives far away, is your brother-in-belief, while the infidel, even if he is your brother of kin, is your enemy by religion." Of course, it is the Qur’an itself that directs Muslims to break friendship and business ties and other allegiances with Christians, Jews, Hindus and, and, and. Can any Muslim deny this? I don't think so!

March 5, 2009

The Religion of the Moon "God"

(By A.C)
The Babylonian MOON-GOD is located in the British Museum, Babylonian Room, Case B. It is a humanoid form seated on a throne having a crescent moon in front of the moon god's head.
Have you ever wondered why the crescent Moon is the symbol of Islam? Why do Muslims put a crescent Moon on top of their mosques and minarets? Why do flags of Islamic nations have the crescent Moon? Why do Muslims put a crescent Moon on their caps?
The Religion of the Moon
The picture of the Babylonian Moon-God found on a cylinder seal in the British Museum is from an archeological discovery from the Middle East, which is now on display at the British Museum. Throughout the Fertile Crescent from Egypt to Turkey, archeologists have dug up hundreds of little idols with a crescent Moon sitting on their head. In ancient pagan temples, there are walls with pictures of a god sitting on a throne with a crescent Moon over his head. At times there are several stars placed near the Moon to symbolize the daughters of the Moon god.

The Connection

By this time, you are beginning to realize that there must be a connection between the ancient pagan religion of the worship of the god and Islam. And you are correct. Before Mohammed (if he ever really existed) was ever born, the Arabs worshipped 360 pagan gods housed in the Kabah in Mecca. One of the pagan gods they worshipped was the Moon god who was married to the Sun goddess. The stars were their children.

The Rituals of the Moon

People worshipped the Moon god by bowing in prayer toward Mecca several times a day. They would make a pilgrimage to Mecca and run around a pagan stone temple called the Kabah seven times; slit the throat of a sheep; and throw stones at the devil. They gave alms to the poor in honor of the Moon god. They fasted during the month, which began with the appearance of the crescent Moon in the sky and closed when the crescent Moon reappeared. They put the symbol of the crescent Moon on the walls of their homes and on their clothing. This Moon religion was the pagan religion in which Mohammed was reared.

"Wait a second", you may be saying to yourself, "the ancient religious rituals of the Moon are what the Muslims are still practicing today! The Muslims bow in prayer toward Mecca. They make a pilgrimage to Mecca and run around the Kabah seven times. They are still slitting the throats of sheep and throwing stones at the devil. They even have the fast of Ramadan, which begins and ends with the crescent Moon. If this is true, then what we today call the "pillars of Islam" is nothing more than the pagan rituals of the Moon god!!"

Archeologists have discovered that the name of the Moon god in Arabia was "Al-ilah" which was later shortened to "Allah." His consort was the Sun goddess and their daughters wer called "the daughters of Allah." The names of the "daughters of Allah" as given in the Qur`an are Lat, Uzza and Manat (Surah 53:19-20). They are the stars next to the symbol of the Moon.

The Mystery Solved

The mystery is now solved. Where did Islam get the crescent Mon symbol which sits on top of its mosques and is displayed on its flags? From the religion of the Moon god. Where did Islam get the name of its god? From the Moon god, Allah. How sad it is to see people ignorantly bowing down toward Mecca and praying toward the Moon god Allah. Muslims are actually worshipping demons according to the Bible (I Cor. 10:20).

The Religion of the Bible

How different is the religion of the Patriarchs, prophets, apostles and Jesus. They did not worship the Moon god Allah or practice any of its rituals. This is why Islam and its god Allah are never mentioned in the Bible. There is but one, true, living, eternal, triune Being who is God by nature and Maker of heaven and earth. The name of this one true God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:20); not Allah!!

Related Story:
Allah - the Moon God

March 2, 2009

Ethiopian Muslim Arrested For Sending HIV-Infected Letter to Obama

CHICAGO) (WLS) -- A man with a history of mental illness has been arrested in connection with a letter containing what he said was HIV-tainted blood. It was addressed to then President-elect Barack Obama.

The incident triggered the evacuation of a state government building in Springfield last December.

Investigators say Saad Hussein told them he admired the president and the letter was his way of seeking help from the government.

This is the case of a disturbed refugee from Ethiopia reaching out for help from a person he thought might be able to offer powerful assistance -- the president of the United States. But Saad Hussein's letter -- and subsequent mailings to Obama staff and government workers -- have landed him in custody, facing charges of knowingly mailing dangers substances with intent to injure or kill.

Saad Hussein posted a picture of himself as well as rambling notes splattered, according to his brother, in Saad's HIV-infected blood. They were mailed to the state's Office on Aging in December, 2008, and they contained an orange powdery substance, according to information contained in the federal complaint filed in Springfield by the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Receipt of the December 27 letter two days later led to the evacuation of the building. Three-hundred employees were affected. The powder was later determined to be Crystal soft drink mix.

"What we were told by Springfield police, Chicago police do have the individual in custody and are questioning him," said Bob Reside, Springfield Fire Department.

The letter also contained a Christmas card, a return address and a ticket to the president's election night rally in Grant Park.

With concern for Obama's safety a national priority, the FBI and Secret Service, along with postal inspectors, quickly came to Hussein's apartment in Edgewater. He was placed there by a refugee resettlement agency.

With his brother acting as interpreter in his apartment, Hussein said the letters asked for tickets to the president's inauguration and that no more letters had been sent. But, two days later, nearly identical mailings were received at the same office in Springfield, one of which was addressed to Rahm Emanuel, the president's chief of staff. That's when Hussein was taken in.

"The two years he was living here, very quiet, always smiling, never violent, never even a sign of violence. He walked around, didn't talk a lot of English, but he kept his apartment clean and there was no indication that he would do something like that," said David Zuger, property manager.

Hussein is in federal custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Complex. A spokesperson for U.S. attorney in Springfield says his mental state is being assessed and a report on that is due March 29.

After that assessment is made, presumably the complaint would go to a grand jury to determine the laying of charges. But Hussein has the right to challenge the findings of the mental health assessment.

If found guilty of the mailing crimes, Hussein could go to jail for 20 years.

Man was first arrested in 2006: Fox News
Hussein was arrested by police in 2006 after starting a fire in the middle of a crowded Chicago intersection. When officers arrived on the scene, he was waving the Koran in the air and yelling"Allah Akbar," or "God is Great" in Arabic.

Court documents say he was transported to a hospital, where he called President Bush a terrorist and criticized American foreign policy. He was not formally charged, but he did spend time in the mental health unit of the hospital.

The latest case marks the second time HIV-infected blood has been sent through the U.S. mail. In 2006 a "disturbed individual" placed a plastic vial of HIV-infected blood in the mail, according to Rendina. The unidentified individual was arrested and charged, and is now receiving psychiatric treatment at a federal medical detention center, Rendina said.
(To Watch Video click HERE)

Blogs Accessible in Ethiopia Now

Blogs Accessible in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian government seems unblocking its ban on websites and blogs designated as government critic. Well, the government's ban on all related blogs will also be lifted, in turn, Deje Selam will also be accessible there.

Deje Selam has confirmed from its sources that actually Ethiopia related websites are free now.

Pro-democracy websites and blogs unblocked
Written on Sunday, March 1st, 2009 at 4:13 am by ethioforum

EMF (01 March 2009) Reliable sources in Addis Ababa have informed EMF this week that all pro-democracy websites and blogs suddenly made access to internet users.
The websites had been unblocked shortly after the US state department released its 2008 Human Rights Reports, condemning the regime’s blocking Web sites, including the sites of the OLF, ONLF, Ginbot 7, and several news blogs and sites run by opposition Diaspora groups, such as the Ethiopian Review,, Quatero Amharic Magazine and the Ethiopian Media Forum.

Media watchdog, Reporters without Borders complained several times that the government was censoring sites deemed critical of the government. The New York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) stated that its servers were inaccessible to users, and that emails were not coming through to CPJ.

The Meles Zenawi regime was denying being involved in blocking the sites.

Reliable source from the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC), the state-run monopoly telecom and Internet provider, told EMF that the Zenawi’s administration is using the Chinese expertises to block the sites and jam opposition shortwave Radios.

“By doing so the regime is spending the country’s hard earned, multi-million, foreign currency which is supposed to be used for the development purposes.” The source said.

Ethiopia, China and Zimbabwe are the three most named countries in the world which experience blocking internet access to sites.

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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።)