December 31, 2009

Senegal President apologises for Christ comments, What if it was in Ethiopia?

DS Comment:-
When I read the strong stand Christians in Senegal took due to their president's ill analogy, I asked myself if we would do the same in Ethiopia. Senegalese Christians are only 6%, while we in Ethiopia are at least 43%. Whether we believe it or not Ethiopian Christians are loosing our influence in our own country.
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(BBC):- Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade has apologised to the Christian minority for comparing a controversial statue to Jesus Christ. Archbishop of Dakar Theodore Adrien Sarr said the comments had "humiliated" Catholics, leading to angry protests by hundreds of Christian youths in Dakar. Mr Wade made the comments after imams condemned the statue as "idolatrous". The $27m (£16.6m) North Korean-built "African Renaissance" statue has also been criticised as a waste of money.

Senegal has a long history of tolerance between majority Muslims and the influential Christian community, who make up some 6% of the population.

We were shaken and humiliated by the comparison which the head of state made between the monument to African renaissance and the representations found in our churches. But the BBC's Tidiane Sy in Dakar says there have been recent warnings that this could be at risk.
Three respected groups have called on the government to be cautious about how it handles religious issues.
President Wade sent his influential son, Karim, who is also a cabinet minister, to deliver a personal apology to Archbishop Sarr after the stone-throwing Christian youths clashed with security forces outside Dakar cathedral on Wednesday.
The archbishop had said: "We were shaken and humiliated by the comparison which the head of state made between the monument to African renaissance and the representations found in our churches."
President Wade had sought to deflect the criticism of his statue on religious grounds by comparing it to the statues of Jesus Christ found in churches.
He hopes that the statue will attract more tourists to the country but many Senegalese feel the money could be better spent.
The statue, intended to symbolise the fight against racism, was Mr Wade's idea and he says he will personally take 35% of the revenue it generates, with the rest going to the state.
When completed early in 2010, it will be bigger than the Statue of Liberty in New York.

ቤተ ክህነት ከአምስት እጥፍ በላይ የቤት ኪራይ ጭማሪ አደረገች


(ሪፖርተር ጋዜጣ/ፍሬው አበበ):- የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን የቤቶችና ሕንፃዎች አስተዳደርና ልማት ድርጅት በሚያስተዳድራቸው ቤቶችና ሕንፃዎች ላይ ከ500 ፐርሰንት በላይ የኪራይ ዋጋ ጭማሪ አደረገ፡፡ ተከራዮች ጭማሪው አቅማችንን ያላገናዘበ ነው በማለት ሲቃወሙ ቤተክህነት በበኩሏ በጥናት ላይ የተመሰረተ እርምጃ መወሰዱን ገልፃለች፡፡ ድርጅቱ ታህሳስ 8 ቀን 2002 ዓ.ም. ለተከራዮች በበተነው ደብዳቤ ወቅቱን ያገናዘበ፣ ፍትሀዊና በጥናት ላይ የተመሰረተ የኪራይ ዋጋ ጭማሪ ከኅዳር 1 ቀን 2002 ዓ.ም. እስከ ጥቅምት 30 ቀን 2003 ዓ.ም ድረስ ለአንድ ዓመት የሚቆይ መሆኑን አስታውቋል፡፡ ድርጅቱ በተጨማሪም ተከራዮች ለአንድ ዓመት የሚቆይ አዲስ ውል እንዲፈርሙ፣ በአዲሱ የዋጋ ተመን መሠረት የሶስት ወራት ኪራይ መያዣ ገንዘብ ገቢ እንዲያደርጉ አዟል፡፡

ተከራዮቹ ቀደም ሲል የቤት ኪራይ በቁርጥ ክፍያ ይከፍሉ እንደነበር፣ በአሁኑ ወቅት ፒያሳ አካባቢ የሚገኙ ቤቶች 1ኛ ፎቅ በካሬ ሜትር 35 ብር፣ ከዚያ በላይ ያሉ በየፎቅ ብዛቱ አምስት ብር እየጨመረ በሚሄድ ስሌት እንዲከፍሉ ተወስኖባቸዋል፡፡ በዚሁ መሠረት በወር 220 ብር ሲከፈልበት ለነበረ ቤት 1"095 ብር፣ 213 ሲከፈልበት የነበረ ቤት በወር 1,288 ብር እንዲከፍሉ መወሰኑን የሚገልጽ ደብዳቤ እንደደረሳቸው ተከራዮቹ ገልፀው፣ ይህ በተለይ የጡረተኞችንና የተቀጣሪ ሠራተኞችን አቅም ያላገናዘበ ነው ሲሉ ቅሬታቸውን አቅርበዋል፡፡

ተከራዮቹ ቤተክህነት አስጠናሁት ባለችው ጥናት መሠረት የኪራይ ሒሳቡ በየዓመቱ እየጨመረ የሚሄድ መሆኑን መገንዘባቸውን ገልፀው፣ ሁኔታው በተለይ ለትርፍ ባልተቋቋመች ቤተክርስቲያን መፈፀሙ አሳዝኖናል ብለዋል፡፡

የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርሲያን ጠቅላይ ቤተክህነት ዋና ሥራ አስኪያጅ አቡነ ይስሐቅ ስለ ጉዳዩ ከሪፖርተር ጋዜጣ ተጠይቀው ሲመልሱ፣ የኪራይ ዋጋ ጭማሪው ሥራ ላይ እንዲውል የተደረገው በቅድሚያ ጥናት ተካሂዶ ነው፡፡ የኪራይ ጭማሪ የተደረገውም ቤተክህነት በየገጠሩ ያሏትን አብያተ ክርስቲያናት ለመደጎም ገንዘብ ስለሚያስፈልጋትና የኑሮ ውድነት እየጨመረ በመምጣቱ መሆኑን ጠቁመው፣ ጭማሪው የኅብረተሰቡን አቅም እንዳይጎዳ በብርቱ ታስቦበት የተዘጋጀ መሆኑን ተናግረዋል፡፡

የቤተክህነት በጭቃ የተሰሩ አንዳንድ ቤቶች ወርሃዊ የኪራይ ዋጋ 0.75 ሳንቲም ሆኖ መገኘቱን አቡነ ይስሐቅ ጠቁመው ይህን በወር ወደ 15 ብር ከፍ ሲደረግ ቅሬታ መጥቷል ብለዋል፡፡

አንዳንድ ተከራዮች ሁለት መቶ ብር የተከራዩትን ቤት ከሁለት ሺህ ብር በላይ አከራይተው ሌላ ቤት ተከራይተው እንደሚኖሩ ያስታወሱት አቡነ ይስሐቅ "እኛ ግን ይህን ያህል የተጋነነ ጭማሪ አላደረግንም" ሲሉ አስረድተዋል፡፡

ቤተክህነት በደርግ መንግሥት ተወርሰው የነበሩ በጠቅላላው ወደ 800 ያህል ቤቶች እንዲመለሱላት ቢወሰንም በተለያዩ ምክንያቶች በአሁኑ ወቅት ተረክባ በማስተዳደር ላይ የምትገኘው ግማሽ ያህሉን ብቻ መሆኑንም ገልፀዋል፡፡


December 29, 2009

አዲስ የኦርቶዶክሳውያን የጡመራ እንቅስቃሴ

(ደጀ ሰላም፤ ዲሴምበር 29/2009)፦ በ2009 ካየናቸው አዳዲስ እንቅስቃሴዎች መካከል ኦርቶዶክሳውያን በጡመራው መድረክ “ደጀ ሰላም”ን ተከትለው መሄዳቸው ነው። ከነዚህም መካከል አንባቢያችን ሰይፈ ገብርኤል ዛሬ ያደረሰን የሚከተሉት ብሎጎች ይገኙበታል። ተመልከቷቸውና ይዘታቸውን ተቹ።
1. ሰንበቴ http://senbete.blogspot.com/
2. መረዋ ምታ http://merewametta.blogspot.com/
3. ሰላም ተዋሕዶ http://selam-tewahedo.blogspot.com/
4. አዘክሪ http://azekiri21.blogspot.com/
5. ኪዱኤል (??) http://kiduel.blogspot.com/

“ደጀ ሰላም” በበኩሏ http://deje-selam.blogspot.com/ የሚለውን የተለመደ ገጿን እንደያዘች www.dejeselam.org የሚለውንም ከትናንት ጀምሮ መጠቀም ጀምራለች።


December 27, 2009

የገናን በዓል በላሊበላ ከተማ በድምቀት ለማክበር ዝግጅት እየተካሄደ ነው

(WALTA ዋኢማ, Sunday, 27 December 2009):- የኢትዮጵያን መልካም ገጸታ ለመገንባት መጪውን የገና በዓል በድምቀት ለማክበር መዘጋጀቱን የላሊበላ ከተማ አስተዳደር አስታወቀ፤ ለበዓሉ ድምቀት የታላቁ ሩጫ መርሐ-ግብር እንደሚካሄድ ገለጸ።


የአስተዳደሩ ምክትል ከንቲባ አቶ ተስፋዬ ጌጤና የከተማው ባሕልና ቱሪዝም መምሪያ ኃላፊ አቶ በለጠ ወዳጄ ትናንት ለዋልታ እንዳስታወቁት፤ በየዓመቱ በላሊበላ ከተማ የሚከበረውን የገናን በዓል በተያዘው ወር መጨረሻ በደመቀ ሁኔታ ለማክበር ዝግጅት እየተደረገ ነው።

በተለይም ከመላው ዓለምና ከሀገሪቱ የተለያዩ ክፍሎች ዓመታዊውን የገናን በዓል ለማክበር ወደ ላሊበላ የሚመጡ መንፈሳዊ ተጓዦችና ቱሪስቶች በዓሉን በሰላማዊና አስተማማኝ ሁኔታ እንዲያከብሩት ነዋሪውንና ፖሊስን ያሳተፈ የአካባቢ ጸጥታና ጥበቃ እየተካሄደ መሆኑን ገልጸዋል።

በርካታ ምዕመናንም ወደ ላሊበላ ስለሚመጡና ለቀናት ስለሚቆዩ ሊፈጸሙ የሚችሉ የወንጀል ክሶችን አፋጣኝ ውሳኔ ለመስጠት እንዲቻል ጊዜያዊ የወንጀል ችሎት መቋቋሙንም ምክትል ከንቲባውና ኃላፊው ተናግረዋል።

አገልግሎት ሰጪ ተቋማትና ሆቴሎችም በዓሉን ምክንያት በማድረግ የአገልግሎት ዋጋ ጭማሪ እንዳያደርጉ ምክክርና ውይይት መደረጉን ገልጸው፤ በተለይም እንግዶች በአግባቡ የመኝታና የምግብ አገልግሎት እንዲያገኙ ከወትሮው በተሻለ ሁኔታ ለእንግዳ አቀባበል ሥርዓት ዘርግተዋል ብለዋል።

የከተማው የዘላቂ የንጹህ መጠጥ ውሃ ኘሮጀክት ግንባታ ተጠናቅቆ አገልግሎት መስጠት በመጀመሩ አስተማማኝ የውሃ አቅርቦት እንዳለም የከተማ አስተዳደሩ የሥራ ኃላፊዎች ተናግረዋል።

ለመጀመሪያ ጊዜ በላሊበላ ከተማ የሚካሄደው የታላቁ ሩጫ መርሐ-ግብርም ለበዓሉ ድምቀት እንደሚሰጥ ጠቁመው፤ የተሽከርካሪና የእግረኛ መንገዶችን ጨምሮ የአየር ትራንስፖርት ለተጓዦች አመቺ መሆናቸውን ጠቁመዋል።

በበዓሉ ላይ ከስምንት መቶ ሺ እስከ አንድ ሚሊየን ሕዝብ ይገኛል ተብሎ እንደሚጠበቅ አመልክተው፤ በዓለም አቀፍ ደረጃ እውቅና ያላቸውን ፍልፍልና ውቅር አብያተክርስቲያናትን ጨምሮ ዋሻዎች፣ የአካባቢው መልክዓ-ምድርና በላሊበላ ከተማ በ45 ኪሎ ሜትር ዙሪያ ያሉ የተፈጥሮ፣ ሃይማኖታዊና ታሪካዊ ቦታዎች እና መስህቦች እንዲጎበኙ ጥረት እየተደረገ ነው ብለዋል።

ባለፉት አምስት ወራት ላሊበላ ከተማንና በአካባቢው ያሉ የቱሪዝም ሃብቶችን ከጎበኙ 10 ሺ 769 የውጭ ሀገርና 4ሺ 989 የሀገር ውስጥ ጎብኚዎች ከ23 ነጥብ 6 ሚሊየን ብር በላይ ገቢ መገኘቱን የከተማው አስተዳደር ባህልና ቱሪዝም መምሪያ ሰሞኑን መግለጹ ይታወሳል።

Orthodoxy in Islamic Turkey, A Lesson For Ethiopia

(CBS):-Patriarch Bartholomew, the leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians, feels "crucified" living in Turkey under a government he says would like to see his Patriarchate die out.
(Bob Simon reports)


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The Forgotten Faithful, Arab Christians

Followers of Jesus for nearly 2,000 years, native Christians today are disappearing from the land where their faith was born.
Is there any lesson Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Church could learn from this?


(Photograph by Ed Kashi)
By Don Belt
(Courtesy of National Geographic):- Easter in Jerusalem is not for the faint of heart. The Old City, livid and chaotic in the calmest of times, seems to come completely unhinged in the days leading up to the holiday. By the tens of thousands, Christians from all over the world pour in like a conquering horde, surging down the Via Dolorosa's narrow streets and ancient alleyways, seeking communion in the cold stones or some glimmer, perhaps, of the agonies Jesus endured in his final hours. Every face on Earth seems to float through the streets during Easter, every possible combination of eye and hair and skin color, every costume and style of dress, from blue-black African Christians in eye-popping dashikis to pale Finnish Christians dressed as Jesus with a bloody crown of thorns to American Christians in sneakers and "I [heart] Israel" caps, clearly stoked for the battle of Armageddon.


They come because this is where Christianity began. Here in Jerusalem and on lands nearby are the stony hills where Jesus walked and taught and died—and later, where his followers prayed and bled and battled over what his teaching would become. Huddled alongside Jewish converts in the caves of Palestine and Syria, Arabs were among the first to be persecuted for the new faith, and the first to be called Christians. It was here in the Levant—a geographical area including present-day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and the Pales tinian territories—that hundreds of churches and monasteries were built after Constantine, emperor of Rome, legalized Christianity in 313 and declared his Levantine provinces holy land. Even after Arab Muslims conquered the region in 638, it remained predominantly Christian.

Ironically, it was during the Crusades (1095-1291) that Arab Christians, slaughtered along with Muslims by the crusaders and caught in the cross fire between Islam and the Christian West, began a long, steady retreat into the minority. Today native Christians in the Levant are the envoys of a forgotten world, bearing the fierce and hunted spirit of the early church. Their communities, composed of various Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant sects, have dwindled in the past century from a quarter to about 8 percent of the population as the current generation leaves for economic reasons, to escape the region's violence, or because they have relatives in the West who help them emigrate. Their departure, sadly, deprives the Levant of some of its best educated and most politically moderate citizens—the people these societies can least afford to lose. And so, for Jerusalem's Arab Christians, there is a giddiness during Easter, as if, after a long and lonely ordeal, much needed reinforcements have arrived.

In a small apartment on the outskirts of the city, a young Palestinian Christian couple I will call Lisa and Mark are preparing to enter the fray. Lisa, still in jeans and a T-shirt, is struggling to get their 18-month-old daughter, Nadia, into a white Easter dress. Mark, in his pajamas, is trying without success to prevent their three-year-old son, Nate, whose mood ricochets between Spiderman and Attila the Hun, from trashing the brand new pants-and-vest outfit they've wrestled him into—or the TV, or the painting of child Jesus on the wall, or the vase of flowers on the table. Mark, a big, hot-running guy, grimaces in exasperation. It's eight o'clock on a chilly morning in March, and he's already sweating profusely. Yet it's Easter, a time of optimism and hope, and a special one at that.

This is the first Easter, ever, that Mark has been allowed to spend with the family in Jerusalem. He is from Bethlehem, in the West Bank, so his identity papers are from the Palestinian Authority; he needs a permit from Israel to visit. Lisa, whose family lives in the Old City, holds an Israeli ID. So although they've been married for five years and rent this apartment in the Jerusalem suburbs, under Israeli law they can't reside under the same roof. Mark lives with his parents in Bethlehem, which is six miles away but might as well be a hundred, lying on the far side of an Israeli checkpoint and the 24-foot-high concrete barrier known as the Wall.

Mark finds it depressing that "80 percent of the Christian guys I grew up with have left for another country to find work." Yet he understands why. A trained social worker with a degree in sociology, Mark has been looking for a job, any job, for almost two years. "You're surrounded by this giant wall, and there are no jobs," he says. "It's like a science experiment. If you keep rats in an enclosed space and make it smaller and smaller every day and introduce new obstacles and constantly change the rules, after a while the rats go crazy and start eating each other. It's like that."

For anyone living in Israel or the Palestinian territories, stress is the norm. But the 196,500 Palestinian and Israeli Arab Christians, who dropped from 13 percent of the population in 1894 to less than 2 percent today, occupy a uniquely oxygen-starved space between traumatized Israeli Jews and traumatized Palestinian Muslims, whose rising militancy is tied to regional Islamist movements that sometimes target Arab Christians. In the past decade, "the situation for Arab Christians has gone rapidly downhill," says Razek Siriani, a frank and lively man in his 40s who works for the Middle East Council of Churches in Aleppo, Syria. "We're completely outnumbered and surrounded by angry voices," he says. Western Christians have made matters worse, he argues, echoing a sentiment expressed by many Arab Christians. "It's because of what Christians in the West, led by the U.S., have been doing in the East," he says, ticking off the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. support for Israel, and the threats of "regime change" by the Bush Administration. "To many Muslims, especially the fanatics, this looks like the Crusades all over again, a war against Islam waged by Christianity. Because we're Christians, they see us as the enemy too. It's guilt by association."

Mark and Lisa, like Arab Christians everywhere, conduct an ongoing argument about whether to leave their homeland for good. Mark has one brother in Ireland, another in San Diego, and he lived in the U.S. for a few years. He got his green card and was working in California when he and Lisa were married, in Jerusalem, in 2004. She tried living in San Diego for a while but was homesick for her family, so the couple moved back after Nate was born.

Living as Arabs in the U.S. after 9/11 was an eye-opener for them. "It's funny," Mark says, "what Americans think about things. They've never heard of Arab Christians. They assume all Arabs are Muslim—terrorists, that is—and that Christianity was invented in Italy or something. So when you say, I'm an Arab Christian, they look at you funny, like you just said, The moon is purple. I had one lady ask me, 'What does your family think about you being a Christian? I suppose they must have been very upset!' "

On a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean near Beirut, a hermit rises at three in the morning, reaching for a flashlight amid the lumpy familiarity of books that are both his life's work and his lifelong bedmates. The hermit, who's 73, long-bearded, and known by the name Father Yuhanna, works there until dawn, translating ancient Christian hymns from Aramaic, the language of Jesus, into modern Arabic, copying them into a giant, leatherbound volume the size of a seat cushion. Then he prays, eats a piece of fruit, pulls on his black habit and cloak, and merrily sets off to deliver 10,000 blessings to every place in the world.

His first stop, always, is Alaska, where he "stocks up on fresh air." Then he drifts down through North and South America, jumps to Africa, moves up through the Middle East, sweeps across Europe, then heads east into Russia and Asia before working his way south to Australia. Everywhere he goes, he distributes blessings, counting them off one by one on a string of woven rosary beads that fly through his fingers like doves. This daily trip takes three or four hours, and most days—if he doesn't linger too long over the trouble spots—he's back home by noon. To the untrained eye, he's just an old man walking around in a garden. To his friends and followers, who come by the hundreds to hear his teachings about Jesus, he's a saintly figure, a descendant of influential hermits like Simeon the Elder—a fifth-century ascetic who lived atop a stone pillar in the Syrian countryside for more than 30 years, attracting the pious devotion of locals.

Maronite Christians are not usually thought of as candidates for sainthood. Followers of a fourth-century hermit named Maron, the sect seemed destined from the beginning to battle its way through history. When St. Maron died in 410, a bitter feud broke out among his followers over custody of his body. Within a generation the Maronites were also battling rival Christian sects over theological issues, and after the arrival of Islam they opposed the Muslims too. Fleeing persecution, they pushed over the mountains from Syria into Lebanon, where they sought out the most inhospitable valleys, fortified their caves and craggy monasteries, and set about defending themselves from the caliph's army. In the late 11th century, when French crusaders marched through on their way to Jerusalem, Maronites poured out of the mountains to greet their fellow Christians. Some 800 years later, when France took charge of Syria (including Lebanon) at the end of World War I, it repaid the Maronites by shaping the future nation of Lebanon to their advantage. Speaking French and nurturing a cultural affinity for Europe, the Maronites, alone among Arab Christians, were the majority in a Middle Eastern country when Lebanon gained its independence in 1943.

More recently, Maronite Christians have been among the most feared militia fighters in Lebanon's civil war, waging fierce campaigns against Lebanese factions—Shiite, Sunni, Druze, and Palestinian—in the combat zones of Beirut between 1975 and 1990. But today Lebanon's Christians, once the majority, find themselves increasingly relegated to the same role that Christians elsewhere in the Middle East know so well. After decades of emigration, their numbers have fallen below 40 percent of the population. To cope, Maronite leaders have forged new alliances: one with the ascendent Shiite group, Hezbollah; another with a coalition of Sunnis and Druze. Meanwhile, the Christian militias have gone underground—but that doesn't mean they've gone soft.

Milad Assaf is a genial, middle-aged tile contractor who serves as a foot soldier in the Lebanese Forces (LF), a powerful Maronite political party. From the balcony of his bullet-riddled fifth-floor apartment in east Beirut, Milad has a clear shot at the sprawling Shiite neighborhoods that lie just beyond a busy thoroughfare marking the "red line" between Christian territory and that of the Shiite militias fighting for Hezbollah and its ally, Amal. "It's kind of like living in a shooting gallery," he says, laughing.

Milad was six years old in April 1975, when a gang of Christians ignited Lebanon's civil war by opening fire on a bus full of Palestinian refugees; they did it to send a message to the Palestinian fighters then roaming the streets of Beirut, who wanted to turn Lebanon into a base for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The bus attack, which killed 27 people, went down a block from Milad's house, in front of a life-size statue of the Virgin Mary. Despite hailstorms of small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades, and Israeli bombs that have whistled through the air here since 1975, the statue doesn't have a scratch on it. "Think about that for a minute," says Milad. "Tell me that's not a miracle!"

Milad's neighborhood, Ain al-Rumaneh, is a tough place, full of bullet-pocked apartment buildings and small shops. Every flat surface, it seems, is branded with the symbol of the Lebanese Forces, a cross with its base sliced off at an angle, like a sword. After recent clashes with Shiites, Milad and his buddies raised a 15-foot wooden cross on the sidewalk and plastered a plywood wall behind it with huge posters of Jesus. Then they installed floodlights so that Hezbollah fighters across the road would get the following message 24 hours a day: "Ain al-Rumaneh is Christian. Keep the hell out."

By age 12, when he joined the LF, Milad had the swagger of a shabb, or tough guy. He has no idea how many men he killed during the war. He's been in and out of jail dozens of times and even now, at 40, hasn't given up the adrenaline-fueled life of a fighter. His thinning hair is slicked back, Elvis style, and he wears the big LF cross on a gold chain around his neck and tattooed on his left forearm. Like many Arab Christian guys, Milad pumps a lot of iron, and though carrying a slight paunch, he has a powerlifter's chest that he's proud of, wrapped tightly in a white Armani T-shirt. He flexes his biceps and chest constantly. He carouses in a souped-up SUV, drinks too much, breaks a lot of hearts. Since the July 2006 war with Israel, which ruined the Lebanese economy and strengthened Hezbollah, his tile business has taken a hit, but Milad is hoping to ride this crisis out, just like all the others.

Countrywide, this chronic instability has pushed unemployment to 20 percent, scared away foreign investors, and dimmed the nation's once vibrant commercial life. A week before, in the Maronite heartland along the Qadicha Valley, I'd stopped at a shop in Bcharre, a town on the edge of a cliff that was home to the poet Khalil Gibran. "First customer of the day," said the dark-haired woman behind the counter, whose name was Liliane Geagea. It was 11 a.m. on a sunny Saturday in April, prime tourist season, but the place was empty. "With all the troubles, people have just stopped coming," she said. "Everybody's saving their money so they can leave this crazy place. I know I am. I've given this country 45 years of my life, most of them in a war, and that's enough. I'm exhausted, and so is my family. My daughter is studying at Beirut University. When she graduates, my advice to her is: Go to America, go to Europe or Australia, it doesn't matter where. Just get out and take me with you."

Milad doesn't have the option of leaving, and neither do thousands of other tough guys just like him who meet in militia clubhouses to discuss the "situation" and abide by their party's decision to make political alliances instead of war. But if there's anything that makes them nervous, it's being outgunned. Milad flexes his biceps, pats the stock of his rifle, and grins. "We still have our weapons," he says, fingering one of the M16s he keeps oiled and ready in his basement. "But these days the Shiites have more." He gestures out the window, to shot-up apartment complexes just beyond the four-lane road that might as well be a hostile international border. "Hezbollah controls everything on the other side of that road," he says. "And those guys are crazy. They've got rocket launchers, RPGs, you name it, all supplied by Iran. We'll always protect our neighborhoods and our families, no questions asked. But these days, if it turned into a shooting war, we'd lose. So now we believe in peace."

A few hours east of the battle lines between Muslim and Christian in Beirut, communities in Syria offer a reminder, beneath the hostilities of today, of how closely related the two religions really are. There are oases of tolerance—once widespread, now less so—where Christians and Muslims attend one another's weddings and funerals and worship at one another's shrines. In some monasteries Christians still prostrate themselves in prayer—a Byzantine-era practice that early Muslims may have admired and adopted. Some churches still conduct services in Aramaic or Syriac, languages that predate Islam.

One afternoon I climb to Our Lady of Saydnaya, a cliff-top Greek Orthodox convent in Syria that has weathered the storms of empire since 547. Once inside I find myself not among Christians but in a crowd of Muslim families who've come seeking the blessings of the Virgin Mary, whose powers of healing and fertility have drawn people in need for nearly 1,500 years.

As my eyes adjust to the gloom of the candlelit inner sanctum, I watch as a woman in a head scarf offers her baby, wrapped in a blanket, to the centerpiece of the shrine. There, surrounded by soot-blackened icons, a brass template covers the image of Mary, said to be painted by St. Luke, which inspires even though hidden from view. With her eyes closed and lips moving in silent prayer, the baby's mother presses his face gently against the metal plate for a long moment. Later, outside, I meet the woman and her family, who'd driven up from Damascus after Friday prayers at their mosque.

Wary of strangers, they would offer only the name of their sick child, Mahmoud. Just seven months old, swaddled in a green blanket, he lay still as death with his eyes closed, barely breathing. His face was a dark grayish brown. "The doctor said he can't do anything for Mahmoud and that we should send him to America for an operation," his mother says. "That's impossible, so we need a miracle instead. I'm a Muslim, but a long time ago my family used to be Christian. I believe in the prophets—Muslim, Jewish, and Christian—and I believe in Mary. I've come here so that my boy will be healed."

Such scenes reflect the Levant's history of coexistence between Muslims and people of other faiths, which dates from the earliest days of Islam. When the Muslim Caliph Omar conquered Syria from the Byzantine Empire around 636, he protected the Christians under his rule, allowing them to keep their churches and worship as they pleased. But many Christians converted to Islam anyway, preferring its emphasis on a personal connection with God to the oppressive hierarchies of the Byzantine Church. The grandson of the last Christian governor of Damascus, who grew up to be the theologian St. John Damascene, listened to the newcomers talk about Islam—its acceptance of the Old and New Testaments, its esteem for Jewish prophets, its veneration of Jesus and Mary—and concluded that it was another of the many Christian heresies making the rounds of the Byzantine Empire, beyond the reach of church authorities in Constantinople. It never occurred to him, even writing many years later, that Islam might be a separate religion. When later caliphs imposed heavy taxes on Christians, conversions soared among poor villagers. For those early Arab Christians, whose word for God was (as it still is today) Allah, accepting the tenets of Islam was more like stepping over a stream than vaulting a chasm.

"You can't live alongside people for a thousand years and see them as the children of Satan," observes Paolo Dall'Oglio, an earthy, bear-size monk who hosts Muslims in interfaith dialogue at Deir Mar Musa, the sixth-century desert monastery he and his Arab followers restored between Damascus and Homs. "On the contrary, Muslims are us. This is the lesson the West has yet to learn and that Arab Christians are uniquely qualified to teach. They are the last, vital link between the Christian West and the Arab Muslim world. If Arab Christians were to disappear, the two sides would drift even further apart than they already are. They are the go-betweens."

Back in Jerusalem Mark and Lisa are acutely aware of the role that Arab Christians might play in the geopolitical dramas of today. But they live in a hothouse world, where go-betweens are in constant danger of being trampled—by Muslims, by Jews, or by Western Christians, who (not unlike the crusaders) look right through them as they race past to stake their claim on God's holy ground.

On Easter morning, Mark and Lisa make a handsome couple in their Sunday clothes, leading Nate and Nadia by the hand up the sidewalk to the family car, a middle-aged, maroon Honda. It's a proud moment, their first Easter together in the Holy Land, and Lisa, noticing the thick coat of dust on the car, asks Mark to give it a rinse. He fetches a hose and connects it to a faucet they share with their neighbors, who come out on the porch and stand, watching, in their kaffiyehs and head scarves. In an animated voice, Lisa explains to the kids that Daddy's giving the car a bath for Easter. Right on cue, with a playful flourish, Mark squeezes the nozzle on the hose. Nothing comes out. He checks the faucet, squeezes again. Still nothing. So there he stands, empty hose in hand, in front of his kids, his neighbors, and a visitor from overseas. "I guess they've opened the pipes to the settlements," he says quietly, gesturing to the hundreds of new Israeli housing units climbing up the hills nearby. "No more [water] for us." Lisa is still trying to explain this to the kids as the car pulls away from the curb.

"I hate the Israelis," Lisa says one day, out of the blue. "I really hate them. We all hate them. I think even Nate's starting to hate them."

Is that a sin? I ask.

"Yes, it is," she says. "And that makes me a sinner. But I confess my sins when I go to church, and that helps. I'm learning not to hate. In the meantime, I go to confession."

"Hate destroys the spirit of those who hate," says Father Rafiq Khoury, a soft-spoken Palestinian priest who hears his share of confessions at the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem. "But even in the midst of all these troubles, all this violence and despair driving Christians away, you can see new life in the faces of young people and experience the hope that is God's gift to humanity. That is the message of Easter."

Yet even at Easter, Arab Christians seem to be the forgotten ones. One night in East Jerusalem, I accompanied Lisa and Mark to Good Friday services at the huge Church of All Nations next to the Garden of Gethsemane. Mark, who can't stand crowds, stayed outside with Nate in the cool night air, but Lisa has celebrated this Mass since she was a child and wanted to go inside. The crowd was sparse, and we took a position well back from the pews, standing a few yards inside the church doors. Lisa had Nadia in a stroller. As we stood there admiring the church's ornate altar and vestibule, the Christian hordes circulating through Jerusalem suddenly descended, like an Old Testament plague, on the church.

Hundreds of pilgrims churned through the church's double doors, filling the cavernous space with warm bodies and pushing us deeper into the church. The temperature rose rapidly, and air was suddenly in short supply. I checked Lisa's face and saw a look of alarm as she gripped the stroller and tried to anchor herself against the river of humanity flowing into the church. Dutch, German, Korean, Nigerian, American, French, Spanish, Russian, Filipino, Brazilian, the crowd surged forward, searching hungrily for a greater proximity to God.

Suddenly Lisa's decision to bring Nadia along was looking like a mistake. At eye level, people were seeing the vacant space created by the stroller and aggressively pushing to fill it, not realizing there was a sleeping child down below until they were practically falling onto her. Lisa's eyes widened as we fought to protect Nadia from the crush of bodies. As if wading through chest-deep water, we tried to clear a path for the stroller to the church doors. A number of foreign pilgrims reacted poorly to this tiny Arab woman moving in the wrong direction, and things got a bit physical as we made our way through the crowd. As we passed through the doors, the crowd thinned out slightly. Lisa leaned in, straining to be heard over the chaos around us. "Do you see how it is?" she asked, gasping for air on the hill where Jesus spent his last night on Earth. "This is our home. And it's like we're not even here!"

Don Belt is the magazine's senior editor for foreign affairs. He and photographer Ed Kashi reported on India’s superhighways in the October 2008 issue.

December 25, 2009

Celebrating Christmas across Africa



BBC News website readers have sent in their experiences of Yuletide festivities on the continent.

Here we are enlightened about Orthodox Christmas in Ethiopia and days of festivals in Nigeria.

MATTHEW CHIBUIKE NJOKU, MBAISE, NIGERIA

Traditionally four market days - afor, nkwo, eke and orie - make up a week in south-eastern Nigeria instead of the weekdays on a modern calendar.

A market will be held in a different area on each of these four days. Over Christmas, the celebrations are held over two market weeks, turn by turn starting from the community whose market day fall on 25 December.

This provides ample opportunity for reciprocal visits. Every family except the ones that are bereaved during the year must make adequate preparation by decorating their houses, cooking assorted foods and providing drinks to entertain their guests unconditionally.

Christmas is a time of covering up; it is not a time to showcase poverty.

In the olden days, blood of fowls or a goat killed on this day were sprinkled around the tree where the family have their god. Nowadays Christian families have switched over to family liberation prayers during Christmas period to break away from the gods of their ancestors.

It is difficult to guess the number of guests because friends and well-wishers come without invitation even with their own friends which the host family may not have even met before.

While the guests usually are expected from 12 noon, groups of children starts going from house to house in the morning to display various traditional dances with the hope of getting money from audience thrilled with their performance.

The celebrations of the day come to a climax at the market square in the evening with various masquerade groups delighting their spectators with magical performances.

The masquerade groups try to attract the audience to spray money on them.

Though it is not compulsory, guests - especially the in-laws - may bring gifts of wine, goat, yam and bags of rice, chicken or cash to their host family.

Seeing people that one has not seen for years is common during Christmas. It is shameful to a family if their members that stay abroad or in cities and do not come home for Christmas.

It is cultural to sew new Christmas clothes, especially for children. Adults also try to appear in new and best outfits throughout the festive period. Women must bead new hair styles.

This period is a time of spending, it is common to get requests from people asking you to "do Christmas" for them. This simply means that you should give them money and it can be embarrassing if one does not give because one is not expected to be stingy at Christmas.

Some people may run out of money in early January and may need to borrow money to return to the city.

Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in Africa that has among others a unique calendar, which is very close to the ancient Julian calendar.

Ethiopians mark Christmas and Christ's birth on 7 January - it is called Ganna and it will not be an exaggeration to say it is the most colourfully celebrated holiday in the country.

Celebrations begin on the eve where people gather at churches to pray and chant.

Church at Lalibela
Pilgrims flock to Lalibela's rock-hewn churches for Christmas

Usually most Ethiopian Orthodox Christians fast the whole day on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Day, just before dawn, believers dress in the traditional "shamma" - a white cotton wrap with brightly coloured stripes across the ends - and gather for the early morning mass.

Each person entering the church will be given a candle and the celebrations begin under flickering candles.

Priests dressed in turbans and red and white robes and carrying beautifully embroidered fringed umbrellas will begin the colourful procession with prayers and songs.

Deacons and choirs will also join the priests in song and dancing and veneration of their creator.

The sound of bells and music from the churches are heard far and wide until the late hours of the morning. Before the end of the service, priests will serve Holy Communion to worshipers.

The place to really experience a traditional Ganna is in Lalibela - found in north-east Ethiopia. Pilgrims travel for days to attend colourful ceremonies at the rock-hewn churches nestled in the hillside.

Around the time of Ganna, young and also older men play a hockey-like game that is also called Ganna, which is played with a curved stick and a round wooden ball.

Traditional Christmas dish includes "injera", a sourdough pancake-like bread, and "doro wat", a spicy chicken stew served in a wide watertight basket.

On their return from church, families gather around these wide baskets to enjoy the holiday meal together.

Ganna is not an occasion for giving gifts in Ethiopia. Religious observance, feasting, and games are the focus of the season.

Twelve days after Ganna, on 19 January, Ethiopians begin a three-day celebration called Timkat, in commemoration of the baptism of Christ.

But that will be a topic for another day. For now Melkam Ganna (Merry Christmas)!

December 24, 2009

“እስክንድር ከሆንክ እንደ እስክንድር ተዋጋ፤ ካልሆነ ደግሞ ስሙን መልስ”

(አቤል ቀዳማዊ)
በሰሜን አሜሪካ የኢ/ኦ/ተ/ቤ ካህናትና ምዕመናን ጉባኤ መግለጫ ሳነብ የተዘበራረቀ ስሜት ተሰማኝ። ምክንያቱም በዘንድሮ ጉባኤአቸው ላይ ታሪካዊ ውሳኔ ያሳልፋሉ ብዬ ጠብቄ ነበረ። እነዚህ በተለያዩ ግዛት የሚገኙት አጥቢያ ቤተ ክርስቲያናት በአስተዳደር ብልሹነት ምክንያት የአቡነ ጳውሎስ አስተዳደር እንደማይቀበሉ፤ ነገር ግን የቅዱስ ሲኖዶስ ውሳኔዎች እንደሚቀበሉ በተለያዩ መድረኮች ሲገልፁልን ቆይተዋል። የእግዚአብሔር ፈቃድ ሆኖ በአንዳንድ ብፁአን አባቶች አማላካችነት ቤተ ክርስቲያናችን ከብልሹ አስተዳደር እንድትፀዳ ጥያቄው ቀርቦዋል። ይህም ጥያቄ በሒደት ላይ መሆኑን በተለያዩ የህዝብ መገናኛ ብዙሀን ሰምተናል። ታዲያ ችግራቸው የአስተዳደር ብልሹነት ከሆነ ጥያቄው አሁን በውስጥም ስለተነሳ “እኛም ከዚህ በፊት ያነሳነው ጥያቄ ስለሆነ ከእናንተ ጋር ነን፣ አብረንም እንዋጋዋለን” በማለት ግልፅ የሆነ ውሳኔ ለምን አላሳለፉም?።

እንግዲህ እነዚህ ተሰባስበዋል የተባሉት “ገለልተኞች” ነን ከሚሉት አጥቢያ ቤተ ክርስቲያናት መሀከል በአንድ ቡድን የተሰሉፉ ናቸው። እዚህ ሰሜን አሜሪካ ውስጥ በይፋ የሚታወቁ ሶስት የአስተዳደር ዓይነት ያላቸው በኢ/ኦ/ተ/ቤ ስም የሚጠሩ አሉ። እነሱም “ገለልተኛ”፣ “ስደተኛ ሲኖዶስ” ነኝ ብሎ ራሱን የሚጠራው አስተዳደር የሚቀበሉ እና በኢትዮጵያው ቤተ ክርስቲያን አስተዳደር መዋቅር ስር የሚተዳደሩ ናችው። ይህ በስም ሶስት የአስተዳደር ዓይነቶች ምዕመናን ሁላችንም የምናውቀው ሲሆን፤ በውስጥ ግን እያንዳንዱ አጥቢያ ቤተ ክርስቲያን የራሱ የሆነ አስተዳደር እና የራሱ የሆነ ልዩ ፀባይ አለው።

ከዚህ በፊትም በዚሁ በደጀ ሰላም አስተያየት መስጫ ላይ እንደገለጽኩት እዚህ እኔ በምኖርበት ዋሽንግተን ዲሲ እና አካባቢዋ ማለትም ዲሲ፣ሜሪላንድ እና ቨርጂኒያ ላይ 18 (አስራ ስምንት) በኢ/ኦ/ተ/ቤ ስም የሚጠሩ አጥቢያ ቤተክርስቲያን ይገኛሉ። ከእነዚህም ውስጥ ስድስቱ “ገለልተኛ” ከሚባለው አስተዳደር የሚመደቡ ሲሆን፤ ነገር ግን ስድስቱም የራሳቸው የሆነ ልዩ ፀባይ እና እንዲሁም አስተዳደር ዓይነት አላቸው። ነገር ግን “ገለልተኛ” የሚለው ስም ብቻ አንድ ያደጋቸዋል። ከእነዚህም ውስጥ አንዱ አጥቢያ ብቻ ነው፤ ሰሞኑን በተካሄደው የካህናት እና ምዕመናን ጉባኤ ላይ የተሳተፈው። አምስቱ ግን አልተሳተፉም።
ታድያ ይህ ቅጥ ያጣ መለያየት መንስኤው ምን ይሆን? እውነት የፓትርያክ ጳውሎስ የአስተዳደር በደል? ወይስ ሌላ ጥቅም ፍለጋ? እንግዲህ “እስክንድር ከሆንክ እንደ እስክንድር ተዋጋ፤ ካልሆነ ደግሞ ስሙን መልስ” እንደሚባለው የኢ/ኦ/ተ/ቤ በማለት ስም ብቻ ይዞ ጉዞ እስከ መቼ?። መልሱን ለእናንተ ትቼዋለሁ።

December 22, 2009

“በሰሜን አሜሪካ የኢ/ኦ/ተ/ቤ ካህናትና ምዕመናን ጉባኤ” መግለጫ እና ሳይገለጹ የታለፉ እውነታዎች

(ደጀ ሰላም፤ ዲሴምበር 21/2009)፦ በተለምዶ “ገለልተኛ አብያተ ክርስቲያናት ማኀበር” እየተባለ የሚጠራው “በሰሜን አሜሪካ የኢ/ኦ/ተ/ቤ ካህናትና ምዕመናን ጉባኤ” በዳላስ ቴክሳስ ደብረ ምሕረት ቅ/ሚካኤል ያደረገውን አምስተኛ ዓመታዊ ጉባዔ ሲፈጽም መግለጫ አውጥቷል። የመግለጫውን ሙሉ ቃል የምናነበው ሆኖ ዋና ዋና ሐሳቦቹን ግን እንደሚከተለው አሳጥሮ ማቅረብ ይቻላል።

1. ቤተ ክርስቲያን “በውስጧ የሚከሠቱትን የሞራልና የአስተዳደር ስሕተቶች አርማ፣ የተጣሉት ታርቀው፣ የራቁትም ቀርበው መሠረቱ የፀና ዘላቂ ሰላምና መረጋጋት የሰፈነባት” ሆና ማየት እንደሚፈልጉ፣
2. በኢሊባቦርና በጅማ አካባቢ ለሚገኙ ምዕመናን $53 000 ዶላር መላካቸውን፣
3. የዚህን ጉባኤ “አባላት አብያተ ክርስቲያን ካህናት በአንድ ጥላ ሥር ላማዋሐድና በአንዳንድ አብያተ ክርስቲያን ውስጥም የሚፈጠረው አለመስማማት ወደ ዓለማዊ ፍርድ ቤት ከማምራቱ በፊት” መፍትሔ ለመስጠት እንደሚፈለግ፣
4. “የቤተ ክርስቲያናችን ቅዱስ ሲኖዶስ ጉዳይ ከኀሊናችን ያልጠፋና እያሳሰበን የሚገኝ ታላቅ ጉዳይ እንደመሆኑ መጠን በጥንቃቄና በጥልቀት ሁኔታውን ለመከታተል ጉባኤው” መወሰኑን፣
5. በአገራችን የሚገኘውን ረሀብና ቸነፈር ለመቅረፍ መፍትሔ የሚፈልግ (የሥራ ዕቅድ የሚያዘጋጅ) የምሁራን ቡድን ለማቋቋም ጉባኤው መስማማቱን
መግለጫው ይጠቁማል።

ይሁን እንጂ ይህ የካህናትን የምእመናን ጉባኤ ቤተ ክርስቲያናችን አሁን ስላለችበት መሪር ሁኔታ እና መፍትሔው የተወያየበት ነገር ስለመኖሩ አልገለጠም። የሁሉ የበላይ ስለሆነውና እነርሱም “እቀበለዋለሁ፣ አይሰደድም” ስለሚለው የቤተ ክርስቲያኒቱ የመጨረሻ ወሳኝ አካል ስለቅ/ሲኖዶስ ጉዳይም በአጭሩ “የቤተ ክርስቲያናችን ቅዱስ ሲኖዶስ ጉዳይ ከኀሊናችን ያልጠፋና እያሳሰበን የሚገኝ ታላቅ ጉዳይ እንደመሆኑ መጠን በጥንቃቄና በጥልቀት ሁኔታውን ለመከታተል” በሚል ግልጽ ያልሆነ ሐረግ አልፎታል። አባባሉ ራሱ ከተርታ ምእመናን የተሰነዘረ አስተያየት እንጂ የካህናት ብሒል ያለበት አገላለጽ አይመስልም።

ጉባኤው በአንድ ጥላ ሥር ለመግባት መወሰኑ አበረታች ነው። ይህ “አንድ ጥላ” ግን ራሱን “እንደ ሲኖዶስ” ለማድረግ፣ ወይም “ሀገረ ስብከት አከል” ሆኖ አሁን በመጠናከር ላይ ያሉትን አህጉረ ስብከት “ለመገዳደር” በዚያው በተለመደው “የቤተ ክህነት የምቀኝነት መንፈስ” ከሆነ “ስልቻ ቀንቀሎ፣ ቀንቀሎ ስልቻ” ይሆናል። ስለዚህ አሁንም መግለጫውን የሚያብራራ ሌላ መግለጫ ያስፈልጋቸዋል። ምን ማድረግ እንደምትፈልጉ በትክክል ተናገሩ። እንዲያው በደፈናው “ከቦርድ ባርነት ነጻ እንውጣ፣ ቦርድ ከሚገዛችሁ እኛ ካህናት እንጫወትባችሁ” ከሆነ አሁንም “ስልቻ ቀንቀሎ፣ ቀንቀሎ ስልቻ” ይሆናል። ከዚህ አዙሪት ውጡና ሌላውንም አውጡ።

የመግለጫውን ሙሉ ቃል እዚህ ያንብቡ።

For the love of Virgin Mary, Theotokos (እመ አግዚአብሔር)


(Wataninet):- Late in the evening of Thursday 11 December, sometime after midnight, the official security guards at the gate of the church of the Holy Virgin and the Archangel Michael in the heavily populated district of Warraq al-Hadar in Giza witnessed an unusual light hovering above the church tower. The luminous glow, which paled the surrounding electric lights, also caught the eyes of a group of fellow Muslims sitting at a nearby café.

Intrigued, they looked on, only to see the light condense into a female form. A few Coptic passers-by immediately recognised it as a transfiguration of their beloved Holy Virgin. She appeared in her full height in luminous robes, above the middle dome of the church, dressed in pure white and blue and crowned in gold. The crosses on top of the church glowed brightly as she hovered between the domes and the twin towers of the church. The apparition lasted from 1:00am till 4:00am on Friday.

Excitement spread; cell phones were used to call friends, take shots and videos of the apparition and send them to loved ones, and the crowd in front of the church rapidly swelled as word got around. The priests, who had long left the church, were called back and rushed to the site to confirm the apparition. Giza Security Authority got wind of the situation and hastened to send security men to cordon off the area, protect the crowds, and enforce discipline.
The following few hours saw the news spread in a frenzy of excitement: the Holy Virgin had made an apparition.

Mother of Light
Interestingly, it was the district Muslims who first spread the excitement about the apparition. It is not for nothing that the Holy Virgin says in the gospel of Luke: “From henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” (Lk 1: 48)
Watani had to be on site to report first hand on the event.
Thousands of people were gathered around the church. Despite the biting cold of the Kyahk or December night, the crowd camped there till the following morning; many made small bonfires on the fringe to get some warmth. Hymns and praises for the Holy Virgin incessantly filled the night air. The mood was festive and vendors of hot drinks and snacks especially made good of the event. The crowd comprised Muslims as well as Christians; veiled women could be seen side by side with the unveiled, all anticipating a fresh apparition.
At around 1.00am a luminous pigeon was spotted soaring above the domes then landing on the church tower. Ululations rose in joy to excited cries of “The Virgin! The Holy Virgin has appeared!” Hundreds gathered on the neighbouring rooftops, huddled in heavy clothes, and joined the thousands in the streets to sing “O Holy Virgin, Mother of Light, come to us always!”
Never one to let her loved ones down, the Holy Virgin appeared again in full glory in the early hours of dawn on Wednesday.

So happy
Watani talked to Hamada Mohamed, a worker at the café opposite the church and who was—together with the church guards—the first to witness the apparition. “I was working late that Thursday [10 December] evening. My fellow workers and I saw a bright white light which intrigued us all,” said Mohamed. “We went to alert the church guards wondering what was this all about, then we saw the light taking form and settling on the tower. It disappeared then reappeared again. A Copt who was standing close by cried that this was the Holy Virgin. A multitude began to gather and the Holy Virgin appeared once more, this time in her full height, dressed in white and blue, at around 3.00am. She walked on the domes of the church. On other nights she appeared in the form of glowing white pigeons.” Mohamed told Watani that the Holy Virgin’s apparition is a great joy for both Muslims and Christians.
Hassan Mohamed, known as ‘Hassan Anbouba’, was also among the first who have observed the apparition. He confirmed Mohamed’s every word and said the Virgin Mary looked exactly as she was depicted in pictures.
“I took a photo of the Holy Virgin on my cell phone!” Usama Abu-Hadid, another Muslim who was also sitting at the café that fateful night excitedly told Watani. Her light was more beautiful than the moonlight, he said.
The Muslims quickly informed their Coptic neighbours of the apparition. Ashraf Abdel-Malak hastened to the street once his neighbour told him, to see a celestial light emanating from between the clouds and Holy Virgin appearing on the cross between the twin towers of the church.
Hanan Mohamed happily commented that the Virgin Mary is honoured in the Qur’an, and is loved by Muslims and Christians alike. “This is why everyone in Warraq is so happy,” she said.

When we were certain
Watani talked to Anba Theodosius, Bishop-General of Giza. Anba Theodosius said that he was a Mar Mina monastery in Maryut, southwest Alexandria on Thursday 11 December when he received a call from the priests of the Warraq Church informing me of the apparition of the Holy Virgin. I advised caution since it was unacceptable that we should issue a statement without being absolutely certain that it was an apparition of the Virgin. We informed Pope Shenouda, who is in America, and he continued to follow up on the event with us. Finally, when it became certain that the Holy Virgin had appeared and thousands had seen her, we issued an official statement to that effect.
Interestingly, several manifestations of unusual lights and pigeons have been reported by many Cairo and Giza residents, which were explained as related to the apparition of the Holy Virgin in Warraq.

Scepticism
The church at Warraq, according to Father Bishay who serves there, was built on a piece of land originally donated by a man who gave up his worldly possessions and took orders. The Copts in the district had no place to pray in apart from a shabby basement but, in 2000, the necessary permit for building the church was obtained. The present church was built on an area of 750 square metres in a mere 70-day period. Pope Shenouda III consecrated the church which today serves more than 3000 families.

Maher Nazmy has a special explanation for the apparition. “God wants to bring us, the people of Warraq, closer to Him. Most of us are merchants or small manufacturers and have no time for Him. We are just too preoccupied with our livelihood.” Since the Virgin’s transfiguration, Nazmy said, the church has been brimming with worshippers.

“The apparition brings in a message of peace and a call for reconciliation,” Father Daoud Ibrahim, the priest of the Warraq church told Watani.
“As soon as we got wind of the apparition,” he said, “we notified the bishopric which in turn informed Pope Shenouda III who is in the US for a medical check.” The Church, he said, meticulously registered and documented the event, including eyewitness accounts, photographs and videos.
It was normal that the event would draw the ire of sceptics. The media especially appeared either disbelieving or wishing to disbelieve. Yet Fr Daoud says: “Christians are not waiting for an apparition to prove their belief in the Holy Virgin or in miracles, because they already strongly believe in that.”

December 20, 2009

Coptic Church Announces Apparition of St. Mary

(Deje Selam, Dec 20/2009):- The Coptic Orthodox Church announced the validation of Marian Apparitions in Cairo. Anba Dumadius, Archbishop of Giza, in the Bishopric of Giza announces that the Holy Virgin has appeared in a transfiguration at the Church named after her in Warraq al-Hadar, Giza, in the early hours of Friday 11 December 2009 at 1:00am.

The Holy Virgin appeared in her full height in luminous robes, above the middle dome of the church, in pure white dress and a royal blue belt. She had a crown on her head, above which appeared the cross on top of the dome. The crosses on top of the church’s domes and towers glowed brightly with light. The Holy Virgin moved between the domes and on to the top of the church gate between its two twin towers. The local residents all saw her.

The apparition lasted from 1:00am till 4:00am on Friday, and was registered by cameras and cell phones. Some 3,000 people from the neighbourhood, surrounding areas, and passers-by gathered in the street in front of the church to see the apparition.

Since Friday, the huge crowds gathered in the vicinity of the church have been seeing luminous white pigeons soaring above the church during various times of the night, as well as a star which emerges suddenly in the heaven, travels some 200 metres across, then disappears. The huge crowds gathered around the church do not cease singing hymns and praises for the Holy Virgin.

This is a great blessing for the Church and for all the people of Egypt.
May her blessing and intercession benefit us all.

Signed
Anba Theodosius
Bishop-General of Giza

More News and videos HERE http://www.zeitun-eg.org/warraq.htm.

EGYPT: Is it the Virgin Mary or just a curious flash of light?

(LA Times, December 15, 2009/6:53 am):- The faithful say she comes in a flash of light amid a swirl of pigeons. Hundreds, if not thousands, have been lining up for hours every night at the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in a Cairo neighborhood just off the Nile. Many of them claim that a mysterious light hovering above the church's domes is an apparition of the Virgin Mary who will bring Christian Copts prosperity and relief in a time of national and religious struggle.

The crowds began appearing Thursday evening when a number of residents spotted a flickering light. No one was sure where the illumination was coming from, and word quickly spread that the light took the shape of the Virgin Mary wearing a blue gown and standing in the sky between the church's two high crosses.

Since then, many Copts, and more than a few Muslims, have spent their evenings camping outside the church to either be blessed by a glimpse of the "miraculous" scene or to figure out just what's happening in the night sky. It has turned into a pilgrimage for the curious and the devout at a time when Egypt is beset by poverty, high unemployment and a bruised sense of identity, especially after the national soccer team's recent loss to Algeria knocked it out of contention for the World Cup.

"The scene on Saturday was huge when we saw the lightning and white pigeons flying around us. White pigeons always accompany apparitions like these," one Copt told The Times.

Copts form 10% of Egypt's population of 80 million, and many firmly believe that this is the fourth time an apparition of Virgin Mary has taken place. The most famous incident was claimed to have happened in 1968, a few months after the country's military defeat at the hands of Israel and the latter's occupation of the Sinai peninsula.

At the time, some people assumed that she has appeared to help Egypt -- a predominantly Muslim nation -- through a time of crisis. Some Copts believe the Virgin is again appearing at a time of turmoil. There has been no official word from the Coptic Church.

"I had a seven-hour train journey to come and see the apparition," Magdi Sam'aan, a farmer from Asyut told The Times. "Our life in upper Egypt is very rough because of my limited income, but I believe the Virgin Mary has come at this specific moment to lend me and the whole country a hand."

However, and according to some intellectuals, it is this very belief of apparitions related to crisis that causes people to be easily influenced by such "alleged phenomenon."

"What is going on now is a result of people's massive feeling of corruption, social injustice and the financial gap between various classes in Egypt," said prominent Coptic scriptwriter Atef Beshay. "Some people are desperately seeking 'aid' from anyone, even if this aid will only come from the Virgin Mary's apparition.

"We also shouldn’t disregard the increasing religious tensions between Muslims and Copts. Some Copts wait for phenomenon like this because it gives them some sort of mental advantage over Muslims," Beshay said.

Writer Youssef Al Qaied agrees with Beshay that tough living has forced many Egyptian to turn to spiritualities: "When finances and living expenses are not easy to secure, people find a safe haven in creating spiritual beliefs that can pull them out of their miseries even if those beliefs have no practical or scientific bases."

Unlike their Coptic counterparts, most Muslims are not convinced. Many of them have seen light flashes in recent days, but certainly don't believe it was the Virgin Mary.

"I was one of the first to notice the laser-like lights. But nothing happened more than this. The shape of Virgin Mary never appeared in front of my eyes," said Mohamed Soliman, who lives one block away from the church.

Columnist Khaled Muntaser said the light over the church could be scientifically explained: "Lightning in these situations could be no more than a glow accompanying any electric discharge in the sky of a certain area. This glow is scientifically known as St. Elmo's fire, and it its more likely to occur during winter. It is just a static electricity like the one we sometimes feel while taking off a polyester shirt."

-- Amro Hassan in Cairo
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Head of Coptic Church Investigating Marian Apparitions

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Shenouda III, is expected to conduct an immediate investigation into alleged apparitions of the Virgin Mary in a Cairo slum that have been drawing thousands nightly.


ANSA is reporting that the Virgin Mary has allegedly appeared in two of the city’s poorest neighborhoods at least since Dec. 9. The latest apparition occurred on the roof of St. Michael’s church in the El Warraq neighborhood of Cairo and was witnessed by dozens of people.

According to local media, Our Lady appeared inside a bright light with her arms opened toward the crowd. Witnesses said the smell of incense flooded the area while a flock of doves hovered throughout. This event allegedly occurred at least twice and was captured on cell phone video and posted on YouTube.

As Michael Brown of Spirit Daily is reporting, the apparitions look very similar to those that were seen by millions in Zeitun, Egypt in the late 1960’s and early 1970s which were broadcast live on Egyptian TV. These apparitions, which took place over the course of a two year period, were eventually approved by the local Catholic bishop, Cardinal Stephanos I.

As Brown explains, the videos of the most recent apparitions “seem to show a bright light in the form of Mary moving amid the domes or over an entrance near an illuminated Cross as a frenzied crowd and beeping tax horns form an audio backdrop.”

The phenomena is attracting thousands of Muslims as well as Christians, along with a variety of street vendors who are selling food and drinks.

The commotion has prompted Coptic Pope Shenouda to form a committee which is currently investigating the apparitions.

Two videos of the apparitions are available on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpgZdFM9mH8 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXvNzDj5tAA

December 19, 2009

የህንድ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ለእኛ ምሳሌ መሆን ትችላለች?

(አቤል ቀዳማዊ)
አንድ አባት በምገለገልበት አጥቢያ ቤተ ክርስቲያን በመድረክ ቆመው የህንድ ቤተ ክርስቲያንን እድገት ምሳሌ እየጠቀሱ ስለ እኛ ቤተ ክርስቲያን እድገት ሲያስተምሩ በጥሞና ተመስጬ እያደመጥኩ አእምሮዬ ወዲያው ጥያቄ አቃጨለብኝ “የእኛ ቤተ ክርስቲያንስ የት ናት”?። እኚሁ አባት ስለምግባባቸው ከመድረክ በኋላ ጥያቄም አቀርብኩላቸው። “ለመሆኑ ዛሬ የተማርነው ትምህርት ለእኛ አጥቢያ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ይመለከታታል ወይ?፤ እርሶ እንዲቴት የህንድ ቤተ ክርስቲያንን በምሳሌነት ሊጠቅሷት ቻሉ”? ብዬ በትህትና ጥያቄዬን ሰነዘርኩ። እሳቸውም “ልጄ ምን ማለትህ ነው?፤ የህንድ ቤተ ክርስቲያን እኮ ከቤተ ክርስቲያናችን ጋር እህት ናት፤ ስለዚህ የህንድ ቤተ ክርስቲያን እድገት ለእኛ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ትልቅ ምሳሌ መሆን ትችላለች” አሉ። ጥያቄን በፈለኩት መልኩ ስላልመለሱልኝ በድጋሚ ማብራራት ጀመርኩ። የህንድ ቤተ ክርስቲያን በዲያስጶራ አገልግሎቷ ከኛ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ጋር ሲነፃፀር በእድሜ ብታንስም አንድነቷን ጠብቃ በመጓዝ፤ ሐዋሪያዊ ተልኳዋን ዘመኑን በዋጀ መልኩ እየፈፀመች ነው።


እንደውም በሰሜን ምስራቅ አሜሪካ ሀገረ ስብከት ድህረ ገፃቸው ላይ “The American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church is located in the United States. It is the sub-wing of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in India” ይላል። ጥያቄዬ ‘እርሶም ሆነ እኔ ያለንበት አጥቢያ ገለልተኞች ነን፤ የእነርሱ ግን የሰሜን አሜሪካ ሀገረ ስብከታቸው ህንድ ካለው ቤተ ክርስቲያን ጋር በአንድ ሰንሰለት የተያያዘ ነው። አንድ በሆነ የአስተዳደር መዋቅር ሀያ ስድስት ሀገር ስብከት አላቸው። እናም አሁን እኛ ገለልተኞች ስለሆንን በየትኛው መዋቅር ተገናኝተን በአጠቃላይ ቤተ ክርስትያናችን የህንድ ቤተ ክርስቲያን የደረሰችበትን ለመድረስ መስራት እንችላለን’? ብዬ በድጋሚ ጥያቄን አቀረብኩላቸው። “ልጄ የህንድ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ምዕመናን ጎበዞች ናቸው፤ ሁለት ሆነው አንድ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ይሰራሉ የእኛ ምዕመናን ግን ይኸው ከሺ በላይ ነው፤ እቺን ቤተ ክርስቲያን መስራት አቅቷችኋል ለዛም ነው፤የህንድ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ምሳሌ ያመጣሁት” ብለው መለሱልኝ። ጥያቄዬም ሳይመለስልኝ ተሰነባበትን።
ለመሆኑ ቤተ ክርስቲያናችን አሀት አብያተ ክርስቲያናት የደረሱበት ደረጃ የምትደርሰው መቼ ነው? ይህ የሁል ግዜ ጥያቄዬ ነው። በትንሹ እንኳ ስለ ኢ/ኦ/ተ/ቤ መረጃ ለማግኘት በእንግሊዘኛው “ehtiopian orthodox church” ብለን ጎግል ስናደርግ የምናገኘው በአንዳንድ ግለሰዎች የሚዘጋጁ ድህረ ገፆች እናገኛለን። ከእነዚህም ከምናገኛቸው ድህረ ገፆች አንዳንዶች ለቤተ ክርስቲያን እድገት ተቆርቃሪዎች እንዲሁም ወንጊልን ለዓለም ለማዳረስ አለም የደረሰችበትን ጥበብ በመጠቀም የሚተጉ ወገኖች ቢኖሩም፤ አንድንዶችሁ ደግሞ ከቤተ ክርስቲያኒቱ አስተምሮ ውጪ የቤተ ክርስቲያናችን ስም ይዘው የሚዘግቡም አሉ። የዚህ ጽሁፌ ዓላማ እነሱን መተቸት አይደለም ምክንያቱም እኔ ምንም አልሰራሁምና፤ የሚሰራ ሰው ደግሞ ስህተት አያጣም ከስሀተታቸው እንዲታረሙ ግን ከማሳሰብ ወደ ኋላ አልልም።
ቤተ ክርስቲያናችን እንደ ሌሎች እህት አብያተ ክርስቲያናት ዘመኑንን በዋጀ መልኩ ወንጌልን ለዓለም የምታሰራጭበት እንዲሁም ስለ ቤተ ክርስትያናችን ሙሉ መረጃ የሚያሳይ የመረጃ መረብ መቼ ይሆን የምትዘረጋው?። መቼ ነው ቤተ ክርስቲያናችን ወንጌል ያላመኑትን በማሳመን “የዛሬ አምስት ዓመት ወይም የዛሬ አስር ዓመት የምዕመናን ብዛት በዚህ ያህል ቁጥር ማደግ አለበት በማለት የምታቅደው? ወይስ በየ መድረኩ እንደ ቅዱስ ፓትርያርኩ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ከልማት ጎን መሰለፍ አለባት ብቻ እያለች ልትኖር ነው። መልሱን ለእናተ ትቼዋልሁ።


December 18, 2009

ከመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ተቀድዶ በተሠራ የኪስ ወረቀት ዕቃ የሸጠው ተቀጣ

(ስምዐ ጽድቅ ጋዜጣ/ በደረጀ ትእዛዙ):- ከመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ የተለያዩ ገፆች ተቀድዶ በተሠራ ኪስ ወረቀት ዕቃ ሲሸጥበት የተገኘው አንድ ግለሰብ በአንድ ዓመት እስራት ተቀጣ፡፡ የፊዴራል የመጀመሪያ ደረጃ ፍ/ቤት የመናገሻ ምድብ ወንጀል ችሎት ኅዳር 3 ቀን 2002 ዓ.ም በዋለው ችሎት፤ ፋሪስ አወል አብደላ በተባለው የ22 ዓመት ተከሳሽ ላይ ውሳኔውን ያሳለፈው ግለሰቡ በወንጀል ሕግ አንቀጽ 492/ለ ላይ የተቀመጠውን «የሃይማኖትን ስሜትና ሠላም መንካት» የሚለውን አንቀጽ ተላልፎ በመገኘቱ ነው፡፡

በፍትሕ ሚኒስቴር፤ የጉለሌ ፍትሕ ጽ/ቤት ለስምዐ ጽድቅ ጋዜጣ እንደ ገለጸው፤ ይኸው ግለሰብ በጉለሌ ክፍለ ከተማ ቀበሌ 21 በሚገኘው ሱቁ ኅዳር 1 ቀን 2002 ዓ.ም ከምሽቱ 4 ሰዓት ላይ ከመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ገፆች የተዘጋጀውን ይህንኑ የዕቃ መሸጫ የኪስ ወረቀት ለሁለት ወጣቶች ሸቀጥ ሲሸጥበት ተገኝቶ በቁጥጥር ሥር ውሏል፡፡

አቃቤ ሕግና ¬ፖሊስ በተቀናጀ መልክ እና በፈጣን ሁኔታ ምርመራውን አጣርተው ለፍርድ በማቅረባቸው በአጭር ጊዜ ውሳኔ መስጠቱን ጽ/ቤት ጠቁሞ፤ አውቀውም ሆነ ሳያውቁ እንዲህ ዓይነት ድርጊት ለሚፈጽሙ ግለሰቦች ውሳኔው አስተማሪ መሆኑንም ገልጿል፡፡

ከሐዲስ ኪዳን፣ ከማርቆስና ከሉቃስ ወንጌል፤ ከብሉይ ኪዳን ደግሞ ከመዝሙረ ዳዊት ከሌሎችም ተቀደው ለዕቃ መሸጫነት የተሠሩ ሠላሳ ሦስት የኪስ ወረቀቶች በኤግዚቢትነት መያዛቸውንም ጽ/ቤቱ አስረድቷል፡፡

ተከሳሹ ድርጊቱን ፈጽሜያለሁ ነገር ግን አውቄ አይደለም በማለት ለፍ/ቤቱ ቃሉን መስጠቱ ታውቋል፡፡

በችሎቱ የተገኙ አንዳንድ ግለሰቦች በሰጡት አስተያየት ከጥፋት አንጻር ፍርዱ አነስተኛ ቢሆንም ፍ/ቤቱ በጉዳዩ ላይ አፋጣኝ ውሳኔ መስጠቱን የሚያስመሰግነው መሆኑን ተናግረዋል፡፡

ወስብሐት ለእግዚአብሔር

በአክራሪ እስልምና ቡድኖች ተቃጥሎ የነበረው የቀመቼ ቅዱስ ሚካኤል ወአቡነ አረጋዊ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ቅዳሴ ቤት ተከበረ


(ስምዐ ጽድቅ ጋዜጣ/ በሻምበል ጥላሁን):- በኢሊባቦርና ጋምቤላ አህጉረ ስብከት በእሳት ወድሞ የነበረው የቀመቼ ቅዱስ ሚካኤል ወአቡነ አረጋዊ ቤተክርስቲያን በሰባት መቶ ሺህ ብር ወጪ በአዲስ አበባ የሚገኙ የተባበሩት መንግሥታት ድርጅት ሠራተኞች ጉባኤ አባላት ተገንብቶ ቅዳሴ ቤቱ ኀዳር 12 ቀን 2002 ዓ.ም ተከበረ፡፡ የድርጅቱ ሠራተኞች ለቤተክርስቲያኒቱ አገልግሎት እንዲረዳ በማሰብ ለአካባቢው ማኅበረሰብ አገልግሎት የሚሰጥ ወፍጮ ለማስተከልም ዝግጅት ማጠናቀቃቸው ተገልጿል፡፡


ኀዳር 12 ቀን 2002 ዓ.ም የኢሉባቦርና የጋምቤላ አህጉረ ስብከት የዴዴሳ ወረዳና የቀመቼ ቀበሌ ሰላም ወዳዱ ነዋሪ ሕዝብና የቅዳሴ ቤቱን ለማክበር ከየአካባቢው ለመጣው ሕዝበ ክርስቲያን እንባ ያራጨ ዕለት ነበር፡፡

መስከረም 21 ቀን 1999 ዓ.ም የጥፋት ዓላማ ባነገቡ አንዳንድ የአክራሪ እስልምና ቡድኖች ሙሉ ለሙሉ ከነንዋያተ ቅድሳቱ የተቃጠለው የቅዱስ ሚካኤል ወአቡነ አረጋዊ ቤተክርስቲያን ቅዳሴ ቤት በተሟላ ሁኔታ ተሠርቷል፡፡ በበዓለ ንጉሡ ላይ የነበሩት ምእመናን በእንባ ደስታቸውን ገልጸዋል፡፡

«ደስታም ለካ ያስለቅሳል» ያሉት የቀመቼ ቀበሌ ገበሬ ማኀበር ነዋሪ አቶ ግርማ ዋሪ፤ ዛሬ የማለቅሰው እንደያኔው በሐዘን አይደለም፤ በደስታ እንጂ፤ ይሄን ደስታ ዛሬ አይቻለሁ ነገ ብሞት አይቆጨኝም» የሚሉት አቶ ግርማ፤ «ወገን እንዳለን፣ አስታዋሽ እንዳለን ተረድተናል» በማለት የተሰማቸውን ደስታ ገልጸዋል፡፡ የያኔውን ሰቆቃ ከአሁኑ ደስታ ጋር እያነጻጸሩ የሚገልጹት የአጥቢያው ነዋሪ ወለተማርያም፤ የጥፋት ኃይሎቹ ዓላማ በመንግሥት፣ በክርስቲያኑና በሙስሊሙ ማኀበረሰብ የጋራ ርብርብ ባይበርድ ኖሮ በኢሉባቦርና በጅማ ያደረሱት የአምስት አብያተ ክርስቲያናት ቃጠሎና ከሰባት በላይ ምእመናንና የካህናት ግድያ ወደ ሌሎችም ይቀጥል እንደነበር ተናግረዋል፡፡

«ያኔ ተሸብረን ነበር፣ ተፈናቅለን ነበር፣ አዝነን ነበር፣ እጅግም አምርረን አልቅስን ነበር አሁን ሰላም ነን፡፡ እግዚአብሔር በጐ ምእመናንን አስነስቶ ይሄንን የመሰለ ሕንፃ ስለተገነባልንና በምንወደው ታቦት ክብረ በዓል ላይ በመገኘታችን የሐዘኑ ለቅሶ በደሰታ ተቀይሯል» በማለት ገልጸዋል፡፡

የዴዴሳ ወረዳ ቤተክህነትን ዘገባ ያቀረቡት አቶ ዓለሙ የምእመናኑን ሃሳብ ይጋራሉ፡፡ አቶ ዓለሙ እንደሚሉት በአካባቢው ተከስቶ ለነበረው ችግር መፈታት መንግሥት ከፍተኛውን ድርሻ ሲይዝ የኦርቶዶክስ፣ የእስልምና፣ የካቶሊክ እና የፕሮቴስታንት የእምነት መሪዎችና ምእመናንም ርብርቦሽ የላቀ ነው በማለት ገልጸዋል፡፡

መንግሥት የተለያዩ ስብሰባዎችን በማዘጋጀትና ሕዝቡ ከሃይማኖት ግጭት ሊያገኝ የሚችለው ውጤት ጥፋት ብቻ መሆኑን ይልቁንም የተለያዩ እምነት ተከታዮች ባሉበት ሀገር ያለው ብቸኛ አማራጭ ተከባብሮ መኖርን መቀበል መፍትሔ መሆኑ እንዲታመንበት ሰፊ ሥራ መሠራቱን ዘገባ አቅራቢው አስረድተዋል፡፡

«ከዚህ የመንግሥት ጥረት ጐን ለጐን በወረዳችን በዞናችንና በሀገራችን የሚገኙ የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ፣ የሙስሊም፣ የፕሮቴስታንትና የካቶሊክ እምነት ተቋማት ተከታዮቻቸውን በመምከር አጥፊዎች ደግሞ ለሕግ እንዲቀርቡ የማድረግ ሥራ ተሠርቷል» ያሉት አቶ ዓለሙ፤ በተ ደረገው ሰፊ ጥረት ሕዝቡ ወደቀደመው አኗኗሩ መመለሱን ገልጸዋል፡፡

በዚያን ጊዜው ግጭት ሕይወታቸው ላለፈ፣ ንብረታቸው ለወደመና ቤታቸው ለተቃጠለ እንዲሁም ከሚኖሩበትም የመፈናቀል አደጋ የገጠማቸው ወገኖችን ለመርዳትና ወደ ነበሩበት ቦታ ለመመለስ በተደረገው ጥረት፤ የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተክርስቲያን ክርስቲያናዊ ልማት ተራድኦ ኮሚሽን፣ በሰንበት ትምህርት ቤቶች ማደራጃ መምሪያ ማኀበረ ቅዱሳን፣ ኅብርተሰቡን መልሶ በማቋቋም የቁሳቁስና የሞራል ድጋፍ በማድረግ የማረጋጋቱ ሥራ በሚገባ መሠራቱን ተናግረዋል፡፡

በማረጋጋቱ ሥራ ወቅት የኢሊባቦር ዞን ሀገረ ስብከትና የዴዴሳ ወረዳ አስተዳደር ክርስቲያኑንና ሙስሊሙን ማኅበረሰብ በማቀናጀት የጋራ ኮሚቴ በማንቀሳቀስ ተጐጂው የየትኛውም የእምነት ተከታይ በችግሩ ተጋላጭነትን ማዕከል በማድረግ እንዲረጋጋ ጥረት ማድረጉንም አክለው ገልጸዋል፡፡

«ይሁን እንጂ እነዚህ በወረዳችን የሚገኙ የእምነት ተቋማት የጋራ ርብርብና የእምነቱ ተከታዮች ወደ ቀድሞ አንድነታቸው እንዲመለሱ ያደረጉትን ጥረት ጥላሸት በመቀባት፤ የሕዝቦች በጋራ መኖር የማያስደስታቸው ጥቂት ሃይማኖትን ሽፋን አድርገው የሚንቀሳቀሱ አክራሪዎች አሁንም ያሉ በመሆኑ ከዚህ በፊት በጋራ ስንሠራ የነበረን ሰላም ወዳዶች ሁሉ ይሄን እኩይ ተግባር በጋራ እንከላከላለን» ሲሉ ዘገባ አቅራቢው የሰላም ጥሪ አስተላልፈዋል፡፡

የቀመቼ ቅዱስ ሚካኤል ወአቡነ አረጋዊ ቤተክርስቲያን በተባበሩት መንግሥታት ድርጅት ሠራተኞች ጉባኤ አባላት ሲታነጽ የኢሉባቦርና ጋምቤላ አህጉረ ስብከት ሊቀጳጳስና ሕዝቡ ከስድስት ኪሎ ሜትር ርቀት በላይ እቃ በመሸከምና በማጓጓዝ ከፍተኛ ድጋፍ ስላደረጉም አመስግነዋል፡፡

በክብረ በዓሉ ላይ በክብር እንግድነት የተገኙት የኢሉባቡር ዞን አስተዳዳሪ አቶ ዳኛቸው ሽፈራው «ይሄ ቤተክርስቲያን በጥፋት ኃይሎች ሲቃጠል ከደቂቃዎች በኋላ ደርሼ ነበር፡፡ አሁን ደግሞ እንደዚህ በዘመናዊ ሁኔታ ተጠናቆ የእምነቱ ተከታዮች በተሰበሰቡት የምረቃው በዓል ላይ በመገኘቴ ተደስቻለሁ፡፡» በማለት የተሰማቸውን ስሜት ገልጸዋል፡፡

«የክርስትናውም ሆነ የሙስሊሙ የሃይማኖት መመሪያ የሆኑት መጽሐፍ ቅዱስና ቁርዓን ስለ ሰላም እንጂ ስለጠብ አይሰብኩም» ያሉት አስተዳዳሪው፤ «እግዚአብሔር ፍቅርን እንጂ ጠብን፣ መከባበርን እንጂ መገዳደልን አያስተምርም» ብለዋል፡፡

በመሆኑም በየእምነቱ ተቋማት ውስጥ ይሄን አብነት በመጣስ ድብቅ ዓላማቸውን ለማራመድ የሚጥሩ የጥፋት ኅይሎችን በመከላከልና በማጋለጥ ረገድ ምእመናን በችግሩ ወቅት ያደረጉትን ድጋፍ አሁንም እንዳያቋርጡ ጠይቀዋል፡፡

መንግሥት የጥፋት ኃይሎችን የመከታተልና ተገቢውን ቅጣት የመስጠት ሂደቱን አጠናክሮ እንደሚቀጥል ጠቁመው፤ ለአካባቢው ሰላም ከኀብረተሰቡ ጋር ተባብሮ እንደሚሠራም አስረድተዋል፡፡

ቤተክርስቲያኑ በዘመናዊ ሁኔታ ተጠናቆ ለአገልግሎት እንዲዘጋጅ ያደረጉትን የተባበሩት መንግሥታት ድርጅት ሠራተኞች ጉባኤ በማደራጀትና በማስተማር ለዚህ የተቀደሰ ዓላማ ያበቁት ቀሲስ ሰሎሞን ሙሉጌታ የቤተክርስቲያኑን አሠራር ሂደት አስመልክተው እንደተናገሩት፤ ቤተ ክርስቲያኑን በሁለት ዓመት ከአምስት ወር ውስጥ በእግዚአብሔር ቸርነት፣ በተባበሩት መንግስታት ሠራተኞች ጉባኤ አባላት ጥረትና በአካባቢው ምእመናን ድጋፍ ለዚህ መብቃቱን ተናግረዋል፡፡

ለቤተክርስቲያኑ ማሠሪያ ከሕንፃ ግንባታው በተጨማሪ ለአገልግሎት የሚያስፈልጉ ንዋየተ ቅዱሳት፣ ጄኔሬተርና ማይክረፎን የተሟላለት መሆኑን አስረድተዋል፡፡

ለቤተክርስቲያኑ ግንባታ የተባበሩት መንግሥታት ድርጅት ሠራተኛ ጉባኤ አባላትንና አንዳንድ በጎ አድራጊ ምእመናንን አመስግነው ሠራተኞቹ ከዚህ በተጨማሪም ለቤተክርስቲያኑ ገቢ የሚፈጥር ከ180 - 200ሺሕ ብር በሚገመት ወጪ ወፍጮ ለመትከል ዝግጅት ማጠናቀቃቸውንም ገልጸዋል፡፡

ብፁዕ ወቅዱስ አቡነ ጳውሎስ በበዓሉ ላይ ለመገኘት አስበው የነበረ ቢሆንም በሥራ መደራረብ ምክንያት መገኘት ስላልቻሉ፤ የተሰማቸውን ደስታ የሚገልጽ ለምእመናን ቃለ ቡራኬ በጽሑፍ ልከዋል፡፡

በመጨረሻም ቃል ምእዳንና ቡራኬ ያስተላለፉት የአሉባቡርና የጋምቤላ አህጉረ ስብከት ሊቀ ጳጳስና የመንበረ ፓ-ትርያርክ ወመዘክርና የትንሳኤ ማተሚያ ቤት የበላይ ጠባቂ ብፁዕ አቡነ ፊሊጶስ፤ ይሄንን የተቀደሰ ተግባር በመፈጸም የአካባቢው ምእመናን እንዲያገለግል ቤተክርስቲያን ያሳነጹትን፣ ቤተክርስቲያኑ ሲታነጽ በጐልበት በእውቀት በሁሉ ነገር የተራዱትን የአካባቢው ምእመናንና ነዋሪዎች ሁሉ አመስግነዋል፡፡

«እግዚአብሔር የሰላም አምላክ ነውና ሰላም ይወዳል፣ እግዚአብሔር ፍቅር ነውና ፍቅር ይወዳል፡፡ ይሄንን አርአያነት ይዛችሁ የአካባቢው ሰላምና ፍቅር እንዲመለስ ጥረት ያደረጋቹሁ የአካባቢው አስተዳደርና ምእመናን እንዲሁም ሕዝቦች ሁላችሁም እግዚአብሔር ዋጋችሁን ይክፈላችኹ» በማለት አባታዊ ቡራኪያቸውን ሰጥተዋል፡፡

በበዓሉ ማጠቃለያ ላይም በአካባቢው ለሚተከለው ወፍጮ በበዓሉ ላይ የታደሙት ምእመናን በጉልበት ለመርዳት ቃል ከመግባት ጀምሮ ከ15 ሺሕ ብር በላይ ጥሬ ገንዘብ አዋጥተዋል፡፡ የኢሉባቦር ዞን አስተዳዳሪ ወፍጮ ቤቱን የቆርቆሮ ወጪ ለመሸፈን ቃል የገቡ ሲሆን፤ የካቢኔው አባላት በበኩላቸው ሁለት ሺሕ ብር እንደሚለግሱ ተናግረዋል፡፡

የዴዴሳ ወረዳ በኢሊባቦር ዞን ከሚገኙት 24 ወረዳዎች አንዱ ሲሆን በአጠቃላይ 85 ሺሕ 520በላይ ነዋሪዎች ይገኙበታል፡፡ ከነዚህ ውስጥ ደግሞ 5 በመቶው የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተክርስቲያን እምነት ተከታይ ነው፡፡ በወረዳው ከ1921 እስከ 2001 ዓ.ም የተመሠረቱ 11 አብያተ ክርስቲያናት እንደሚገኙም ለማውቅ ተችሏል፡፡

ወስብሐት ለእግዚአብሔር

የምድረ ከብድ ገዳማውያን የስንዴ ክምር ተቃጠለ

(ስምዐ ጽድቅ ጋዜጣ, በኢዮብ ሥዩም):- በጉራጌ ሀገረ ስብከት በሶዶ ወረዳ ቡኢ ከተማ አቅራቢያ የሚገኘው የምድረ ከብድ አቡነ ገብረመንፈስ ቅዱስ ገዳም የስንዴ ክምር መንሥኤው ባልታወቀ ምክንያት በእሳት መቃጠሉን የሀገረ ስብከቱ ሊቀ ጳጳስ አስታወቁ፡፡ የጉራጌ፣ ሀድያና ስልጢ አህጉረ ስብከት ሊቀጳጳስ ብፁዕ አቡነ መልከጼዴቅ ለስምዐ ጽድቅ ጋዜጣ እን ደተናገሩት፤ ኅዳር 20ቀን 2002 ዓ.ም ሌሊት ለገዳማውያኑ የዓመት ቀለብ የሚሆን የስንዴ ክምር ባልታወቀ ምክንያት ተቃጥሏል፡፡

ጉዳዩን ለወረዳው ፖሊስና የመንግሥት አካላት ሪፖርት አድረገናል ያሉት ሊቀጳጳሱ፤ በአካባቢው ዕድሜ ጠገብና አንጋፋ በሆነው በዚህ ገዳም በደረሰው ቃጠሎ ማዘናቸውን ጠቁመው፤ ሀገረስብከቱ ከተባባሪ ምእመናን ጋር በመሆን የገዳሙን ችግር ለማቃለል የበኩሉን እንደሚወጣ አስረድተዋል፡፡

ገዳሙ የደረሰበትን ድንገተኛ ችግር ለመወጣት ሀገረ ስብከቱ የሚያደርገውን እንቅስቃሴ ሕዝበ ክርስቲያኑ እንዲያግዝም ጥሪ አቀርበዋል፡፡

የገዳሙ ገበዝና መጋቢ አባ ኃይለማርያም እንደተናገሩት፤ ኅዳር 20 ቀን 2002 ዓ.ም ለ21 አጥቢያ ከሌሊቱ ስድስት ሰዓት አካባቢ ባልታወቀ ምክንያት የገዳማውያኑ እህል በሙሉ በቃጠሎ መውደሙን ገልጸው፤ እህሉን ከእርሻው ላይ ለመሰብሰብ ሦስት ቀን እንደፈጀና የተቃጠለው አምስት መቶ ኩንታል የሚገመት የስንዴ ክምር እንደሆነ አስታውቀዋል፡፡

መንስኤው ባልታወቀ ምክንያት በእሳት የወደመው እህል ለገዳማውያኑ የዓመት ቀለብ ነበር የሚሉት መጋቢ አባ ኃይለማርያም፤ በአደጋው የተነሣም በገዳሙ ከፍተኛ የሆነ የእህል እጥረት ሊከሰት እንደሚችል ጠቁመዋል፡፡

የሶዶ ወረዳ ቤተክህነት ሥራ አስኪያጅ ሊቀካህናት ጌቱ አበበ በበኩላቸው፤ በገዳሙ ስለተከሰተው ቃጠሎ ሪፖርት መደረጉንና ወረዳውም ለሚመለከታቸው የመንግሥት አካላት ማሳወቁን ጠቅሰው፤ መረጃው የደረሳቸው የወረዳው ፖሊስ አባላትም በቦታው በመገኘት ሁኔታውን ተመልክተው ወንጀል ፈጻሚዎቹን በቁጥጥር ሥር ለማዋል በጥረት ላይ እንደሚገኙም አስረድተዋል፡፡

የሶዶ ወረዳ ፖሊስ ሓላፊ ኮማንደር ጉግሣ ቡሪሳ ጉዳዩን አስመልክተው እንደተናገሩት፣ ፖሊስ አደጋው በተከሰተ ማግስት በቦታው ተገኝቶ የአደጋውን መንሥኤ ለማወቅ መረጃ እየሰበሰበ እንደሚገኝ ገልጸዋል፡፡ መረጃው እንደደረሰው ከአካባቢውና ከገዳሙ ማኅበረሰብ ጋር በመተባበርም በቅርቡም ወንጀለኞቹን ይዘን ለሕግ እናቀርባለን ሲሉም አስረድተዋል፡፡ በገዳሙ ከ120 በላይ መናኒያን እንዳሉ ለማወቅ ተችሏል፡፡

ወስብሐት ለእግዚአብሔር

December 17, 2009

እኛም በበኩላችን “ይቺ ቤተ ክርስቲያን የማን ናት?” እንበል?

(ደጀ ሰላም፣ ዲሴምበር 17/2009)፦ ሰሞኑን የመገናኛ ብዙሃን (የኢትዮጵያውያኑን ማለቴ ነው) ዐቢይ ርዕስ ሆነው ከሰነበቱት ጉዳዮች አንዱ የነበረው የአዲስ ነገር ጋዜጣ ዋና አዘጋጅ መስፍን ነጋሽ ጽፏት የቆየች አንዲት ባለ 2 ገጽ ጽሑፍ (ይህ አገር የማን ነው?)“www.ethiomedia.com” ድረ ገጽ ላይ ወጥቶ ሳነበው ገና ወደ ውስጥ ሳልዘልቅ ርዕሱ ወደ ብዙ ምሥጢር ሳበኝ። ጋዜጠኛው ስለ አገር ሲያትት ቆይቶ ጽሑፉን ሲቋጭ
“አንድ ሀገር የጥቂቶች ትሁን የብዙሀን ለማሳየት እጅግ በርካታ መመዘኛዎችን መደርደር ይቻላል። ይህንን ግን ለአንባቢዎች ልተወው። ፈረንጆቹም እንዲህ ያለ ፈተና ሲገጥማቸው ዝነኛ ለመሆን የበቃ ጥያቄአቸውን ይወረውራሉ "whose country is it anyway"?”

አለ። የጽሑፉ ጭብጥ ምንም ይሁን ምን ርእሱ ግን አንድ ትልቅ ጉዳይ አጫረብኝ።

“ደጀ ሰላም” ከተመሠረተችበት ጊዜ ጀምሮ በመጀመሪያ የእኔ (የዚህ ብሎግ ቆርቋሪን) ሐሳብ ቀጥሎም ሌሎች “ደጀ ሰላማውያን” ሲመጡና የጽሑፍ አበርክቷቸውን መለገስ ሲጀምሩ ደግሞ የነርሱንም በመጨመር ለቤተ ክርስቲያናችን ይበጃል የምንለውን ስታስተናግድ ከርማለች። ከጽሑፋችንም በላይ ደግሞ ኦርዶክሳውያን ማወቅ አለባቸው ብለን የምናስበውን በተረጋጋጠ እውነት ላይ የተመረኮዙ ዜናዎችንና ሐተታዎችን ስንሠራ ቆይተናል። በተለይም የጓዳችን ገበና በአዲስ መልክ ለአደባባይ ከበቃበት ከግንቦቱ የቅዱስ ሲኖዶስ ስብሰባ ወዲህ ይህንኑ ሐሳባችንን ዳር ለማድረስ ስንሞክር ቆይተናል። ልፋታችን ሜዳ ላይ ፈስሶ እንዳልቀረ የሚያሳዩ ብዙ ምልክቶች ቢኖሩም ከሚፈለገው ነገር አንጻር ሲታይ ግን እዚህ ግባ የሚባል አይደለም። ጽሑፋችን ከእንቅልፋቸው ያነቃቸውና የሚያመስግኑን ክርስቲያኖች ያሉትን ያህል “ደግሞ እነዚህ እነማን ናቸው?” በሚል ዘለፋ አዘል አስተያየት ሞታችንን የሚመኙም ሞልተዋል። (አመስጋኞቻችንን ትተን ዘላፊዎቻችን ለምን እንደሚዘልፉንና የዘለፋቸውንም መነሾ በመጠኑ እናትት።)

ቤተ ክርስቲያናችን በሚሊዮኖች የሚቆጠሩ ምእመናን (32,138,1260) እና በመቶ ሺዎች የሚቆጠሩ አገልጋዮች ማለትም ጳጳሳት (??)፣ ቀሳውስት (147,114)፣ መምህራን (10,128)፣ ዲያቆናት (130,292)፣ ሰባክያነ ወንጌል (12,988)፣ መዘምራን (64,247)፣ ወዘተ ወዘተ አሏት። ታዲያ እነዚህ የቤተ መቅደሱ አገልጋዮች ራሳቸውን የቤተ ክርስቲያን የበኩር ልጅ ያደርጉና ሌላውን ምእመን በሁለተኛ ደረጃ ቆጥረው በተለያየ ስም ይጠሩታል። ጥቁር ራስ፣ ወዘተ ወዘተ ይሉታል። ስለ ሃይማኖቱ “ብዙም ያልተማረ (ጨዋ)” ነውና ስለ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ከእነርሱ የበለጠ ብዙም የሚገደው አይመስላቸውም። ስለ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ወሳኝ ጉዳይ ሲገጥም እንኳን እርሱም ባለቤት ነውና ያገባዋል ብለው አያስቡም።

በርግጥም ኦርቶዶክሳዊት ቤተ ክርስቲያንን ከሌሎቹ የሚለያት “ምእመን-መር” ሳትሆን “ቀሳውስት-መር” መሆኗ ነው። ይህም ሐዋርያዊ ትውፊት እንጂ ኢ-ዲሞክራሲያዊነት አይደለምና ትክክል ነው። ነገር ግን ይህ “ቀሳውስት-መርነት” በሥርዓተ ቤተ ክርስቲያን፣ በአበው ትውፊት፣ በመጻሕፍት ቃል ያልተገራ ከሆነ ሐዋርያዊቱን ቤተ ክርስቲያን የጥቂት ካህናት ገንዘብ ያደርጋትና ምእመኑ በቤቱ የውጪ ልጅ፣ ባይተዋር ይሆናል። የክርስቶስ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ደግሞ ክህነት በመቀበላቸው ብቻ የፈለጉትን እንዲያደርጉ የተፈቀደላቸው በሚመስላቸው ጥቂት ሰዎች ቁጥጥር ሥር ትገባለች። በውስጧ የሚፈጸመውም ተግባር በደሙ የመሠረታት ባለቤቷ ክርስቶስ በመስቀል የሞተለት የሰው ልጅ ድኀነት ሳይሆን ሌላ ሥጋዊ ተግባር ይሆናል።በዚህን ጊዜ ነው ታዲያ “እንዴ? ይቺ ቤተ ክርስቲያን የማን ናት? የማን ገንዘብ ናት?” ብለን ለመጠየቅ የምንገደደው።

ቤተ ክርስቲያን የቅ/ፓትርያርኩ ወይም የጥቂት አበው ሊቃነ ጳጳሳት፣ የጥቂት መነኮሳት ወይም ደባትር (ደብተሮች)፣ ዲያቆናት ወይም ሰባክያነ ወንጌል የግል ንብረት ሳትሆን የሁላችንም ናት። የክርስቶስ ናት። “እምነ ቅድስት ቤተ ክርስቲያን፤ እናታችን ቅድስት ቤተ ክርስቲያን” እንላታለንና እናትነቷ ለሁላችንም ነው። ነገር ግን ሥራችን የተለያየ እንደመሆኑ፣ ክህነትም የእግዚአብሔር ጥሪ ስላለበት፣ ሁላችን ካህናት ካልሆንን ብለን ፕሮቴስታንታዊ ጥያቄ አናነሳም። የቀደሙት ደጋጎቹ አባቶች በሠሩልን ሕግ ብንመራ ምእመኑም እንደ ምእምንነቱ፣ ካህኑም እንደ ካህንነቱ የሚያድርበት የየራሱ ተግባርና ሥፍራ አለው። ስለዚህ ያ የአበው ሕግ ይፈጸም። የዘመናችን አበውም እንደ ቀደሙቱ ሁኑ፤ ምእመኑንም እንደ ምእመንነቱና እንደ ልጅነቱ አስተዳድሩት። በመግቢያችን የጠየቅነውን ጥያቄ ስንመልሰው “ይህቺ ቤተ ክርስቲያን የሁላችንም ናት፤ የጥቂቶቹ የእናንተ ብቻ አይደለችም” እንላለን። ምእመኑም ቤተ ክርሲያኒቱ የእርሱም መሆኗን አውቆ እንደ ባለቤትነቱ የሚገባውን ያድርግ።

አንባብያንስ ምን ትላላችሁ?

ቸር ወሬ ያሰማን፣
አሜን

December 14, 2009

ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያዊው ፓኪስታን ውስጥ በሽብርተኝነት ጥርጣሬ ተያዘ

(ሪፖርተር):- የአሜሪካ ዜግነት ያላቸው ሁለት ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያዊ እና ኤርትራዊ ፓኪስታን ውስጥ በሽብርተኝነት ተጠርጥረው ተያዙ፡፡ ረቡዕ እለት ፓኪስታን ውስጥ የተያዙት የዋሽንግተን አካባቢ ነዋሪዎች ባለፈው ወር ከአሜሪካ መሰወራቸውን የዓለም አቀፍ መገናኛ ብዙሀን ዘግበዋል፡፡ በሃያዎቹ የእድሜ ክልል የሚገኙት እነዚሁ አምስት አሜሪካውያን ወደ ፓኪስታን ያቀኑበት ምክንያት ገና በመጣራት ላይ በመሆኑ በወጣቶቹ ላይ እስካሁን ምንም ዓይነት ክስ አልተመሠረተባቸውም፡፡

የአሜሪካው የፌዴራል ምርመራ ቢሮ አባላትና በፓኪስታን የአሜሪካ ኤምባሲ ባለስልጣናት ዓርብ ዕለት እነዚሁኑ አምስት አሜሪካውያን በታሰሩበት እንዳነጋገራቸውም ተገል..ል፡፡

ከአምስቱ አንዱ ትውልደ ፓኪስታን አንደኛው ደግሞ የግብፅ ትውልድ እንዳለውም የዜና ምንጮቹ ጠቁመዋል፡፡ አምስተኛው ታሳሪ የየመን ትውልድ እንዳለውም ተገል..ል፡፡

ሁኔታው በአሜሪካ ቁጥሩ የበዛ አገር በቀል የሽብር እንቅስቃሴ ተስፋፍቶ እንዳይሆን ስጋት ፈጥሯል፡፡ እስካሁን በተገኘው መረጃ ኢትዮጵያዊ ትውልድ አለው የተባለው ተጠርጣሪ አማን ሃሰን ይመር በመባል እንደሚጠራ የአሜሪካና የፓኪስታን ደህንነት ክፍሎች መግለፃቸውን የዜና አውታሮች ዘግበዋል፡፡

እንደ ፓኪስታን ደህንነት አባላት አገላለፅ አሜካውያኑ ከአክራሪ ቡድኖች ጋር ግንኙነት ለመፍጠር የተለያዩ ድረ ገፆች ላይ ሙከራ ቢያደርጉም ጥረታቸው ባለመሳካቱ በቀጥታ ፓኪስታን ውስጥ በመግባት ምኞታቸውን ሊያሳኩ እንደሞከሩ ይጠረጠራል፡፡

ወደ አሜሪካ መልሰው ስለመላካቸው ወይንም ደግሞ እዚያው ፓኪስታን ውስጥ ለፍርድ ስለመቅረባቸው የሚወሰነው በመካሄድ ላይ ያለው ምርመራ ሲጠናቀቅ መሆኑንም የፓኪስታን የደህንነት አባላቱ አሳውቀዋል፡፡

December 12, 2009

ከሞኝ ደጃፍ ሞፈር ይቆረጣል እንዳይሆንብን!

Selam Deje Selam,
How are you doing? I afraid this may be my last article for the blog if you keep allow anti-church bodies dominate the blog as it has been so far. Please, try to do whatever it costs to make our blog working for the benefit of the Church, not against it. May God be with you?
Birhanu
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ብዙዎቻችን ደጀ ሰላምን በተደጋጋሚ የምንጎበኝበት መሠረታዊ ምክንያት ስለኦርቶዶክሳዊት ተዋሕዶ ቤተክርስቲያናችን ወቅታዊ መረጃ ለማግኘት እና ከተቻለም ለቤተክርስቲያናችን መጠናከር ይበጃል የምንለውን ሃሳብ ለመግለጽ ይመስለኛል። ከዚህ የተለየ ዓላማ ያላቸው ወገኖች መኖራቸው ባይካድም መኖራቸው በራሱ የሚያሳስበን ጉዳይ አይሆንም፤ የእነርሱ ዓላማ የዚህችን ቤተክርስቲያን ገጽታ ማጥፋት፣ ምእመናን ከበረት ቤተክርስቲያን በማስደነበር ማውጣትና ለተኩላው መዳረግ ነው። ስሙን መጥራት እንጂ ኃይሉን ንቀዋልና ስለቸሩ መድኃኔዓለም ቤተክርስቲያናችንን ለቀቅ አድርጉዋት ማለትም የሚያስፈልግ አይመስለኝም'። ስለሆነም በዚህ ጽሑፍ ብሎጓን ለመቆጣጠር የደረሱትን መናፍቃን ወይም ስለቤተክርስቲያን በቂ እውቀት ሳይኖራቸው የተሰማቸውን የሚጽፉትን ለመተቸት አልሞክርም፤ ከላይ እንዳልኩት እነርሱም እኩይ ዓላማቸውን ለማስፈጸም ይትጉ እኛም ሃይማኖታችንን ይዘን በኃያሉ አምላክ ተመክተን የልጅነት ድርሻችንን እየተወጣን እንቀጥላለን።

ነገር ግን እኔን በእጅጉ እያሳሰበኝ የመጣው ጉዳይ ሌላ ነው። የኦርቶዶክሳዊያን ሞኝነትና (የዋህነት አይደለም) የምንሰራውን ያለማወቅ!! ጥሩ ምሳሌ የሚሆነን በደጀ ሰላም ላይ የምንወያይበት መንፈስ እና የብሎጓ ባለቤቶች አሠራር ነው። ይህንን ሰል የብሎጓ ባለቤቶች (የአንድ ሰው ሥራ አይደለም ብንል) ስለቤተክርስቲያን ቀና አመለካካት ያላቸው ናቸው ከሚል እሳቤ ነው።( ምናልባትም እኔም እንዲህ እንዳስብ ያደረገኝ ያው ‘ኦርቶዶክሳዊ ሞኝነቴ’ እንዳይሆን እንጂ!) ወደተነሳሁበት ቁም ነገር ልመለስና ይህችን ብሎግ ማንበብ ከጀመርኩበት ጊዜ ጀምሮ ያስተዋልኩት ነገር ቢኖር ኢትዮጵያዊያን በማንኛውም ጉዳይ ላይ ለመግባባት እይተችገርን መሆኑን ነው። ይልቁንም በአንዲት ሃይማኖት እናምናለን የምንል የተዋሕዶ ልጆች ስለቤተክርስቲያናችን ስንነጋገር እየተደማማመጥን ያለመሆኑና አንዳንዶች የምንጽፈውን ያለማወቃችን ያሳዝናል። እያንዳንዱ ሰው ስለሚናገረው ነገር በፍርድ ቀን መልስ እንደሚስጥ የምናውቅ መንፈሳውያን ስለምናውቀውና ስለምናምነው ነገር ከመመስከር እና የቤታችንን ችግር በመፈሳዊ ጥበብ ከመወያየት ይልቅ ቤተክርስቲያንንም ሆነ መንፈሳዊ ሕይወታችንን በማያንጽ አሉባልታ መጠመዳችን ያስገርማል።በተለይም አብዛኛዎቹ በዚህች ብሎግ ላይ የምንጽፍ ወጣቶች መሆናችን የነገዋን ቤተክርስቲያን ተስፋ በስጋት እንድመለከት አድርጎኛል። ስለ ቤተክርስቲያን ግድ ይለናል የምንል የቤተክርስቲያን ልጆችን እና የደጅ ሰላም አዘጋጆች እጅጉን ልናስስብበት የሚገባ ጉዳይ ያለ ይመስለኛል። በመጀመሪያ ለአዘጋጆቹ ከዚህ ቀደም “ደጀ ሰላማችን ሰላም እንድትሆን” በሚል ርእስ የተወሰኑ ሃሳቡችን ለመሰንዘር መሞከሬን ለማስታወስ እወዳለሁ። ብሎጓን የመናፍቃን መፈንጫ ያደረጋችሁት ‘ኦርቶዶክሳዊ ሞኝነታችሁ’ ይዞአችሁ ካልሆነ በቀር (ከምትጽፏቸው ጽሑፎች እንደምረዳው) ‘ዲምክራትስ’ ስለሆናችሁ አይመስለኝም። ለመሆኑ በየትኛው ሃይማኖት ድረ-ገጽ ነው የእምነቱን መሠረት የሚነቅፍ ጽሑፍ የሚስተናገደው- ከደጀ ሰላም በቀር። ከዚህም በላይ በቤተከርሰቲያን አባቶች እና ማኅበራት(በመረጃ የተደገፈ ጥፋት የተገኝባቸው አይጋለጡ ማለቴ አይደለም) ላይ የሚሰነዘሩ መሠረተ ቢስ አሉባልታዎችን (ማንኛውም ኦርቶዶክሳዊ የሚያውቀው እውነታተዛብቶ እየቀረበ) እያስተናገዳችሁ ‘እኛ ላልጻፍነው ጽሁፍ ኃላፊነት አንወስድም‘ በማለት ብቻ ከኃላፊነት ለመሸሽ መሞከራችሁ አግባብ እይመስለኝም። በእርግጠኝነት የምታውቁት መረጃ ተዛብቶ ሲቀርብ ጸሐፊውን የማረም ወይም ለአንባቢዎች ተጨማሪ መረጃ የመስጠት ወይም ጽሑፉን የማንሳት መንፈሳዊ ግዴታ አለባችሁ። በአሉባልታው የሚሰናከሉትን ማሰብ ከመንፈሳዊያን የሚጠበቅ ሥነምግባር ነውና። በብሎጓ ላይ የምንጽፍ ኦርቶዶክሳዊያንም የምንጽፈው በአንድ ክፍል የማስተማርያ ሰሌዳ ላይ ሳይሆን የቤተክርስቲያን ወዳጆችም ጠላቶችም እኩል በሚያነቡት ፤ ስለምንጽፈው ጉዳይ ትክክለኛ መረጃ አግኝተን ብንጸጽት እንኳ አንባቢዎችን አግኝተን መረጃውን ለማስተካካል በማንችልበት ገጽ ላይ መሆኑን እያሰብን ሊሆን ይገባል። ስለሆነም የግለሰቦችን ስብእና ከሚያጎድፉ አገላለጾች ተቆጥበን ለዘለቄታው የቤተክርስቲያን ጥቅም በመንፈሳዊ ጥበብ ብንወያይ የተሻለ ይሆናል። ያለበለዚያ ለውጥ በማናመጣበት ውይይት ለቤተክርስቲያን ጠላቶች ሌላ ሰፊ የመግቢያ በር እንዳንከፍት ያስፈራል። ከሞኝ ደጃፍ ሞፈር ይቆረጣል የሚባለው እንዳይደርስብን። እስቲ በዚህ አስተያየት ላይ ውይይት እናድርግበት ፤ ይህች ብሎግ የመሰዳደቢያ መድረክ እንዳትሆን ምን ማድረግ ይቻላል?

December 10, 2009

ውይይታችን ስለ ማን እና ምን?

(ደጀ ሰላም፤ ዲሴምበር 10/2009)
ሰሞኑን ተጠፋፍተን ሰነበትን። ኑሮና እንጀራ በጠራን ሥፍራ ስንባክን ከኮምፒውተሩ ተለያይተን በመክረማችን ነው። ባለፉት 10 ቀናት፣ ሌላ ምንም ዓይነት ጽሑፍ ባልተጻፈባቸው ቀናት፤ ደጀ ሰላማውያን በምን በምን ጉዳይ ዙሪያ ተወያየን ብለን ብንመለከት “የአንበሳውን ድርሻ” ይዞ የሚገኘው አጀንዳ “ዳንኤል ክብረት” የሚል ስም ሆኖ አገኘነው። ደጀ ሰላም ብዙ የመወያያ አጀንዳዎች አቅርባለች፣ ቤተ ክርስቲያናችንም ብዙ ብዙ ወሳኝ ጉዳዮች ላይ መነጋገርን የሚሹ ነገሮች አሉባት። ነገር ግን ዞሮ ዞሮ ወሬያችንና ውይይታችን “የግለሰቦችን ስም ከማንሣት” አላለፈም። ቢበዛ ቢበዛ ከግለሰብ አለፍ ብንልም የምናነሣው “ስለ ማኀበረ ቅዱሳን” ብቻ ነው። እንዴ!? በቃ ይኸው ነው ሐሳባችንና አስተያየታችን?

በተለይ በመጨረሻ ላይ በተስተናገደው ዋናውና ሐሳቡ ስለ አክራሪ ሙስሊሞች በሆነው ጽሑፍ ላይ ከቀረቡት አስተያየቶች አብዛኞቹ ስለ ርዕሰ ጉዳዩ የተነገሩ ሳይሆን ከላይ ስለጠቀስነው ግለሰብ/ወንድም እና ማኀበር የተለዋወጥናቸው መሆናቸውን መመልከት ይገባል። የሐሳብ ንጥፈት፣ የአስተሳሰብ ድክመት ይሏል ይኽ ነው። ደጀ ሰላም ይህንን የሐሳብ ንጥፈት ለመሻገር፣ የውይይት አቅጣጫችንንና አስተያየታችንን “የታባቱ” ከምንላቸው ሰዎች ዘለፋና ስድብ በዘለለ ሰፋ አድርገን እንድናስብ ለማድረግ ትጥራለች። እናንተ ደጀ ሰላማውያንም ብዕራችሁን በማንሣት እንደተለመደው ሐሳባችሁን መግለጻችሁን እንድትቀጥሉ በትህትና ጥሪ እናደርጋለን።
ቸር ወሬ ያሰማን፣
አሜን

December 2, 2009

What we should learn fron the Past, and correct

(By EthioMonitor)
Greetings to DS!
When the Ottoman Turks took over Constantinople, the first thing they did was build Minarets around the famous "Hagia Sohia" Church. Turkey's Prime minster, and ex-mayor to the “Capital under siege” of Orthodox Christianity, Constantinople (Istanbul), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has visited Ethiopia several times, said that 'the mosques are our barracks, the minarets our bayonets, the domes our helmets, and the believers our soldiers.


The Christian population of Turkey was over 40% by the year 1900, during which over 1 million Armenian Christians, hundred of thousands of Greeks and other Orthodox Christians where exterminated by the then Muslim rulers of Turkey. Now, Turkey is regarded as the most secular Islamic state, where Christians are not allowed to build Churches, acquisition of estate, or even renovating their churches that have been there before the arrival of Islam in the Bosporus.

Every one can see it, that the current world is hijacked by Islam. One of the few nations that's capable of bringing an end to this madness is Ethiopia.

Ethiopians, practically were founders of Islam. The first Muezzin to wail from a Minaret was an Ethiopian. If it wasn't for Ethiopians who gave asylum and protection to the first Muslims, there would have been no Islam on the face of the earth. Ethiopians brought evil to the world, and it's only up to them to save the world, and even their own souls by doing the right thing.

In 1422 the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was again shut, and many Christians imprisoned and tortured.

And when in 1444 Pope Eugene IV preached a new crusade, primarily against the Turks, Christian shrines were desecrated, the Holy Sepulchre was with difficulty saved from destruction, and the Christians, especially the Latins, suffered violent persecution.

From this situation they were rescued, and the buildings were saved, by the Ethiopian King who threatened to pull down all mosques and kill all Muslims within his dominions if the Christians were not left in peace.

So, now, in this cowardly world, Ethiopian Christians again have a very good chance to correct the mistakes some of their ancestors made, and learn from history some of their other ancestors excelled in.

December 01, 2009

Blog Archive

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።)