World News

Catholic Church suffering violence in Ethiopia, Eritrea

In Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Church has been suffering. Over the past two years, over 30 churches have been attacked in Ethiopia - half burned to the ground - leaving over 100 people dead. In Eritrea, where Catholics make up just about 4 percent of the population, Church-run schools and hospitals have been forcefully shut down by the government.


Both Ethiopia and Eritrea are suffering from poverty and economic instability. In Ethiopia, although Christians are a majority there has been a spate of violence against Christians and Christian institutions over the last two years. The violence has been due to a mixture of ethnic, political and religious differences, but nonetheless, it has caused more instability and fear.

In Eritrea, the totalitarian government has gone after Christian institutions and lately those of the Roman Catholic Church to lessen the impact that the Church has on Eritrean society. Last year, the government shut down all the Catholic run hospitals and clinics after having closed all the Catholic schools earlier.

The pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has launched an appeal to help its efforts in the two Horn of Africa countries. Edward F. Clancy, the director of outreach for ACN said  the following:

“The violence against Christians is a mix of ethnic, political and religious conflicts. There have been numerous attacks on Christians by Muslim groups particularly in south where Christians are in the minority. Additionally, there has been conflict within the Christian community. The mixture of internal tumult and the injection of radical Islamic ideology is making for a toxic mix that could further instability and cause more bloodshed.”

“Ethnic conflict plays a major role in the religious tensions. There are those terrorist groups who nevertheless will use the ethnic turmoil to further a jihadist agenda within Ethiopia as has happened in other countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The whole article can be found here.

Featured photo shows Eritrean military marching

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