Ethiopia: Government forces reportedly killed an estimated 750 people in church massacre

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - The Europe External Programme with Africa (EEPA) has reported that an estimated 750 people were recently killed by Ethiopian government forces and Amhara militia in an attack on a church in Tigray in northern Ethiopia, Christian Today reports.

In its January 9 ‘Situation Report,’ the Belgium-based nonprofit EEPA said the massacre was conducted on December 15 at the Maryam Tsiyon Church which had around 1,000 people inside at the time of the attack.

While Tigray has many churches and monasteries, it is also the site of an ongoing war between the Tigray Regional Government, led by the Tigray People's Liberation Front, and forces supporting Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, including president Isaias Afwerki's Eritrean Forces. Journalists had been banned from entering the region and news of the killings reportedly came from survivors.

The EEPA report added that local residents believed the attackers thought the Ark of the Covenant was located in the church and had wanted to take it to the nation’s capital, Addis Ababa.

Maryam Tsiyon is part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo denomination, the largest of the Oriental Orthodox Christian Churches with 36 million Orthodox Christian members. The landlocked country of 112 million people has the world's second-largest Orthodox Christian community after Russia.