We invite you to join us in praying for Ethiopia. Pray for peace and healing and an end to conflict in the region. Pray for unity among Ethiopian diaspora communities in Canada who are concerned for their loved ones. Pray for a just peace and a generous humanitarian response that respects human rights and meets the needs of the people who have suffered and been displaced by the conflict.
During its recent Governing Board meeting, The Canada Council of Churches prayed for peace in Ethiopia and the Tigray region. The prayers of many have been answered. While the conflict in the Tigray region has simmered down, the aftermath of the conflict and other environmental crises must still be addressed.
We have been following the situation in Ethiopia, especially in the region of Tigray, very seriously. We are encouraged by news of recent developments indicative of a return to normalcy such as the establishment of a provisional administration and the return to work by government employees, the restoration of electricity and telecommunication services, the resumption of flights between Addis Ababa and Mekelle, the starting of delivery of food supplies by the government and UN agencies and the presence in the region of other international humanitarian organizations such as the International Red Cross that are assisting the Ayder Referral Hospital in Mekelle.
However, the challenges remain enormous. Ethiopia is currently trying to cope with several problems including the threat of a surge in the Covid-19 pandemic, food insecurity resulting from locust infestation, and re-establishing peace and security in Tigray region after the recent conflict. Many have been displaced internally and into neighboring country, Sudan. There is also a mounting concern over the safety and wellbeing of Eritrean refugees in the Tigray region and armed clashes on the border between Sudan and Ethiopia. We are aware of the efforts of Ethiopian Canadian communities across Canada who have launched campaigns to raise funds and medical supplies to assist humanitarian operations on the ground. We also appeal to Canadians and the government of Canada to assist Ethiopia at this time of need.
Ethiopian Christianity dates to the first century and Ethiopia is one of the first regions in the world to officially adopt Christianity. The oldest and largest Ethiopian church is the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. It has a robust presence in Canada and is a longstanding member of The Canadian Council of Churches. Other churches of the Council have partner relationships with churches in Ethiopia, and many Canadian churches have connections to communities of the Ethiopian Diaspora in Canada.
The Canadian Council of Churches has adopted in principle the International Decade for Peoples of African Descent and its themes of recognition, justice, and development. Our prayers and action recognize the important role Ethiopia has played in the history of Christianity and the contributions of the Ethiopian diaspora to Canadian society. Our prayers are for a just peace and for the global community to work together to support Ethiopia in providing for the human rights of all its people.
The Rev. Stephen Kendall
The Canadian Council of Churches
Pastor Peter Noteboom
The Canadian Council of Churches