Ethiopian army soldiers and allied Eritrean troops allegedly “massacred” at least 78 priests of the Christian Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Ethiopia’s separatist Tigray region in recent months, Britain’s Telegraph newspaper reported on Monday.
An official Ethiopian Orthodox Church letter dated April 15 and recently leaked to the newspaper detailed the alleged attack on Tigray priests.
“The letter, which was addressed to the Synod [council] of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, says that ‘priests, deacons, choristers, and monks’ have been ‘massacred’ over the last five months,” the Telegraph wrote on Monday. “Half a dozen survivors confirmed the news to this newspaper and said that both Ethiopian national army soldiers and Eritrean troops went into their holy spaces across southeast Tigray and ‘shot them down.’”
“The stamped letter was sent on April 15 and lists the number of clergymen killed over the past five months in the church administrations,” the newspaper reported. “Gergera Maryam, Adi’Zeban Karagiorgis, Kidanemihret Bosa, Taksa, and the monastery of Da Abune Ayzgi are some of the churches where churchmen were massacred, according to witnesses.”
“[T]he number of dead clergymen could be much higher than 78,” Tigray priests who survived the massacre told the Telegraph.