^^ Injustice to one is Injustice to all! I will not be indifferent to or be remotely pleased at a burning of any Church, be it, Evangelical or Roman Catholic. your saying it is evil theoretically does not excuse your malicious sentiment.
but there is no suprise in the cheerleading that came from you Gebre, not suprising at all, the manner you have done so, speaks volumes in itself.
Hiwot, will you weep if a mosque is destroyed? Judging from your comments about Islam (many with which I agree) I suspect that you would not weep if there were no more mosques in Ethiopia. But perhaps I am mistaken.
Gebre , suppose Pope Benedict said these words upon hearing the burning of a religious edifice in Italy ( as an aside, I was wondering if these churches that were burned were Roman Catholic Churches or Protestant Churches. It’s disturbing and evil either way, but I personally don’t weep over the destruction of a protestant edifice in Catholic Italy!)
No one doubts the Christianity of the pope; no one doubts the peacefulness of his philosophy of life. However If he were to say the above statement, what do you think the reply would be, both from Roman Catholics, and the rest of the world? There would be a major uproar, outrage by many peace and justice loving people. Now you have mentioned that when you said you ‘don’t weep over’ you meant that your lacrimal glands will not produce the fluid we call tear over the destruction of the protestant edifice in Ethiopia. Even if that was the meaning of the usage of that idiom, which me and you both know that the idiom means more than that, still what is there not to lament about the injustice you know to be evil? What is there not to be outraged about over the injustice you know to be evil?
You ask me, if I would weep over the destruction of a mosque in such manner of injustice in Orthodox Ethiopia, here is my answer for what it is worth: unequivocal YES I will lament the burning of a mosque in such an unjust manner, as it was done to the Orthodox Church of St. Arsema! If I knew that it is an evil and unjust act that is been done, especially done in the name of good, then what is slain and destroyed is justice and truth! And each time I pass by the neighborhood that use to have the mosque that now lay in ruins ,the empty space itself condemns me, shames me! Grieves me! Not because I believe in the theology of Islam or the Evangelical church, or the RCC, but because I believe in Justice for ALL! It is an affront to justice when such evil is being done in the name of good and people are indifferent to it.
I have been deeply grieved by, and have wept over the destruction and burning of over 60 Evangelical Churches by Islamists in Ethiopia, I have been reminded of the great Protestant Pastor Martin Niemoller‘s warning against indifference, and inaction to things we know to be evil and unjust when he said in the Address he gave to the United States Congress in 1968 and which appears in the Congressional Record, October 14, 1968, page 31636."When Hitler attacked the Jews
I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned.
And when Hitler attacked the Catholics,
I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned.
And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists,
I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned.
Then Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church --
and there was nobody left to be concerned."
I know you are active in many ways for the cause you believe to be just, however on this particular instance your statement regarding the destruction of the protestant Church as not being worth lamenting over, well, even if it was to be said by the Pope himself or Nelson Mandela, it will still be an unjust thing to say to my ears. When an idea is wrong it is wrong no matter who says it. Even so, as testament to Neimller’s words those who burnt the protestant Churches indeed came to burn the Orthodox Churches. There were also more than one hundred Sufi shrines/mosques being burnt down in Jimma area in Southern Ethiopia by the Militant Muslims, who consider the practice of worshipping at Sufi shrines as ‘un-Islamic’ and I was deeply troubled and grieved by it, not by agreement with the sufist’s theology but by the way the injustice was carried out in a country where all should have been free to worship in their respective sects. Recently, there was a call to burn the Quran by some man in Florida, and I was outraged and deeply troubled by it because as the German Jewish Poet Heinrich Heine wrote: “those who begin by burning books will end by burning people”
the book-burning he was referring to was ironically the burning of the Quran itself. As a result of what they did directly or indirectly the burning of that book lead to the death of many innocents across continents. Those people failed to understand that ideology cannot be killed by fire, and the gun. In Ethiopia I will pray for Christianization of the entire country not by force or any form of injustice but through honest encounter with the message of the Gospel. Militant Islam seeks to use force against all, and united with all Christians (Evangelicals, and Roman Catholics)and justice loving Muslims, we will resist such injustice together for a peaceful Ethiopia for all. If there is no integrity to justice, it is ceases to be justice.
In Ethiopian history, when the Orthodox Church was burning at the hand of Ahmed Gragn, the Portuguese Roman Catholics have came to our aid, and gave their very lives for her including their great commander and martyr Christopher da Gamma. We will never forget such Christian solidarity. They did not say we know its evil but we will not weep over the destruction of the Tewahedo Church from that corner of Africa. During the Fascists’ invasion, when for our death and mutilation by mustard gas, the burning of our churches and monasteries, the fascists wanted to finance the war, victim herself to the tragic historical mistakes of men’s choices, the Church of Rome directed by the pontiff gave her gold and silver, along with her blessing. At that time, it was the Protestants of Sweden among others, around the world that expressed their sorrow and outrage with open letters to the pontiff; yes we will never forget people like Alec Sindrum for their incredible courage and Christian witness to justice and righteousness. When the Emperor Hailesilase, appealed for justice for Ethiopia before the League of Nations, it was the sin of indifference, that said “yes it is evil, but what is it to me?” that did nothing while millions were slaughtered. Yet History is a witness that the evil they knew about yet were indifferent to, because it was not happening to them, later on knocked on every one of their doors and they were no longer indifferent.
I would like to remind us, what the Christian Copts did in Egypt when they formed a human chain to protect Muslims at prayer from the military forces. And what those Muslims did who acted like human shields to protect the Copts. I believe in the human heart the law of God is written to recognize good from evil, what will stop an ideology that is against tolerance and peaceful coexistence is the spirit of Justice and Righteousness, and freedom that I for one believe that God Himself planted in the heart of all human beings. It is not because they agreed upon the theology of one another, however they agreed in the need for justice for all in Egypt. While I hate and oppose the theology that declares war against those who do not believe in it, I admire and honor those who are under it yet have managed to reject that part of the theology and rise above it, in preference to justice for all.
Injustice to one is injustice to all, be it decreed from the podium of the city’s square, by the leader of a nation, or by an individual who takes it upon his or herself to be unjust. It is when we lament and oppose injustice wherever it may be, that we can hope to maintain the integrity of justice without partiality. I hope you understand where I am coming from my brother. I opposed your words as I would oppose them if they were to come even from my bishop.
Now forgive me my brother, for any offence I might have commited against you, I am full of sinful passions, that I am subservient to. May the Lord have mercy on me.