During the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis said he was saddened by news of the violence in Ethiopia, "which has among its victims Christians of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahado Church." The Holy Father expressed his closeness to the Church and to its co-Patriarch and Catholicos, who he described "my dear brother Abune Mathias". He asked for prayer "for all victims of violence" in Ethiopia.
Violence broke out in the Oromia region of the country on 23 October with tensions between security forces and a prominent political activist, Jawar Mohammed, who has been critical of the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali. Three Orthodox Coptic churches and a mosque were attacked.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali has been implementing a program of political reforms and national reconciliation between the different ethnic groups in the country. This year he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work.
The Prime Minister described the violence as "An attempt to provoke an ethnic and religious crisis."
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