reported on November 7, 2011
>International Christian Concern (Washington D.C.)-In a recent press conference, the Ethiopian government expressed its concern over the growing violence against moderate Muslims and Christians by radical Wahhabi Muslims. The government also announced discovering plans by the Wahhabi Muslims to turn Ethiopia into an Islamic country governed by Sharia law.
“We have found evidences and pamphlets [which] were publicly distributed during the month of Ramadan calling on the Muslim community to stand up against all non-Wahhabi Muslims and followers of other religions,” said Mersessa Reda, the Director General at the Ministry of Federal Affairs of Ethiopia, in a statement quoted by The New Business Ethiopia in early October.
The US embassy cable released by wikileaks on August 30, 2011 confirms the spread of radical Islamic teachings of Wahhabi among Muslims in Ethiopia. The cables indicate that, because of the spread of Wahhabi Islam, “Ethiopia’s delicate Muslim/Christian balance and historic attitudes between the faith communities regarding tolerance and mutual respect are being challenged, thereby undermining U.S. interests in the region.” The cable also warns that the Wahhabis “teach interpretations of the Koran that promote a far less tolerant view of other Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”
Ethiopia is a Christian majority country with 63% of the population adhering to the Christian faith and 34% of the population belonging to Islam. In the areas of the country with Muslim majorities, Christians face persecution.
ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho, said, “The statement by the Ethiopian government and the revelations by Wikileaks confirm our reports on the growing influence of Wahhabi radicals in Ethiopia. We have repeatedly called for Ethiopia to stem the growing violence against Christians in the country. We reiterate our calls for the government of Ethiopia to protect victims of Wahhabi attacks in the country and bring the perpetrators to justice.”