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Is to be a Tigrean a CRIME?

By Dilwenberu Nega
Tigrai Online, London February 10, 2015

St. Mary Church in Axum Tigrai State, Ethiopia

Much has been said and written about the antics of a minority of confused and confusing Ethiopians who masquerade as Ethiopian opposition politicians and self-righteous human rights activists in the United Kingdom. Just in case you are at a loss of what or who I am referring to, then here are case-in point reminders to refresh your memory:

I mean the nutty former naval officer who threw a fire-extinguisher at a visiting Patriarch of Ethiopia inside a church; I mean an equally nutty Derg Major who entered a church service armed with a megaphone and disrupt a Sunday service; I am referring to a notorious vuvuzela politician’s brazen audacity of pulling wool over the eyes of a British MP by brandishing an ersatz cheque for USD 3Billion which he claimed was a copy of a cheque the eldest daughter of the former prime minister had deposited into a bank in the USA. All these unsavoury manifestations are, however, dwarfed by what I am about to reveal to you.

So sit back if you will, but do lend me your unblinking attention, as I unravel a rebarbative story from London, which I hope you will resolve to condemn it in the strongest possible terms. Here I encourage you to be inspired by Edmund Burke’s clarion call for action when he said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

On Monday 9th February 2015, His Grace Abune Entos, the resident EOTC Arch Bishop for North Western Europe, made history by appearing in London’s High Court of Justice, Chancery Lane accused of being a Tigrean, and therefore not entitled to enter an EOTC, never mind serve his saviour and lord in line with his eternal calling. This particular case against Abune Entos forms only a tiny part of a copious bundle of accusations brought against the Priest-in-charge of Reese Adbarat St Mary of Tsion, its legal parish council and its congregants; but it is nonetheless a blood curdling accusation.

What makes a Tigrean anymore an outcast in a church of God than an Amhara or an Oromo etc? Who has the spiritual or temporal power to bar Tigreans from a church because of their ethnic background? And here is the mother of all questions, is not Tigrai the cradle of Ethiopian Christian civilization?


The plaintiffs are a phalanx of individuals who have an axe to grind by being in the limelight during a pre-election bubble among Ethiopians abroad. What had brought them together are neither love for or faith in the Risen Christ, but love for and faith in the politics of hate in general, and anti-Tigreanism in particular. Over the past 15 years, in a desperate attempt to expedite the overthrow of the elected government of Ethiopia, these individuals have been actively fostering a bilious culture of anti-Tigreanism by lurking behind the Cross. What has come as a shocking surprise, however, is the news that the man who brought this ugly, evil, hateful and base accusation against Arch Bishop Entos is someone who is widely regarded by the opposition-at-large as more Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo than the Patriarch of Ethiopia. A top-notch graduate from Addis Ababa University, Ato Getachew Beshahwered, is a well-heeled accountant in London who is a frequent visitor to Ethiopia where he rents a home he built “under the brutal and repressive rule of  EPRDF.” Whatever nudged Getachew into taking to court someone because he is a Tigrean – as if being a Tigrean is a crime under UK law – one thing is certain: Getachew will come to rue the day he committed an egregious mistake not even a yokel is expected to make. If Getachew represents anyone, it surely must be the herd of blood-stained Derg relics masquerading as rights activists, as well as a group of power thirsty armchair politicians whose aspirations to derail the next election knows no metes and bounds.

The great majority of sober minded Ethiopians must therefore be seen to stand shoulder to shoulder and nip in the bud whenever the ugly head of anti-Tigreanism, anti-Amharaism, anti-Oromoism, anti-Somalism, anti-Beneshangul-Gumuism, anti-Gambelaism, anti-Gurageism, anti Wolayetaism, etc rears its ugly face. The London court case has indeed come as a rude awakening to many of us, but we must ensure that we do not give in to the actions of ruffians by not reacting in a manner and style that does not reflect our sense of tolerance. 

Let me leave you with food for thought: Can you imagine what kind of country Ethiopia would be if the Getashew Beshahwered and the Zelalem Tesemas of our world were the leaders of ETHIOPIA?

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