Ethiopian Orthodox theology clearly forbids enemy starvation as against the laws of God

Both Abune Mathias of the EOTC and Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church agree that the Tigray Genocide is against the laws of God

The current starvation of the Tigray is a violation of three forms of the laws of God espoused by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOTC) which can be clearly shown by reviewing the well described theology of the EOTC. Government leaders and the followers of their orders are committing mortal sin in the commission of this evil. There is no Biblical justification under EOTC theology for starvation nor the killing of innocents in Tigray by Ethiopians. 

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOTC) traces it’s beginnings to before the birth of Christ and even before the reception of the Ten Commandments by Moses. Their theology is guided by three principles  which view of the law of God as Hәgga Lәbbunä (the law of heart), “Hәgga Orit” (the law of Moses and “Hәgga Wangel” (the law of gospel).  

As noted by the Apostle Paul in his discussion of the Gentiles, the EOTC believes that God gives man the ability to know right from wrong by his nature without formal training by Hәgga Lәbbunä (the law of heart). This was a gift from God to the Ethiopians even before the introduction of Judaism by the Queen of Sheba who reigned in what is now Tigray.

The Ten Commandments represent the essence of the Law of Moses “Hәgga Orit”. Tradition has it that the son of Queen Sheba and King Solomon of Israel, Menelik, brought the Ark of the Covenant to Axum in Tigray which as described in the Book of Exodus contains the original two stone tablets given by God to Moses with the Ten Commandments. An EOTC tenet of faith is that this sacred religious relic is held in Axum.

The ancient Israelites were only victorious in the Old Testament when they fought in battles as ordered through the Prophets in an exact manner dictated by God’s instruction. The arrival of Christ brought a clarification of the message that would attempt to eliminate war. The justification for war could never be about territory or power but only about preventing eminent severe loss of life by large populations as noted by many Christian scholars. 

The 81 canonical books of the EOTC are larger and have more books then the Western Catholic and Protestant Churches but two components relevant to how one should treat enemies in both in the Old Testament and New Testament are shared. In Proverbs 25:21 (NIV) :If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. The Apostle Paul repeats this message in Romans 12:20 (NIV): On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” The burning coals refers to the shame that will be felt by a perpetrator who has acted wrongfully against you when you show him mercy.  The EOTC sees Paul’s view of the laws of God as encompassing the “law of Conscience, Torah and the law of the Spirit of life”. 

 

 

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

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