Maryam Tsiyon Church in Aksum, Ethiopia, a church that claims they have the Ark of the Covenant, was reportedly attacked by the Ethiopian government amidst a war in the region.
Local residents believe the church was attacked so the ark could be taken. The residents, hiding in the church while the fighting was happening outside, were reportedly brought out and killed by the insurrectionists. This took place in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, a place that has been under constant war.
According to an analysis from the Europe External Programme with Africa, the Ethiopian National Defense Force, ENDF, reported that "Maryam Tsiyon Church has been attacked (local people believe with the aim to take the Ark of Covenant to Addis Ababa). Hundreds of people hiding in the Maryam Tsiyon Church were brought out and shot on the square in front. The number of people killed is reported as 750."
There is also footage showing the massacre's aftermath, which show some of the people who were killed by the Ethiopian government's military. The military is fighting with an anti-communist insurrectionary force that controls the region.
Scholars who are not living there, however, have welcomed the leadership as a "defense" of Tigrayan values, according to those interviewed by The Christian Post. The group, Tigray People's Liberation Front, is responsible for overthrowing communism in Ethiopia in 1991. They dominated the political front until they were disbanded as a party following mostly government-originated reports of war crimes.
The war between the communist insurrectionists and the ENDF has also caused mass displacement. According to the report, "the UN OCHA report identifies that [there are] 4.5 million people needing emergency assistance, of which 2.2 million IDPs. However only 77 thousand people in Mekelle and 25 thousand in Mai Ayni and Adi Harush refugee camps have received food support from the UN and its partners.”
So, in addition to the fighting, it appears a great many have been displaced in the region."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Anton Litvintsev
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.