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Ethiopian bishop asks 'why Lord?' following torching of church buildings

Tue 01 Mar 2016
By Antony Bushfield

A bishop in Ethiopia has been expressing his horror after a church compound was looted and razed to the ground.

Speaking to charity Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Abraham Desta described how Gighessa parish - "one of the oldest and biggest parishes of the Vicariate of Meki" - was attacked by "the people for whom, and with whom, we work very closely"

He says locals including women and children started throwing stones and destroying the church's properties including the presbytery, diocesan pastoral centre, a small Ursuline convent and a clinic specialising in care for the handicapped and disabled.

Having set fire to the presbytery, he says the attackers made off with a year's supply of food, as well as livestock including cows.

Speaking about the nuns who live in the compound, Bishop Abraham said: "They have lost everything, except the precious gift of life that is being given freely by God almighty.

"And, sad to say, all this [was] done by the people of the locality whom [the Sisters] were serving, whom they know very well - if not all [then] at least a good number of them."

The only building in the compound that was not attacked was the school.

Bishop Abraham added: "And today there is a question in our hearts and minds. Why Lord? Why like this? I hope that in due time the Lord will give us an answer."

But the bishop went on to describe how God had shown that he was with them throughout the attacks.

He said: "Through all these incidents, the Lord is reminding us that he is with us until the end of time."

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