Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday wished all Orthodox Christians in the country a ‘Merry Christmas’, urging them to celebrate the day by ‘eliminating separation and divisions’.
Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar and celebrates Christmas on January 7th, while the rest of the world, who follows the Gregorian calendar, celebrates on 25th of December.
Several other countries including Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan and across the world celebrate the Orthodox Christmas, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.
‘‘Diverse communities, thoughts, religions, cultures, histories, languages and knowledge have made Ethiopia their common abode,’‘ Abiy said in a message whose theme was unity.
‘‘There are always those like Herod who would try to destroy Ethiopia’s unity and attempt to build enmity.’‘
Abiy, who took office in April 2018 has championed several reforms in the social, economic, political and diplomatic sphere, earning the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
Ethnic tensions that have displaced millions of million are however a huge threat to his reforms.
This is the nativity scene of Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas. To all orthodox celebrating Christmas all around the world #Happyholiday#OrthodoxChristmas#gena pic.twitter.com/qybqnZT1YX— Ermiyas Shimelis (@airmeethio) January 6, 2020
Ethiopia— Mariadohb (@mariadohb) January 8, 2019
Orthodox pilgrims attend a Christmas Eve celebration at Bet Medhane Alem. The Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas, called Ledet or Genna, attracts pilgrims from across the country. The 11 rock-hewn churches of Lalibela are Unesco world heritage sites
Photo Eduardo Soteras pic.twitter.com/QgjM8zUNo0