Update & Photos: Protesters Demand Saudis Release Jailed Ethiopian Christians

The protest took place on Monday, March 26, 2012 outside the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Meron Tesafye)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012

Washington, DC (TADIAS) – The Ethiopian community and the International Christian Concern (ICC) held a protest on Monday outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington DC demanding the kingdom release 35 Ethiopian Christians arrested on December 15 for praying at a private home in Jeddah.

“We organized the protest to express our outrage over the illegal and the indefinite detention of 35 Ethiopian Christians in Saudi Arabia,” Jonathan Racho, ICC’s Regional Manager, told Tadias Magazine. “We urged the Saudis to release the Christians and respect their religious freedom.”

Racho said the prisoners situation is getting worse. “They don’t receive proper medical attention and healthy food,” he said. “They are kept in prison cells with convicted murderers and thieves.”

He added: “They are concerned for their safety. We have talked to the Saudis about the situation. Unfortunately, the Saudi officials have not given us definite answer on why the Christians were imprisoned and when they will be released.”

Below are photos from the March 26 protest in front of the Saudi Embassy in Washington DC.

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6 Responses to “Update & Photos: Protesters Demand Saudis Release Jailed Ethiopian Christians”

  1. 1 Chachi Mar 29th, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Not Fair.

  2. 2 Temari Mar 29th, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Historian Najib Mohammed notes that “in Islamic history and tradition, Ethiopia (Abyssinia or Al-Habasha) is known as the “Haven of the First Migration or Hijra.” For Muslims, Ethiopia is synonymous with freedom from persecution and emancipation from fear. Ethiopia was a land where its king, Negus or Al-Najashi, was a person renowned for justice and in whose land human rights were cherished. The meaning and the significance of “Hijra” is embodied in the Islamic calendar. Since its inception, the Islamic calendar represents a history of perpetual struggle between truth and falsehood, faith and blasphemy, freedom and oppression, light and darkness, and between peace and war. The first migration [Hijra] of the Companions and relatives of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) to Ethiopia celebrates the birth of freedom of expression and beliefs, whereas, the Second Migration of the Prophet Muhammad to the Madinah celebrates the end of oppression. History has shown that the first migration to Ethiopia and the second migration to Madinah have indeed laid down the foundation on which Islam, as a universal religion, was built. Ever since that experience, the Muslim community, wherever they settled, shifted from the positive of minority to majority, from weakness to permanent strength, from tribalism to universal brotherhood that knows no defined political boundaries. The Quran says: “O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly the most honored of you in God’s sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware (Quran 49:13). With this spirit in mind, Bilal ibn Rabah, an Ethiopian slave living in Makkah, became a leading companion of the Prophet Muhammad. It was not a coincidence that his native land, Ethiopia, was the country chosen by the Prophet when his followers needed protection and freedom form oppression.

  3. 3 Mohsen Mar 29th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I am a Muslim fellow and yet I do support the protest and demand Saudi officials to release imprisoned Ethiopians ! I wonder why are they jailed becuase they are Christians and pray to God in their private houses ? If an American or European were find doing the same , are they going to jail them ? I am sure they will not dare to do it .
    Why are Ethiopians being treated badly in the middle east ,while the middle eastern know very well that Ethiopia had extend her hands to their fellow citizens in their hard times and lived in Ethiopia for decades respected and honored more than Ethiopian themselves ! What did the Ethiopian embassy in Saudi and in general the government !

  4. 4 Tewohado Mar 29th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Respecting the religious freedom of others and the best way of living up to the true teaching of Islam, the fact is known to the world that Ethiopia is a land of the world’s major religions. Show mercy Saudi Arabia.

  5. 5 DC Ethio Mar 29th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    We need to keep up the pressure.

  6. 6 kingfasil Mar 30th, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Thumb up 4ur gud works guyz let’s keep our voice 2b heard 4 de world so people’s rights are not violated may God give de strength 2 thy family

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