International Orthodox Tewahedo  Alliance

A voice for Orthodox Christians persecuted in Ethiopia


“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, 
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” 
Matthew 5:0

International Orthodox Tewahedo Alliance (IOTA) is a charity organization based in the United States that is established in 2019.

The primary focus is to support the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Churches and believers by providing financial, material, and manpower support to be self-sustained and freely practice the faith without intimidation and persecution.

ዓለም አቀፍ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ሕብረት በቤተ ክርስቲያን ላይ ላለፉት 30 ዓመታት የደረሱ ጥቃቶችን የያዘ ሪፖርት አወጣ

መቀመጫውን በሰሜን አሜሪካ ያደረገው ዓለም አቀፍ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ሕብረት (International Orthodox Tewahedo Alliance – IOTA) በተለየ መልኩ ከ2011 ዓ/ም ጀምሮ በቤተ ክርስቲያን ላይ እየደረሱ ያሉ ጉዳቶቸን ትኩረት አድርጎ ለዓለማቀፉ ማኅበረሰብ ሲያደርስ የቆየ ሲሆን በዚህ ዓመትም ላለፉት 30 ዓመታት የደረሱትን ጥቃቶች ለመጀመሪያ ጊዜ መረጃዎችን በማሰባሰብ “ባለፉት ፴ ዓመታት ሰማዕታተ ክርስትና” በሚል ይህንን ሪፖርት አዘጋጂቶ አቅርቧል። ዝርዝር ጋዜጣዊ መግለጫውንና የሪፖርቱን ሙሉ ይዘት ከታች በተቀመጡት ማስፈንጠሪያዎች ያገኛሉ።

Press Release from IOTA

Genocide in the Making

We are writing this note today to be a voice for the voiceless in Ethiopia – our brothers and sisters, kith and kin in Ethiopia who are suffering unparalleled brutality but whose stories are not making the front pages of newspapers and magazines – whose ordeals are not making it to the mainstream media. People who are being killed in broad daylight, burned alive, being slaughtered like sheep, their bodies dismembered, and in some cases, their eyes gouged out, displaced in large numbers; We want to tell the world about the disturbing and systematic atrocious crimes against humanity that are being committed daily with impunity and where all this is heading. We want to speak for the people who are being deprived of their fundamental human rights, people who are denied religious freedom, and people who are suffering from seemingly endless atrocities for no apparent crime but only because of their ethnic identity and religious beliefs, with no one taking responsibility and no action taken to mitigate the situation. We hope these words won’t fall on deaf ears.
In the past three decades, more so in the past five years since Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister in 2018, millions have perished, and millions have been forcefully displaced in a silent or hidden campaign of genocide. The massacres of countless innocent citizens, the kidnapping of ordinary citizens for ransom from hostage families, and the rape of women, girls, and even children have become daily nightmares. Several places, especially across the Oromia Regional Administrative State, have become living hells.
For every incident of attack, the federal and the Oromia Regional government’s actions are appalling – utter indifference, turning a blind eye and deaf ears, or explaining away the egregious crimes. In many cases and several times, the Oromia Regional Administrative State Special Forces were reported to have directly perpetrated atrocities and crimes against humanity as witnessed by victim-survivors. Recently, this silent or hidden campaign of genocide has been worsening, widening, taking another dimension, and gripping big towns and cities, including Addis Ababa.
We Ethiopians witnessed a government-backed, coordinated, and deliberate attack against the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) and fellow Christians unfolding before our eyes. The government not only abdicated its responsibility to protect citizens and legal institutions by denying security and failing to enforce the rule of law but also was directly involved in the attacks. Recently, government security forces provided armed support to uncanonically self-appointed so-called ‘archbishops’ and helped them illegally break into and cease dioceses and church helms. Government forces killed and injured hundreds of devotees in church compounds, followed by targeted harassment, illegal and arbitrary detentions of individuals, officials, and active members of the EOTC, civic associations, leaders, journalists, educators, entrepreneurs, and influencers who spoke up against the attack. By doing so, the Ethiopian government is not only in breach of its Constitutional duty to protect citizens and the ancient legal institution – EOTC- & its peaceful followers but has also proved itself to be the primary instigator of the crisis. Just a few days back on Mar 2, 2023, on the 127th commemoration day of the victory of Adwa, government security forces fired tear gases and bullets at a large congregation of EOTC Christians gathered at the Menagesha Genete Tsige Saint George Church in Addis Ababa, worshipping and celebrating the annual feast day of Saint George. The attack resulted in the loss of precious lives and injuries of many innocent civilians. What is appalling is the government’s response to this egregious human rights violation – a press release blaming the victims and empowering the violators, which are its own armed security forces and police. (See it here:
To understand why such barbaric and inhumane atrocious crimes are being committed under Abiy Ahmed’s government watch, one has to note that Abiy Ahmed’s government is dominated by ethnic extremists who aim to obliterate or subjugate other ethnicities. These ethnic extremists saw the EOTC as an obstacle to the advance of their ethnic-fascist ideology and labeled it as a primary enemy due to the fact that the ancient EOTC is an icon of Ethiopia that represents the ideals of inclusiveness, peace, and unity. One could see on social media to comprehend the intensity of hateful indoctrination, name-calling, polarization, and other elements of genocide. And it is impossible to ignore the multiple warning signs of potential genocide lurking in Ethiopia.
We have every reason to believe that the demolishing of tens of thousands of houses around Addis Ababa under the pretext of building the so-called “Sheger city” (without any socio-economic impact study, public consultation, and mitigation measures in place), which resulted in the illegal displacement of hundreds of thousands of citizens, is part of the hidden genocidal campaign and planned demographic change.
Abiy Ahmed’s government was supposed to bear the primary responsibility to protect its populations from mass atrocious crimes, and it has a legal obligation to take action to prevent genocide. However, it is becoming clear, more so at present than ever, that the government is the primary driver of deliberate and systematic attacks, massacres, and other targeted killings of EOTC Christians. Government officials like Shimeles Abedissa, president of the Oromia Region since 2019, are at the forefront of dehumanization, promoting hate speech that incites violence against members of the EOTC Christians. The recent killings inside church compounds, mass arrests, and arbitrary detentions speak volumes about their intentions.
The international community, the UN, AU, and Rights organizations should be mindful of the unprecedented dangers the east African nation of 120+ million faces! The international community has a moral obligation to act! And act now! Today in Ethiopia, the warning signs of genocide could not be more explicit. It is time to call out what is happening, give meaning to the cry of “never again,” prevent disaster and promote human dignity.

EOTC Under Attack

EOTC- Under Attack! The systematic attack against the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) & fellow Christians has aggravated and continued in every way despite the government’s empty promises to refrain from interfering in the Church’s internal religious affairs and fulfill its governmental duty to provide security and protect citizens and legal institutions. On 3/6/2023, one of the individuals claiming to be the “archbishop” of East Arsi Diocese arrived at the diocese escorted by armed Oromia special forces. The individual was illegally ‘ordained’ by the outlawed so-called group, “Synod of Oromia and Nationalities,” which was unlawfully established against the Canon of EOTC. The politically motivated group backed by radical ethnic Oromo nationalists and the current Ethiopian government, escorted by armed government security forces, especially the Oromia Special Force, in several parts of the Oromia Regional Administrative state, broke into Diocese offices and took over the church’s helm, killing and injuring hundreds of fellow Christians. Religious fathers, church officials, Sunday school and parish leaders, activists, journalists, and thousands of the faithful were also arbitrarily arrested by the Oromia Special Force and police across the Oromia Regional Administrative state. The whereabouts and conditions of some of the detained are still unknown. Workers of the East Arsi Diocese stayed at home in protest, making it clear that they won’t accept anyone appointed outside of the legal EOTC holy synod. The individual supported by the armed Oromia special forces issued a warning letter obliging the Diocese workers to report to their duties by tomorrow under the seal of the illegal “Synod of Oromia and Nationalities.” The series of actions unfolding is clear evidence that the current Ethiopian government is not only in breach of its Constitutional duty to protect citizens and the ancient legal institution, EOTC & its peaceful followers, but has also proved itself to be the primary instigator of an unprecedented crisis that could potentially lead the country to deeper problems.

The plight of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians continues.

OCP News Service – 25/4/21
Washington-USA: Joe Biden made a landmark statement calling the massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks a Genocide. The statement was made on the occasion of the 106th anniversary of the Armenian genocide on the 24th of April, 2021. Biden in his speech stated that “Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring.” Thus Biden became the first President in the history of America to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide. Armenian Genocide was one of the worst crimes against humanity, committed by the Ottoman Turks against the Armenian people in the Ottoman Empire during the. W.W. I. Syriacs, Aramean, and Greeks were killed in large numbers as well.

EHRC investigation report confirmed Crime against humanity

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission investigation concluded that the June 29 – July 01, 2020 atrocities committed following the death of artist Hachalu Hundessa in several municipalities and towns of the Oromia region were “Crime against humanity and Atrocity Crimes”. The commission released a 59 page report detailing the massacre against innocent citizens where 123 people were killed, 500 were seriously injured and 6,468 citizens have been displace from their homes due to destruction of property and fear for their safety. The investigation highlighted that the atrocities were committed by well- organized mob driven from place-to-place and directed against ethnically Amhara people in cities and Christians in Muslim dominated towns. The report also confirmed that in some localities the atrocities began before the news of Hachalu’s killing was aired, suggesting the targeted attacks were pre-planned. The report also found that regional security officials failed to respond to victims’ pleas and in some instances stood silently while the attacks were going or provided cover for the assailants. Shortly after these crimes, the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church issued a press release demanding for government authorities to protect the targets of the crimes and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Read the full report here.


Prominent Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) leaders targeted for assassination

Prominent Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) leaders targeted for assassination according to the Federal Charges against Jawar Mohammed.  Continue Reading…

Christians are believed to be the targets of the recent violence that followed the death of Artist Hachalu Hundessa.

Dr Negussu Legesse, director of Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Associations (CCDRA) and a former executive of the World Council of Churches (WCC), said that the  the atrocities against innocent civilians and businesses in Oromia administrative region on June 29 & 30 are indicative of targeted attacks against Christians. Continue Reading…

Press Release

IOTA denounces the authorities’ abdication of their sacred duty to protect and defend the defenseless, the hateful rhetoric and incitement of ethnic and religious violence by the media, political activists and organizations. We support the current measures the federal government is taking to combat such actions and hope that there will be a transparent and fair trial for the accused. Continue Reading…

Our Mission

To empower the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo believers and communities

Our Vision

To create a better world where Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Churches and
believers can be self-sustained to freely practice their faith without intimidation
and persecution

Our Values

We will at all times seek strategic partnerships with other organizations, communities,
and individuals worldwide to advance our cause.

We are committed to respecting human dignity, and we will constantly demonstrate a fair and objective attitude towards those
whose opinions and practices differ from ours.