Addis Ababa (Agenzia Fides) - "We are a small reality but our contribution to the social and spiritual life of the Country is appreciated by all," says to Fides Agency Fr. Hagos Hayish, Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Ethiopia.
"Catholics in Ethiopia represent about 1% of the population, most of whom adhere to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church or to the Islamic religion," explains Fr. Hayish. "The Catholic Church, however, is well regarded by both the population and the authorities for its social activities and its attitude of openness to all, Christians and Muslims."
"We have for example more than 360 schools attended by students from all walks of life and social backgrounds, regardless of their religion. The same can be said about the 82 health centers run by the Catholic Church, scattered throughout the territory, some of which operate in remote areas of the Country, which provide medical care to everybody, " said Fr. Hayish.
"Another factor which is greatly appreciated is the neutral attitude of the Catholic Church with respect to the religious divisions that are present in the Country. This is why we are called to carry out work of mediation, especially in this moment in which also in our Country the growth of religious fundamentalism is felt, " said the Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Ethiopia, who points out that this last phenomenon comes from abroad, thanks to the propaganda spread through social networks.
To promote interfaith dialogue the Interfaith Council of Ethiopia has been created, in which the Catholic Church has been called to play an important role, a sign of respect and trust. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 30/04/2013)