In his first public comments on the war in the country’s Tigray region, Abune Mathias sharply criticized Ethiopia’s actions, saying he believes it’s genocide.

Read more: Ethiopian Orthodox Church patriarch blasts Tigray ‘genocide’ | AP

In response to the patriarch’s statement, ethnic-Amhara representative of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Abune Yosief, said the patriarch’s statements are his own and do not represent the ‘holy’ synod.

‘የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን ፓትርያርክ ብፁዕ ወቅዱስ አቡነ ማትያስ የሰጡት መግለጫ የግላቸው መሆኑን ቤተክርስቲያኗ አስታወቀች’EBC News |10 May 2021

In an attempt to silence the patriarch, another religious leader from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (Addis Ababa branch), Aba Woldeyesus, falsely accuses the patriarch of supporting and siding with a group which he says was designated as “terrorist” by the Ethiopian parliament.

EBC Zena | 10 May 2021

These statements from the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church did not come as a surprise to many acute observers of the church which not only gave a blessing to the joint Ethiopian and Eritrean genocidal campaign in Tigray but also kept silent as the rest of the word, including international religious institutions, were issuing statements condemning the heinous atrocities that were being committed by the joint forces in Tigray.

“ብፁዕ ወቅዱስ ፓትርያርክ አቡነ ማትያስ የሰጡት መግለጫ የቅዱስ ሲኖዶስ ውሳኔ አለመሆኑ ተገለጸ” | EBC 10 May 2021
“ብፁዕ ወቅዱስ ፓትርያርክ አቡነ ማትያስ የሰጡት መግለጫ የቅዱስ ሲኖዶስ ውሳኔ አለመሆኑ ተገለጸ” | Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA) 10 May 2021