Update to ETH5112 of 12 april 1990 on the treatment of coptic christians by the government [ETH18475.E]

According to Country Reports 1993, officially, the government does not discriminate against any religious order, and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) also known as the Coptic Church enjoyed greater autonomy in 1993 than in 1992 (1994, 95). However, incidents of religious conflict were reported in 1993 following the installation of a new EOC Patriarch from the same ethnic group as the President (ibid.), the non-Tigrayan members of the EOC reportedly perceived this as government interference and religious matters and interpretated the installation as an attempt to divide the Church along ethnic lines. Amharic-speaking Ethiopian dissidents in the United States expressed their discontent during the Patriarch's 1993 visist by attacking him with stones and "other missiles" and by disrupting his service (ibid.).

In Gondar, clashes involving the Orthodox community, Muslims and Christians erupted when an Orthodox hermit protested against Protestant and Muslim incursions in the region, drawing a large Orthodox following (ibid.). His followers clashed with security forces sent to restore order, and a number of deaths and casualties were reported on both sides (ibid.).

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1993. 1994. Washington, DC: United States. Government Printing Office.