Bishop Paul Swarbrick has written to Bishop Tesfaselassie Medhin in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, to express the solidarity of Catholics in England and Wales.
The violence in Tigray, which began in November 2020, has driven more than one million people from their homes, triggering a humanitarian catastrophe with shortages of food, medicine and clean water. Reports are continuing to emerge of massacres and widespread human rights abuses.
In his message, Bishop Swarbrick, the lead bishop for Africa, reflected on continued barriers to communication between Tigray and the international community, but stated “you will not be forgotten… the Church in England and Wales will continue to stand alongside you and everyone affected by this conflict.”
He also expressed admiration for the work of the local Church in responding to the crisis, “providing essential humanitarian support to people of all backgrounds and striving to build peace.”
Earlier this year, Bishop Swarbrick called on the UK government to deliver more assistance for those affected by the fighting and diplomatic support for peace initiatives.
In his letter to Bishop Tesfaselassie Medhin, he reaffirmed the Church’s commitment to humanitarian efforts and “ensuring that our own political leaders hear the cry of Tigray’s people.”
You can read/download Bishop Paul Swarbrick’s letter to Bishop Tesfaselassie Medhin.
You can support the people of Tigray through your prayers, contacting your MP about the situation, and contributing to CAFOD’s Tigray crisis appeal.