A Facebook page with over 39,000 followers shared an image with a short caption, “these [weapons] were found inside the premises of an Orthodox Church in Shashemene”. By the time this article was published, the post was shared thirteen times.
However, HaqCheck inspected the image and confirmed it was old. Therefore, the post was rendered False.
On Jan 22, 2023, former archbishops of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church appointed bishops without the recognition of the synod of the church.
Abune Sawiros, Archbishop of South West Shoa, and two others ordained 26 bishops to various episcopates in Oromia and southern parts of the country.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s Synod immediately convened about the issue and denounced the bishops who participated in the appointment of the breakaway episcopate. The synod excommunicated Abune Sawiros and other bishops for ‘violating the church’s canonical orders’.
The breakaway archbishops announced that the bishops appointed by Abune Sawiros would travel to their respective episcopates. Social media reports indicated that some of these bishops were welcomed by residents in Oromia.
The leader of the breakaway bishops, Abune Sawiros, appointed Abune Pawlos to the West Arsi diocese in Shashemene town. Tension and clashes erupted during the trip of the newly appointed bishop to Shashemene.
According to news reports, three people were killed in the town of Shashemene after a clash broke out between the supporters of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church Synod and the schismatic bishops.
It was in this context a Facebook post emerged sharing an image with a claim that weapons were found inside the premises of an Orthodox Tewahido church in Shashemene.
HaqCheck used a google reverse image to search if the image was previously published on the platform.
As a result, HaqCheck discovered that the picture was old and published two years ago. The image was previously shared on Facebook on Mar 15, 2021. The original image was shared with a description that the Ethiopian Federal Police seized weapons and ammunition in the Sidama regional state.
Therefore, HaqCheck rated the post False.