On Feb 7, 2023, a Facebook page with over 290 thousand followers shared three images with a claim that weapons were found in the house of an Ethiopian Orthodox Church leader in Jimma. The first image shows rifles, the second ammunition, and the third is a photo of a person.
The post claimed that the person in the photograph is the deputy chairman of the parish council of a church in Jimma and head of the Jimma branch of Mahbere Kidusan, a religious association within the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church.
The Facebook post went viral and attained over four hundred engagements on the platform.
However, the images were old and don’t prove the claim. Thus, HaqCheck rendered the claim 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 episcopates in Oromia and southern parts of the country. Seventy bishops nominated by Abune Sawiros have been assigned to dioceses in the Oromia regional state.
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’.
A few days later, the breakaway archbishops responded by condemning and excommunicating twelve Ethiopian Orthodox Church archbishops.
Against this backdrop, on Feb 7, 2023, a Facebook post appeared sharing three pictures with a claim that smuggled weapons were found in the house of an Ethiopian Orthodox Church leader who is the deputy chairman of the parish council of a church in Jimma and head of the Jimma branch of Mahbere Kidusanin.
The first two images which were presented as proof of the claim show rifles and ammunition and the third picture is a photograph of a person.
The first picture which shows rifles was published on Oct 30, 2019, by the BBC Afaan Oromo along with a news story that the Ethiopian Customs Commision seized illicit weapons.
The second image which shows ammunition was taken from a news article published on Oct 7, 2021, by a local media outlet. The news states that illegal weapons were retrieved in the Addis Ketema district of Addis Ababa.
linkTherefore, HaqCheck rated the post as False.