This petition is promoted by Reese Adbarat St Mary of Debre Tsion Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, a member of London Citizens.
Waldeba Monastery and its environs is a place of great religious, historical and environmental importance - and of national importance to the people of Ethiopia. We are heartbroken to hear of the Ethiopian government's plans to destroy parts of Waldeba, which was founded in the 4th century, in order to create a sugar plantation.
The bulldozing of graves in church-yards and mysterious burning down of churches, thereby destroying ancient religious and historical documents, is in direct violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Ethiopia is a signatory. We believe that this is a direct threat to the right to peacefully practice one's faith.
We, the undersigned, call on the UK Government to do all within its power to ensure that its biggest aid recipient, the Ethiopian Government, stops the destruction of an ancient world heritage site.
We ask that the UK Government calls on the Ethiopian government to:
- Freeze any activity that will directly impact the Waldeba Monastery and people in the region.
- Conduct environmental, social and cultural impacts of the project to the monastery.
- Respect freedom of religion and worship: that includes restraining from violating properties of the Church, its religious learning centers and its sacred sites of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
- Engage in direct dialogue with the representatives of the monastic communities of Waldeba to resolve current issues and avoid further instigations.
- Place value on historical, cultural and intellectual contributions of Waldeba Monastery to the people of Ethiopia and preserve its prestige for the generations to come.