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The Selfless Bishops Who Took The Lead

Unable to watch the humiliation of their people idly, four Eritrean Catholic Bishops from Segeneiti, Asmara, Keren and Barentu Eparchys rose up and blew the lid in the face of the notorious dictator – Isaias Afewerki. These four courageous Bishops have had it and without fear or favor, they dispatched their pastoral letter to the people in which they unearthed all the evils perpetrated by the PFDJ on the Eritrean people to dismantle the fabric of our society. This historic pastoral letter made it across the borders and has already hit the headlines in the world. Hence, it is warmly embraced by the Eritrean opposition and friends of the national struggle.

Let credit go to where it is due. Historically, the Catholic Church in Eritrea always stood on the side of the oppressed. For instance, at the presence of General Teshome Ergetu, commander of the 2nd. Division and high officials of the government and the public, Abune Abraha Fransewa concluded his preaching in Kidane Mehret Asmara by saying “HIZBI ERITRA ZEY NATU AYHATETEN, BETRI HAQI TEQETN EMBER AYTSEBERN EYA. DEM DEQA ZSETEYET MERET DMA DEQISA AYTDEQSEN EYA.” I was there and even witnessed some Eritrean officials sneaking out because the church was cordoned by tor- serawit and perhaps they expected some skirmish as a reaction to the Bishop’s language. This was circa 1965. I could cite more examples nevertheless, this will serve the purpose.

Even though aware of the PFDJ Guillotine hanging on their necks, these spiritual fathers took the unthinkable initiative to encourage Eritreans at home and abroad to rise up and throw the burden off their backs and once again be free and proud people again. Now, we all know that the Bishops jeopardized their lives on our behalf; in light of this, we have an emergency before us. How can we immediately show our strong solidarity with them so that the head hunters of the PFDJ may not assume the bishops’ call fell on deaf ears and try to heart them? As opposition, we have a duty to create ways of how to unite our rank and file and send a clear and loud message to the dictator that the Diaspora is in complete agreement with the bishops.

How do we show them (Bishops) that we are on their side? We can do it through a variety of methods: for instance, the opposition can call for large and effective demonstrations all over the world; the broadcast media could jam the Eritrean airwaves by repeatedly reading the message of the Bishops to Eritreans in the home front and elsewhere; the written media is even more readily available to everyone who can put words together and can play an important role in spreading the word. Simultaneously, the different factions of the opposition including civic organizations and individuals should devise a mechanism of co-operation in order to be able to speak with one voice for heaven’s sake. We have no more luxury to procrastinate. Ask people who cut short their so-called vacations in Asmara and come back. They will tell you that the real opposition is in Eritrea not in the Diaspora. These are positive indicators for uprising. So, what are we in overseas waiting for? It is time to join hands with our people and march forward together to the finish line.

Despite the tight control of the country, the Catholic spiritual leaders have done their part and more to embolden the besieged people to stand up for their rights and take back their lives and their country from the grip of the PFDJ. However, there is a missing part in the equation here. What about the role of the rest of the religious leaders in Eritrea? Are they planning to respond to the call of the day and let their voices be heard, or will they shrug their role and pass the buck to those who will not shy from martyrdom? I hope they too will come forward and be more voice for the voiceless. In this regard, we the people in the free world have ample opportunities to get our acts together and lead by example. Only then can we encourage religious groups or otherwise inside and outside Eritrea to wake up and challenge the blood merchants in Asmara.

Trust me the junta in Asmara will leave no stone unturned to foil any attempt that smells like an uprising. At this moment Isaias is under enormous pressure. Instead of building the country, he has been digging his own grave by undermining every sector of the economy and now the chickens have come home to roost. He cannot undo what he has been doing to his colleagues, to the people who deserved nothing but peace and justice and to the economy he purposely brought down to its knees. Right now, he doesn’t trust nobody around him, not even his own shadow. Add an insult to injury; as if the pastoral letter was not enough headaches for him, Mr. Ali Abdu, his former minister of information smacked him in the face by exposing conspiracies of his generals plotted to over throw him. He has been lucky though, every attempt against him is gone in smoke but not anymore. The other reason he doesn’t trust anybody is because he thinks he has more expertise than anybody in Eritrea and abroad. Many of his supporters also believe that.

Now, what is left for him is only himself. He has been all along the decider in chief. He neither consults his ministers nor does he accept their advice. Instead, if anyone comes with a different point of view, he/she is at least demoted or thrown in the dungeons for good. Therefore, considering the dire conditions in Eritrea now, Isaias is considerably in the lowest point of his political life. He is surrounded by his enemies, the generals, on whom his life hinges. What can he do with them, throw all of them in jail or kill them all? That doesn’t leave him with a good choice. Either way he is agonizing with difficult choices. Nonetheless, his real lethal enemy is the awakening of the people inside Eritrea. As opposition, where do we fit here? As the saying goes: hit the iron while it is hot; it means we use this opportune time to bring the sufferings of our people to an end by stopping the ego of the dictator on its tracks.

As far as the suspected generals go, I think it is a matter of who blinks first, him or them. Otherwise I don’t believe they can tolerate each other. In any event, the PFDJ Mafia is fully aware that something is brewing; they feel that the ground is shifting beneath their feet; they know that the pot has come to a boiling; an event is shaping; they certainly understand that their time is up. At this juncture, unless the opposition wants to wither away and be irrelevant altogether, it has to step up and do its share. And to the observers whose main job still remains to be evaluating the opposition, please join the revolution for the sake of your country. No amount of analysis and criticism without action can pick even a brick off the backs of our people.

United We Shall Win.

About Asfaha Woldemichael

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  • ghezaehagos

    Dear Esteemed Compatriots;
    National Post of Canada has come out with a story on Eritrean consulate office in Toronto. I would urge us to use this opportunity to jot a line or two, in support of the reporter and the story. Let us call for shutting down the consulate office in Toronto. Please comment in the comments section of the report already PFDJ-ers are commenting; they always are quicker and vocal than us in such regard; since Awatistas are already in disqus, we don’t even need to log in. I hope Awate moderators are ok if I shared this note at the other articles too. Thanks very much.



    But my question, before I go to write my opinions in detail is :
    Why is that only certain people allowed by Awate and majority
    of us the people are prohibited and denied to comment
    here ?
    Also is our writing going to be based on freedom or no freedom
    to be only politically correct like the supporters of woyane?

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    Dear Awatistas,

    I have read many bold responses from PFDJ worshipers. All were dump responders. But, dawit, who used to comment here in awate.com responded to my comments on Tesfanews like this.

    “Mr Tesfaberhan WR, How do you know those boxes actually hold Eritrean victims of the Lampadusa boat accident? I personally do not believe there were any bodies there. It was a show case the Italian government
    displayed to collect money from EU fund. The real body must have been taken to an organ trading lab and butchered and sold to different hospitals in Europe or other developed countries. That may be the only plausible reasons why the Italian government did not allowed the families to have their loved ones perform their final closure especially when Eritrean government offered to pay for the full cost of transporting the bodies. They must have known that
    they can not send the empty bodies, so they may have come with strange arrangement, to give them Italian Citizenship, so that the Eritrean government can not legally claim its citizens. Mr Tesfaberhan, before you accuse the Eritrean Bologna Festival celebration find out where the bodies are kept with the Italian government, and if you find out and the
    Italian government allow you to have them, believe me Eritreans will do anything including stop the festival and send the bodies to have their final resting place in Eritrea. Where are the bodies you want us send to Eritrea?”


    May be I should not post his comments here. But since he is also one of the many PFDJites who visit this forum, I want to expose his total inhumane act against the Lampedusa Tragedy. Let’s know also who are the visitors of this forum by referring their attitude in the webs that they feel safe for what ever they say.

    No option except weeding-out such mentality.


    • haileTG

      Hello tess,

      In deed this is disturbing, but you didn’t say how you arrived at the conclusion that it is “dawit” the pro hgdef awatista here. I once linked a content from dehai belonging to my nemesis commenter called “asmara”. I had air tight proof that it was the same commenter and was only prepared to share it if they directly denied it. After a while I no longer needed the information and disposed of it. I hope you have taken care to confirm that (whatever it takes) because I can’t imagine anyone with a right mind would say that to parent or relative about their loved one. pretty heavy stuff.

      The whole Bologna saga is shaping up for a confrontational show down. The PFDJ side is now saying that this had been planned before the tragic accidents happened. If that is the case, their Oakland US concert with band from Eritrea was announced as postponed due to the incident (even if the real reason was wedi Tkabo left them). But, even if we were to take their excuse as true, why couldn’t that be applied now? The event is happening barely 8 months (36 weeks or 261 days) since the tragedy. Considering that the regime denied them national mourning and IA humiliated them further by stating they were “thieves” in his only reference to them, they can’t even honor them to have to wait even until a year has passed.

      Just to help the hegdefites with some basic Eritrean culture and tradition Day 1, Day 3, Day 40, Day 80, Month 6 and one year are important in the grieving calendar in traditions where most of the Eritrean victims come from. We know Bologna is a proud history in the Eritrean struggle for independence that was later hijacked and is now turned to the worst form of brutality against Eritreans surpassing any colonizer ever in the history of the people (based on what we heard from history by word of mouth). Nothing wrong with creating opportunity for people to get together and commemorate, but it is highly insensitive and utter despise to the Eritrean person to do it in this way and at this time.

      I hope they would think better to cancel it or postpone for next summer. Otherwise, hats off to justice seekers who are planning parallel events outside the venue to remember the victims, oppose the regime and hold vigils to ask forgiveness on behalf of the PFDJista who would be inside the venue indulging in such a despicable and horrifying act of devil worshiping.


      • Tesfabirhan WR

        Dear haile TG,

        I understand your point regarding the name. It might be misleading. But, I have followed dawit, not the artist of course, but the one who writes always on behalf of PFDJ ardents to distort from the great discussions we always have hear. if it is a nick name with doubling, then I might be wrong concering the name.

        What matters most as you broadly described is the content. here even in awate forum, we focus on the ideas posted no matter who posted it, his takes defines him. having this as basic common understanding, it is really shocking even for the comments they give. I don’t actually comment in such PFDJ sponsored websites though I usually scan them to read their take.

        After reading the content in one of TN’s post, I decided to condemn the Bologna festival which I did. And what happened was what I later wrote in my blog. After doing that, dawit again commented as it is written above and I decided to share what the mindset with these people exist.


        Let’s all condemn such fantasy while still bodies of our brothers and sisters is not yet reached in in its final destiny and specially in the country where all the tragedy happened.

        Thank you haile TG, your insight is always full of wisdom.


  • Papillon

    When is good news going to come out from Eritrea? Perhaps when the tyrant expires for good? But in the mean time, here is something that will add more to the nth dose of desensitization.


    • Come again?

      Isn’t this recycled news? I thought the national football team defected in 2010. Four years ago. Very old news.

  • Tizita

    The only factor that unites Eritreans is their common HATRED for Ethiopians. What is the purpose of talking about 30 something years of event when we see thousands of Eritreans perishing now? I can’t understand it.

    • bad tizita for us

      How about some facts for you?
      Haile Selassie and Mengistu killed and maimed 70,000 tegadeltis.
      Weyane Tigray killed 19,000 Warsays.
      The number of civilian Eritreans killed by Mengistu + Haile Selassie (Janhoy Mestiu b semay Weylika Aslamay) + Weyane Tigray is estimated around 200,000. Entire villages in lowland Eritrea have been wiped out from the map.

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista

    As we are learning more and more varied interpretation of the “Where is Your Brother?” moral dilemma posed by the Catholic bishops in Eritrea, there is no doubt that the content is more important than the title, even if the title is also selected to portray the central idea of the message.

    At the Papal Audience, on May 1, 2013: Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, Pope Francis called on people to listen to the voice of God, as when he spoke to Cain in the Old Testament and said: “Cain, where is your brother?” Today, he said, God’s voice says: “Where is your brother who has no work? Where is your brother who is subjected to slave labor?”

    “This is a burden on our conscience, because when society is organized in such a way that not everyone has the opportunity to work, to be anointed with the dignity of work, then there is something wrong with that society,” he said. And concluded “It is not right. It goes against God himself, who wanted our dignity, starting from here.”

    I think the above may serve a closer understanding of what is being attempted to be communicated here, i.e. our personal interpretations notwithstanding.


  • Kokhob Selam

    “instead of building the country, he has been digging his own grave ………” thank you brother Asfaha this was the reason for the poem of today in Jebana. they really knew but they couldn’t return back as it needs clear mind and great heroism, yet we see people among us still think it is easy and they go for reform. hey, enjoy my poem . does sound moves in vacuum ? it seems there is sound connected from heaven to this material world. to those who want to hear even the echo comes back and make round from mountains.

  • ኣደ ጽንዓት

    The strength (ጽንዓት) of Eritrean Mothers.


  • Asmara Eritrean

    Well done Eritrean Bishops!

  • Stand Tall

    Stand Tall For Eritrea’s Fallen Heroes

    Over the last 60 years, some 90,000 Eritrean combatants and countless civilians have been killed and murdered by successive Ethiopian regimes who wanted to erase Eritrean identity and later on Eritrean sovereignty.

    Eritrea’s Memorial Day (Mealti Sematat) is observed on June 20, a mere few weeks after Independence Day in order to remind us of all the sacrifices that went into creating and defending the Eritrean State.

    It is an emotional and personal day for most Eritreans and those families of the fallen heroes who gave up their lives and limbs so Eritrea could exist. Numerous public memorials are held throughout Eritrea on Martyrs Day, but this day of remembrance is by no means confined to Eritreans at home. An important bond is expressed by Eritrean communities around the world with the State of Eritrea and the families of the fallen heroes on Martyrs Day.

    What is most striking is to see how deeply personal Martyrs’ Day is to most Eritreans. Eritrea being a small country, nearly every family has been affected. Too many households in Eritrea have framed photos and a small memorial corner of their son or daughter who fell in battle fighting for Eritrea’s independence or in defense of its sovereignty. As a result it is hard to find an Eritrean for whom this day is not personal. Each and every Eritrean has a number of people they remember on Mealti Sematat when they were young and full of life before they gave up their life so Eritrea could exist. This can be a childhood friend, a neighborhood kid you grew up with playing soccer, a brother or sister, a cousin, an aunt or uncle, or a high school friend.

    Martyrs’ Day is one of the most solemn on the Eritrean calendar. There is an awe and sanctity to it. Most places of entertainment and cafes are closed on that day. Eri-TV and radio play somber music and sad songs that convey the mood of the day.

    Eritrean sovereignty is a modern day miracle that has come at great cost and sacrifice. As we gather in our respective cities around the world this Friday, June 20, to commemorate Martyrs’ Day, let us stand tall for Eritrea’s fallen heroes. The memory of those fallen heroes should serve to remind us of the heavy responsibility we bear as Eritrean citizens in making sure we fulfill the dreams of the sons and daughters of Eritrea who are no longer with us.

    Zelealemawi Zikhri n Sematatna!
    Awet n Hafash!

    • Hope

      Hahaha–kedimkani emba’r Stand Tall.I was tempted to copy and paste it from TesfaNews but was worried about copy Right and th eAT might be “mad” at me.BTW,you should mention the source due toCopy Right business.
      I agree though with the message..

    • haileTG

      From June 6Th of June Asmara and the coastal Eritrea received dusty sands from the Sahara deserts, as reported by ERiTV today.


      • dawit

        Cheap cut and pest propaganda video to stir Eritreans people emotions to make them hate their government. Haile GT you can do better! Why stoop so low?

        • haileTG

          hang on dawit…but the people already hate the “government”, isn’t it holding to power by brutal means rather than the will of the people? Yes, it is an authored video, but it kind of came to my mind with the news that Eritrean mothers were showered with Desert Sands this past week. It means a lot for people under brute regime that is refusing burial of such victims. Do you think Wedi Ali should be honored this martyr’s day as a selfless tegadalay or IA as his murderer?

          • dawit

            Pure power struggle in Third World countries, Wedi Ali lost, he could have also murdered IA if he was successful. Wouldn’t you be happy if he was successful?

          • Hopre

            dawit and Haile:
            Sensible arguement.
            Here is my dilemma ;and a question for both of you:
            IA Vs Wedi :
            Why did Wedi Ali attempted to do what he did?
            Why did IA murdered Wedi Ali.
            Is this Power struggle Vs Struggle for real Change?
            Why are those thousands or hundreds in Jail,which includes both Powerful and Powerless’?

          • Amanuel

            From the little I know Wedi Ali was demanding the implementation of the 1997 constitution. For sure, He was not in a power struggle with IA. It is well known that all the ERTV staff including IA’s daughter were under him and he could have hold them hostages if he wasn’t selfless.

          • haileTG

            hi dawit… not so in my mind (i.e. can’t be a power struggle). Because, to have a power struggle, one needs power base. Much like the S. Sudan case. tgdy. Wed Ali selflessly offered himself to be a voice to the voiceless and all he said is exactly what the bishops asked: rule of law. IA murdered him to stay in power!


        • Hope

          How is the Bologna Prep ,man?Make sure to be a Good Referee at this time so as to avoid another Amsterdam Style boxing,bro.
          I was planning to attend it-the bigger one though butmyschedule could notallow me despite I requested for off duty 3 months ahead.
          Prob it is goingto be the BEST of its nature ever—where the Opposition will be shocked while the PFDJ will smile with open mengaga but I will give credit to te Eritreans in general….ireespective of who prepares it.Its hsitory significance is unique for Eritreanism.
          Enjoy man but make sure to take enough clips.
          do me a favor:
          Relay my Congra messages first.I heard there is going to be a big time discussion on current Nationla Issues and one of them is about the New constitution
          -Ask for me as to why we need a new Constitution rather than amending the Ratified one.
          -Where is the Ethiop-Eritrea peace talks issue
          -Why is the Youth running away in exodus in a way never seen in the worst Eritrean History during Janhoy and Dergue?
          -Why is the Private Sector dead?
          -Why are people suffering for 20 yrs with out a due process and why are the families of the prisoners not allowed to see their loved ones?
          -Why are people ,who try to visit their families getting kidnapped or disappearing

  • Fedup

    What the four Bishops did and said is what every Eritrean inside and outside Eritrea with consciousness needs to emulate. Fearing the evil Isaias or his bankrupt system will not get us anywhere: we need to speak and act boldly until Isaiasm is thrown into the dustbin. Isaias and his minions have started the name calling and rumor mongering. According to their feeble mind one is guilty by association if they say so. It is not only childish and amateurish, based on one article posted in Tesfa news, it was struggling mightly to make an inference by trying to associate the four Bishops, by drawing gibbership flow chart, that has the appearance of over cooked spaghetti that turned into porridge, a chart that alleges everything is controlled by few men of American origin. What was the picture of the Pope surrounded by Bishop near the title of the article supposed to tell us? Don’t trust Catholic Bishops as the Pope and his Bishops are tools of American Imperialism and these few men wh control America. Is that a coincidence or a gentle way to tell us the four Bishops are part of the network of the conspiracy that allegedly are against Eritrea and Isaias. Incidentally the article and the accompanying charts are probably drawn when none but Isaias who was the one who scribbled out of anger and half-drunk and misery. The mind of a drunk and mad man was displayed for all to see. No wonder’ the emperor has no clothes’ is an apt observation here.


  • Hope

    Hello all
    We need an-up-to-date Article about our Martyrs for our Martyrs Day,please!
    It should reflect the heavy sacrifice we paid for vis-avis our current mess and betryal of their Hidri.

  • I think we go past the well known saying of Abraham Lincoln:
    “you can cheat all people sometimes, you can even cheat some people always, but you can never cheat all people always”
    Yes, our bishops are our real yard sticks, our moral guide, we should adjust our angle and correct our long due injustice.

  • Hope

    Thank you Uncle Asfaha,as usua,l for your mesmerizing article.
    Hello all,
    What a timely CALL–to all Eritreans all over the World with out “discrimination” by putting aside our differences,for ONE goal–Real and Peaceful Change in Eritrtea
    Yes,indeed,we need an organized rally behind this timely(past due)CALL.
    -Let us start with EYSC–all over over wherever they are
    -An Intensive Social Media Campaign;Facebook,paltalk;Local Radio,youtube,Satellite Radio/Local TVs;Interviews through available ones-SBS,VoA,Local Community Radios,Naz-and the ones in Scandinevia,etc—
    -Local meetings–be in the Churches,Local Neigborhood,groups—just pass the Word!
    -Demonstrations –in Major Cities-across the World–London,Sydney,Stockholm,Oslo;Amsterdam,Frankfurt,Addis Abeba,Shimelba,Rome,Bologna,NY(the UN Office included,Chicago,Washinton ,DC.—L:A,Seattle;Cairo,Khartoum,kessela,etc—
    -The message of the Eritrean Catholic Bishops should go viral -the documentary style one by AI(clipped here)in all forms of Social Media.
    This is the BEST opportunity ever.

    • dawit

      Dear Hope,

      If these Bishops are truly concerned about the Eritrean people, they should have called Ethiopia to evacuate the Eritrean land they are occupying illegally. These Bishops do not recognize Eritrean Independence; their effort is to reverse that, by injecting themselves in the politics of the
      country, after they received their mission from their counterpart in Ethiopia via Vatican. If Christ had to write that letter he would have asked ‘Ethiopia where is your sister Eritrea’! It is Ethiopian who have created all Eritrean problems, strangling Eritrea to death, hoping to reverse Eritrean Independence, including lying to UN to put economic and military sanctions, working day and night to isolate Eritrea. Eritreans did not have serious divisions, before Ethiopia ignited the border war, trying to take what did not belong to them by force, evicting Eritreans from their land, in the first place.
      If you are serious to mobilize all Eritreans worldwide, then choose an issue that binds us together. As long as Ethiopia is an enemy of Eritrea, I will stand with IA and PFDJ. It is Ethiopia that is dividing Eritrea,

      • Semere Andom

        In a typical PFDJ derisive demeanour against the church and Jesus you demonstrated the old PFDJ attitude towards our priests and in the way you unambiguously revealed your insensitivity towards Eritreans.

        The fact that Ethiopia is occupying some land has nothing to do with treating our people without dignity. PFDJ and you guys have been doing that for a quarter a century when you were sleeping with the Woyane and Ethiopia was not occupying our land. It is in you to treat as like this until the TIME intervenes.

        There is one and only one entity that poses existential danger to Eritreans and it is none other than PFDJ and its supporters. The line of occupation is an utterance of the unhinged supporters and does no fool anyone except expose the willful ignorance

        When it come to the imprisoning 10, 100 innocent Eritreans, when it comes to the killing that PFDJ commits and the rapes that you support, when we deal with running Eritrea like personal restaurant Ethiopia is exonerated by all sane Eritreans. Why are you guys crying like a baby, where is that smarmy confidence? where is the strong PFDJ that protects Eritrea, PFGDJ is both impotent and incompetent to neither defend the sovereignty nor the liberty of Eritreans

        When you did not show up for long time here I thought you heeded my call for all PFDJ supports to be ashamed and go back to where they belong, the closet, but you are here again defending a lie and you wanted Jesus to be on your side

        • dawit

          As I wrote to you repeatedly I am not here to trade insults with you or any one. As to the Biblical knowledge, it is not limited to the Pope or Bishops, Thanks to Martin Luther we all have access to the word of God. There is no church in the west or east, that teaches its followers to rebel against their government! For your information read Mathew22, 15-22; Mark 2: 13-17; Luke 20, 20-26 and Roman 13, 1.
          God is always on the side of Eritreans!

      • hope

        My Dearest dawit,
        Welcome back bro!
        Where have you been?Hope u r doing fine.Do not tell me you went to Asmera to chase the Bishops.
        Thanks Dawitom.
        In principle,I am with you and I am the same Hope,the EPLFite,who has stood behind you.
        Yes,I blame the Vatican for being silent(if at all the vatican was so-I stand corrected) for 15yrs about the Ethio-Eritrea.
        I challenged few of the same Catholic Bishops about this issue.But was NOT sure if the Church has that kind of Political will and power to convicne the UN or the CIA and their mercenary and puppet.
        While I push for what I stated, I would psuh for a fair treatment of your concern,i.e.,that the Church/the Vatican and the Eritrean Churches should push the major game players–the USA,the EU,the AU/the IGAD through the Vatican to that effect so that Ethiopia should vacate the Eritrean Land.That will be a topic for tomorrow.
        Please read carefully the message and it is generic and it has addressed indirectly the same issue you raised.
        Moreover,I guarantee you that I will call and write to both Bishops that I know personally(Their Excellencies Menghiste’Ab T.and Kidane Y.,that they should also remind the Vatican to address the unfair Ethio-Eritrean issue,partuicularly to push Eethiopia to respect the International Law,as that issue has played a BIG role to our current mess—yes it has!
        AndYES,I agree fully with you that these same Bishops have the obligation to address that issue as well as we speak!
        But the current TOPIC is about an urgenrt matter,bro dawit—–it is between Life and Death issue!
        I believe myself to be a man of principle and truth.
        I have to call a spade,a spade and we have to prioritize things bro.
        The Badme issue can be solved any time but ,hey,the current Eritrean situation is a matter of URGENCY.Open your eyes and your mind,Bro!.Let us be HOENST to our selves.
        Do you know that it was the same PFDJ that handed over Badme?
        These Bishops are my fathers,my Mentors,my Spiritual Leaders(Abe-nefsey),my Masters,my Leaders,my Teachers,etc–and I will follow them, respect them and will execute their orders by any means and under any condition.
        My Faith expects me to do so.Sorry for my “fantism” and “Ferisawinet” and “Pseudo-Christiansm” here but I cannot afford to be a heretic too.
        I have read their Message in its totality-word by word.I checked the words,I questioned the content,etc—
        In fact I said : Where have they been until now?But better late than never.
        Wake up dude.
        Let me challenge you:
        Tell me, prove to me by any means you could, as to when and where and how the Eritrean Catholic Church or even the Vatican stood against Eritrea.
        I know few exceptions where the USA-Funded Catholic Charities refused to help few of our people in our liberated area in 1980s but this was due to the USA and the Mengistu Regime.
        On the same token, I can testify in an open Court that the Eritrean Catholic Church was,has been and will be on the side of Eritrea and the Eritrean people.There are Catholic Priests who fought along side our EPLF fighters,whom I personally know.
        i know some Catholic Priests who survived the Dergue Regime bombs and detonators while trying to help the needy Eritreans in the middle of NO where.
        Wetru natka,Hope!

        • dawit

          Dearest Brother Hope,
          I am fine Brother Hope, I was busy working for a living to
          pay my 2% tax. Yes, I was trying to visit Eritrea, but you know the UN Smart Sanction worked against me unable to find a reasonable air ticket to travel to Eritrea. So I am on my way to Bologna Festival via Amsterdam watching a live concert of drinking and fighting in the middle of street!

          On the Bishops call to overthrow Eritrean government, we stand on opposite side of the call. You wonder where the bishops were for the last fifteen years? They were sleeping with the enemy encouraging Eritrean youth to rebel against their government, while the other religious leaders were cooperating with the government. These Bishops are repeating the same trick Ethiopia used to swallow Eritrea before the federation, they used the Orthodox church
          then and now they are using the Catholic church., because may be the first
          strategy of using the Pentecostal church and the Jehovah Witness failed. Few days a go I read a report PM Desalegne telling reporters that he is trying through Religious leaders in Eritrea to talk with Eritrean government! And now we have the bishops’ letter diving Eritrean Christians, after they travelled to Vatican and met with their counterparts in Ethiopia. If Ethiopian government wants to resolve the border issue peacefully all it has to do is remove their
          soldiers from Eritrea and talk with the government can start immediately. But,
          No Ethiopia does not want to remove its army from Eritrea, but remove the
          Eritrean government by any means! No matter how you slice it Eritrean
          government is not to be removed peacefully without bloodshed. The only thing that a worldwide opposition rally will achieve is to demonize the Eritrean government further and strength UN sanctions, which in return penalize Eritrean people. If these bishops are true to themselves and their religion, they have to accept the legitimacy of the Eritrean government, and work with the other religious leaders in the country to bring reconciliation between the people and the government, if there is a legitimate division. Otherwise this sectarian propaganda is useless as far as I am concerned and that is my stand.


          • Hope

            My dearest ONE,dawit,
            Again,you are pushing to “fli-flop” on this issue.
            -I stand FIRM on the negative role of the same gangs and their puppet you mentioned–on the issue of the sanction and their double standard,which does NOT surprise me as it is 60 yrs old saga and crime.
            -While I also stand firm on their role,dawit,I also stand FIRM on the negative role of the Ruling Party….I don’t want to regurgitate what has been said over and over.But there is ONE and Inko thing the Ruling Party should do: Implemnet the Ratified Constitution then,all of us will be ruled by the same rule besides knowing and doing our obligation.
            Doing so,rather:
            -Would strengthen our Eritreansim and make us regain/reclaim our Satunch UNITY
            -Eritreans will be ONE but ONE people with One Heart and would continue fighting any threat against Eritrea and her interest
            -the Youth could have been saved and would, rather, stay home and be productive by being creative,being educated,building strong family values,do the National Service properly and productively
            -Free and Competetive Economy could have flourished and the Eritrean economy would sky-rocket and the sky would be the limit as even some of our Ethiopians brothers agreed.
            -Our enemies would have no excuses to interfere in our business
            -All Eritreans all over the world would work together for ONE Goal: develoepd and prosperous Eritrea
            -Our Resources could have been exploited in the BEST way possible for the BEST interest of Eritrea(please read what I mentioned the other day about the potentilas of Eritrea—we are talking about at least a trillion USD business within the next few yrs –not joking;I even forgot about the role of Tourism,Salt and Fish Industry,which can handle the whole Eritrean need–with out even going into the details of what I mentioend(The Petrolium and Gas Potential;the unbelievabley massive deposit of precious metals and minerals(70% of the land of the Yiki’alo”.Not to mention the Eritrean Human Resources potential,which we have lost big time now—the Youth!
            Back to the Bishops issue:
            I kindly ask you to read the whole document and relfect on it,analyse and compare it with the current Eritrean situation–but be hionest first to your self and leave aside the legitimate fear and paranoia you and me are going thru and are concerned.
            -As to the role of the Bishops of both Nations meeting with the Holy See,please be advised that ,this is NOT new one but a norm to do so but, co-incidentallly,it seems that an under-ground reconciliation attempt thru them might be cooking in,for G O O D,even with possibly full knowledge and consent of the PFDJ,who knows!
            The Bishops’ Letter might be a “code” too—-
            Be optimistic and never mind about dividiing Eritreans and about the Eritrean Sovereignty,bro as NO body will touch it any time and under any circumstance.Rest assured about that.
            -Again, read the document and even watch the Documentary.
            Leave aside the conspiracy and think about these:
            –About 300,000,where 70% of which is the Youth,have fled the country within 6-10yrs
            -About 5000 Eritreans have been kidnapped,died,their organs harvested,disappeared in the deserts and the Sea
            -Families have been shatterred into pieces and Family Values have become a history in Eritrea
            -The Economy hit the bottom –despite the massive resources I have mentioned
            -Eritrea as a Nation and Eritreans as a People–are in question mark
            These are the issues that concerned and alarmed the Bishops to come up with their generic but in-depth Document.Are you questioning these FACTS?
            We can argue about the factors that have contributed to this alarming issue–be it sanction,NO war,No Peace status–etc–we know that and the Bishops addressed those issues equally as well.But they are challenging us to come up with an immediate solution by doing our home work..
            They are asking for National Reconciliation,NOT for overhrowing of the GoE–I already proved it to you that they are for ONE,STRONG,UNITED,PROSPEROUS,DEMOCRATIC and PEACEFUL Eritrea but I challenge you to prove me wrong but I can prove you WRONG, based on the FACTS on the ground.
            Swallow the bitter truth,Bro!

      • Amanuel

        The Badme issue a bit redundant now. IA didn’t mention it when he said he will start a new constitutional drafting process. Osman Saleh (the regime’s foreign minster) visited Crimea, illegally occupied region of Ukraine by Russia. Where have you been, ToraBora?

        • dawit

          Wrong Amanuel, I was in Amsterdam Concert refereeing the opening of Eritrean World Cup Boxing Match!

          • Hope

            Are U safe from that “Boxing” among drunk people,man?

          • dawit

            I am fine just a minor black eye, and that comes with the job of referring a drunken people fight, sometimes a punch intended on the opponent falls on the referee! That is why I have an expensive health insurance!

          • Amanuel

            Have you joined TPDM (dmihit)? That concert was for Ethiopians.

  • Omer Osman

    Are you like me? I feel that change to the best is fast approaching in Eritrea. It feels that the dictatorial regime of Isayas and the PFDJ is statring to give way. This is how an unjust and repressive regime ends up. We Eritreans in the diaspora who oppose this regime of infamy should grip this historic chance and express our support to our religious leaders and the Eritrean people inside the country.

    I think it is now the right time for the Eritrean forces seeking a change to rule of law to arrange a world-wide demonstration against dictator Isayas and the PFDJ. It is important to keep the pressure on the PFDJ and keep the momentum. We have to say in unison, “enough is enough”. The PFDJ has played out its destructive role, and the Eritrean people can no longer tolerate deception.

    We’ ve heard the dictator announce that work would soon start on drafting a constitution in Eritrea, as if the Eritrean People already had not drafted and ratified its constitution in 1997? By now the true nature of Isayas is clear even to those who were sworn PFDJ-supporters.

    To the contrary of the Eritrean people’s wishes, Isayas and his collaborators didn’t believe in the democratic processes of early 1990’s that led to the ratifying of the Eritrean Constitution. For the last 15 years these evil group was busy destroying the Eritrean society, arresting even those who led the struggle for Independence. Isayas and his group were busy arresting anyone who they thought might challenge their dictatorial mentality. They’ve been busy emptying the country of its youth and educated people. All these was a preparation for what is to come. When they now speak of a constitution, it is to mislead some naive people and trying to ‘legalise’ their unlawfull grip of power.

    But there is some big fact that they missed. By now, almost every Eritrean has known thier true nature, and no one would expect other than for them to disappear from the politics of Eritrea.

    • Truth

      We’ve been hearing that for years now. Sadly what most Eritreans fail to understand is that PFDJ will change but it will come from within, with no influence or role coming from the opposition. This is the reality that most of you need to accept.

  • Berhe

    Great article. I enjoyed reading it. Yes, lets unite together for a common goal!

  • sabri

    Selamat Asfaha,

    Very good article. We really need to be united and work for justice regardless of our differences. I hope the bishop letter contribute towards this.


    Catholic church is a very broad religion which comprised both western and eastern tradition.The catholic church is diversified. Infact there is Eastern catholic church. Eritrean Catholic church belongs to the Eastern part. Their tradition is different from the west in their performance. However, all belongs to the pope. So, it is difficult to say Catholic church is western. The issue of justice is deeply ingrained in the teaching of Jesus and Christianity regardless denomination. In my view the reason why other denomination in Eritrea have difficulty to follow their brethren from Catholic church is they are tightly controlled by PFDJ particularly Orthodox church.

    • haileTG

      Hi Sabri,

      Very true. My point was the leadership center was Western based as in Vatican (being in full communion with the Pop and Latin Churchs), not meant to get into their specific variants. You’re also right as to the Eastern orgines of the Eritrean and Ethiopian churchs. Do you think the human right issue weigh more within the current setting among Orthodox & Islam pastoral works or Evangelical and Catholic pastoral work? Noting the background of the highest bodies?


      • sabri

        I think all religions believe in some kind of justice system though their interpretation can be different. When it comes to the Catholic church they have an article in their doctrine which emphasize social justice in the society which I think the bishops paper is based upon this principle. However, I don’t know if other domination have similar doctrine in their catethic (policy in the worldly language).

    • Hope

      Dear Sabri/Hailat
      Let me throw forward my simple view and opinion here.
      There is only ONE Christian Church,ONE Lord,ONE Faith,One Baptism,,etc–The denominations are artifical and historical ;and man-made as well due to peoples’ “misinterpretation and misunderstanding” of the Word of God.
      As such,the Christian Principle is the SAME and ONE…to Fight for Social Justice for ALL, besides preaching and spreading the word of God,which is the Guide for Social justice by default!
      That is/was the ONLY/INKO MESSAGE of the Eritrean Catholic Bishops,nothing less,nothing more…wether under the leadership of the West or the East(The words like” Roman Catholic/Latin Rite,The Eastern Catholic Rites;the Greek Orthodox,the Egyptian Coptic Church,The Russian Orthodox Church,the Lutheran Church,the Evangelical,the Baptist,the Pentecostal,the Anglican/Presbyterian Churches,etc–you name them–are just “artifical nicks” for some reason–with some historical background of course.
      But their ROLE is ONE and ONLY ONE as the Lord/The LEADER is ONE but ONE.
      As to why the other Eritrean Churches and Religions are not following suit,there might be specific reasons in all of them but NO need to list them here eventhought they might lack an organized,centralized , staunch,firm,principled,independent and courageous Leadership.
      But they are expected to JOIN their hands for JUTSICE with the Catholic Community Leadership as they have Christian Obligation to do so,no matter what!
      No need of FEAR if they believe in the Power of the Holy Spirit,otherwise,they are NOT doing their basic home work.
      St Paul/Saul and St Peter,the first leaders of the Christian Church,did NOT care about their lives but Their MISSION—to die for their FAITH and for Justice and Truth.
      St Peter,the “Toothless and Coward man”,chose to be crucified upside down by his choice for his FAITH and HIs Lord/Justice and Truth.But to be fearful and sit idle and to be scared of,from standing for Truth and Justice??
      Let the Lord judge them but let us pray for them so that God may strengthen them to stand for Justice and Truth!
      Do NOT forget that the Orthodox Church rsiked her leadership for standing for TRUTH as well!!
      After all, who are we to blame them? Don’t we have the same OBLIGATION as they have?
      Come on,let us be fair and do our HOME WORK as well,which we are far behind on.
      May the Lord/Allah Have His Mercy on us all and give us the courage and strength to stand up in UNISON for JUSTICE!

      Finally,Justice will prevail and Eritrea and Eritreans will out-shine again.

      • Hope

        Please read “rsiked” as risked—

    • Selamawi

      Hello Sabri
      I just read your entry: you say the Catholic Church belongs to the Pope. That is mistaken idea. The Catholic Church all over the world elects a pope as its head an spiritual leader. But the church belongs to Christ not to the pope.


  • haileTG

    Selamat Haw Asfaha Weldemichael,

    Thank you for making the pastoral letter “Where is your brother?” the focus of yet more discussion. It is a too important event in the fast moving events.

    Your pondering if the other religions would follow suit and partake in such a historic undertaking is hard to guess. Both Islam and Orthodox church are eastern based religions. Those issues of human rights and justice doesn’t feature high in their moral deliberations at higher levels (although their holy texts and the vast of their followers subscribe to it). Catholics and Evangelists are western based and those matters of human rights and justice are central and defining principles at their leadership levels. The evangelists have long opposed the regime and so did the Catholics. There is no way the western based hierarchy of transparent and accountable as well as of high moral ideals would work with a backward anti-people hgdef culture even for a day. Hence, the religions have long been separated by east-west value systems.

    You said about people who cut vacations in Eritrea short? Can you explain more? I don’t know if Gedab has more on this but there has been a spike in numbers of arrests in the last couple of days. Many from the Air force and the MoD and logistics (colonels) including one Brg. General have been reported to have been taken away by security forces. Is your assessment related to that?

    Finally, to make matters simple, popular uprisings (starting in the diaspora) should be called by peoples committees. Uniting opposition or getting them to talk or do anything is talking to the wind. The official so called “organized opposition” doesn’t have cyber or media presence and is only waiting for IA to be overthrown and they can be carried on stretcher to the Presidential Palace in Asmara. We need to talk justice seekers, the people and the EDF. There are capable and ready people in Eritrea to lead, but the diaspora “All of us” are playing negative role by delaying the day of freedom for our people (especially those on regime side).


  • Nakfa

    Ato Asfaha,”Where is my brother” + Dejen Ande Hishel = accelerate demise of the brutal dictator. I think, using Dejen’s case to find the monster will be very effective. Dejen could awake many of the so called silent majority and bring back some PIA zombies to their senses too. So far, PIA operatives and supporters have been unable to attack or discrete Dejen’s story. It is not because they care about him but simply they have no room to do so and they are having hard time believing their own lies.

    Simple example:
    1. I have been to paltalk and tried to asked the pro PIA rooms their opinion about Dejen Ande Hishel. I was bounced 5 times in a weeks times or my text disabled. I don’t remember being bounced other questions. They usually go on calling me agame, CIA, “lehasi” .. etc and soon. Dejen, thank you for making these zombies pie in their pants. And i hope, your story will play a great role in dismantling the devil PIA private ranch, that is today’s Eritrea.
    2. Last I checked Dehai DMB – i saw challenging questions being asked in Dehai DMB. Dehai DMB is reduced to few boring “pagagalos” and i was amused to see challenging questions regarding Dejen posted there without answers and the usual name calling one would expect from the them.
    3. Friends who are die hard PIA supports, they either try to avoid it or say .. i don’t know much about it as if facts really matters to them. My observation is that it has been extremely painful to their “hilina”. I said, finally, perhaps these die hard PIA supports might have some “hilina”.

    I thought, Dejen’s case could be a tool that has to be used too. It is the story of the thousands and thousands languishing in PIA prisons and giving his background, his great escape, skill of narration, “bisilet”; it resonates well with many silent majority might push them the extra inch. And then the critical mass of people protesting could reach the threshold and PIA could go to where he belongs — history dustbin.

    • abe

      Thank all peace lovers. Action now to free our Brothers. Time is now. Mass action is very argent to heed the call of our father’s in soul and sprite to free our brothers and sisters. Why wait!!!!!!!!