ADDIS ABABA, — Christians in Ethiopia, a majority of them members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, an Oriental Orthodox Church with its own Patriarch, are celebrating Easter (Fasika) following eight weeks of abstinence from meat and dairy products.

Easter (Fasika) is among the major religious holidays among Christians in Ethiopia. Since the Fasika is celebrated following close to two months fasting among Orthodox and Catholic Christians, it is tradition to prepare special traditional foods and share with neighbours and the poor.

It is in this regard that religious leaders called Sunday on their followers in their Easter messages to strengthen this culture and support the needy, while observing the holiday.

The Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Abune Mathias I, urged followers to extend support to the elderly, orphans and people affected by the drought while observing the festivity.

He also urged society to pray for citizens killed and abducted in Ethiopia’s Gambella Region (Province) recently.

The Archbishop of the Ethiopian Catholic Church, Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew, stated that the faithful needed to observe Easter by supporting the poor. The cardinal also called on the adherents to extend support to the people affected by the drought and floods.