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Ethiopian Christians seek pardon for former Communist officials

Catholic World News - December 30, 2010

The head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, joined by Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim leaders, is requesting a pardon for dozens of officials of the Communist regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam (1974-91). Imprisoned for nearly two decades, the officials were sentenced to death in 2007 for crimes against humanity.

The Communist regime persecuted Christians, nationalizing Church land and jailing the Ethiopian Orthodox patriarch, who was murdered in prison.

1% of the nation’s 79.2 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics. Some 50% are Ethiopian Orthodox, 10% are Protestant, and 33% are Muslim.

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