Ethiopian Evangelical Loses Appeal Against Prison Sentence for ‘Causing Outrage to Religious Peace and Feeling’

Photo Credit: Johnny Marou

(World Watch Monitor) An Ethiopian court has turned down the appeal of an evangelical Christian sentenced to seven months in prison for “causing outrage to religious peace and feeling.”

In its verdict, published on March 19, the court upheld an earlier sentence given by a judge in the southern city of Arba Minch on Feb. 2.

Temesgen Mitiku Mezemir, 24, the leader of an evangelical fellowship group, was found guilty of defaming the tabot, a replica of the Ark of the Covenant sacred to Orthodox Christians.

World Watch Monitor understands the charges against him were brought by members of the predominant Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC), to which just under half of Ethiopia’s population belongs.

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