The traditionally main center of Demera (the finding of the True Cross) celebration, Gonder abstained from celebrating the festivity in its capital protesting government crackdown in the province.
The Amhara Mass Media Agency today quoted Abune Elsa, the Bishop of Northern Gonder for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, saying that because of the request of the public, the Diocese decided to celebrate the day with bonfires in local churches.
The residents of the city decided that amid the mass arrest of the youth, killings and repression in the country, they could not celebrate.
Gonder is one of the provinces in Amhara region that has continued to resist and protest the government’s rule. Among the largest number of prisoners of conscience in Ethiopian prions are people from Gonder and Oromia region, according to recently freed prisoners of conscience that De Birhan has spoken to.
Elsewhere, major Demera bonfires were lit in the attendance of a large crowd of local and international Christians and vistsors in Adigrat, Tigray, Hawassa, Southern Ethiopia, Mesekel Square in Addis Abeba, and Adama, which were live broadcast on the State Television.
There was also a small scale celebration in Bahir Dar city.
Read about the history of the Meskel Demera Festival HERE.