Addis Abeba – The bishop of the diocese of Kemise, North and South Wollo, Abune Ermias called upon the international community to pay attention to the heritage of St.Lalibela church, affiliated media reported.
The bishop said that St. Lalibela church was a major tourist attraction site upon which Lalibela city’s income was dependent. He, however, stated that the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war had greatly affected the church and the city.
Bishop Abune Erimias called upon all Ethiopians to recognize the severity of the problem and to help accordingly.
He stated that St. Lalibela’s church is the world’s heritage, Ethiopia’s wealth and pride, and is the spiritual manifestation of the Orthodox church. He reiterates that the government and non-governmental organizations should work together to address the problem.
Lalibela Rock-Hewn Churches was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1978. On August 6, 2021, UNESCO issued a statement expressing its deep concern about the reports on the expansion of the northern Ethiopia conflict to the city of Lalibela. It called for the respect of all relevant obligations under international law in ensuring the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value and legacy of the site by refraining from any act that may expose it to damage, and by taking all necessary precautions to prevent any attempts of looting and pillaging cultural properties located in the area. AS