Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian Media Authority (EMA) has announced that it will take legal action against religious media outlets that transmit irresponsible messages poisoning the peace and harmony of citizens using the media outlet allowed to them to use for religious purposes.
In a statement issued yesterday, the authority emphasized that as it is clearly stated in the constitution that religious media should not incite conflict between followers of different religions, undermine the religion or belief of others, or incite intolerance between followers of different religions when broadcasting any religion-oriented program.
Findings of the Religious Media Monitoring Unit of the authority on complaints and suggestions received from citizens and institutions indicated that certain religious media have been noticed to be broadcasting messages that deviated from the legal, social, and professional ethics expected from them, the statement added.
The authority revealed that it will take actions against the media that transmit messages that undermine the values of tolerance and coexistence of citizens, invite violence, and conflict and incite physical violence against individuals and communities.
It also pointed out that the religious media should respect the religion and beliefs of others while teaching their religious teachings to their followers.
The statement came in the backdrop of the recent appeal by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church to the Federal Police for a criminal investigation against some leaders of the evangelical churches, whom it described to have made defaming and false speeches that affect the dignity of religion, disparage rituals and beliefs.
The media authority announced that it will investigate the complaints made in certain religious media from the perspective of law and professional ethics and submit the results to the judicial bodies if necessary. AS