April 6th, 2007

Girma Kassa (Chicago) | April 5, 2007

“Enkuwan Le Berhane Tensayewu Adderesachu!”? Happy Easter

How the word “Easter”? came into being has its own history. Easter is also known as “Passover”? (Fassika in Amharic).

Fassika is a holiday that commemorates the day the Israelites were freed from the bondage in Egypt. For more than 400 years they were oppressed and afflicted by Egyptians. It is with the leadership of Moses and the Power of the Almighty God that they got their freedom.

10 plagues were sent by God on Pharaoh and the Egyptians. In the last plague the angel of death came into the land of Egypt and killed the entire first born of each household except those who put a stain of blood on their door. Those with blood on their door were passed over. Hence, the word “Passover”? or “Fassika”?.

Since then, for generations, the Israelites kept celebrating “Fassika”? every year. Two thousand years ago, it is on Friday one day before the Jewish “Fassika”? that our Lord Jesus Christ laid down his life on the cross on Sunday one day after Fassika, he was risen from the dead. We call it “Tensae”? (Resurrection)

Therefore we are celebrating two precious holidays at one time: The freedom of the people of God from bondage in Egypt and the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ over death. (His Resurrection)

This I say to all of my readers:

“May you have a happy Fassika and a happy Tensae”?

As we celebrate Fassika and Tensae let’s remember that the holidays are not only about rituals. Let us explore the meaning of “Fassika”? and “Tensae”? in our life.


Fassika is a historic illustration of the wrath of God against injustice. For Fassika to happen Moses, Joshua, Miriam, Aaron and many more brave and God fearing Israelites were needed. God does not want to give freedom without the involvement of men. One of the attributes of the Almighty God is that he works in us and with us.

I believe Ethiopia has new Moses, and Joshuas. They are currently and unjustly incarcerated in Kaliti Prison. They are guided by spiritual values and believe Ethiopia’s problems are spiritual ones (hate, tribalism, selfishness, bitterness, despair.) that can be solved only by spiritual solutions. (Love, unity, peace, tolerance, dialogue.) They believe in peaceful struggles and are showing us the way by sacrificing their life.

We need to be proud of these leaders of ours. We need to thank God for He has given us such outstanding and visionary leaders. I believe God has already started the journey of freedom in Ethiopia. The fact we have these leaders is by itself a sign of God’s touch.

When we celebrate Fassika let us remember that the freedom we need to get is not necessarily from the dictatorial and ethnocentric policies of the EPRDF. What we need is to be free from ourselves. We are our own enemy. If we clean up our mess and come together as one force and if we take off the clothes of fear, forcing the current regime of Meles Zenawi to respect the will of the people would have been a cakewalk. We were not able to deliver the release of our great leaders and get our freedom not because Meles Zenawi and his cadres are strong. It is because we are divided and imprisoned by FEAR.

It is time to get our deliverance from our own bondage. Making fun of Meles Zenawi and cursing him day and night is not a solution. It is time to declare “FASSIKA”? in our life, in our thinking and in our strategies. It is time to be free from FEAR.


As we celebrate Tensae let us also remember what happened to our Lord Jesus Christ. He understands pain and suffering for he has seen it himself. There used to be thousands following him when he was doing miracles. However, on that Friday of Siklet (Crucifixion) no one was with him. He understands the feeling of being betrayed and being accused with false and fabricated charges. He preached the message of love and peace. He preached the good news that will lead people to eternal life. However, he was accused of “treason”? and “inciting violence”? against Ceasar. Aren’t these accusations familiar, these days in Ethiopia? Aren’t there good people being accused with inciting violence for launching a peaceful non-violent struggle? Aren’t there patriotic Ethiopians illegally jailed and accused of treason for mobilizing Ethiopians to come together and build a united, prosperous and democratic Ethiopia ?

There is a word that our Lord Jesus Christ has said on the cross that, I believe is the key to opening the door of blessing and healing in Ethiopia. On the cross Jesus said: “? Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing”? . He forgave those who crucified him. He gave us an example that is unique and different. He showed us a new way of solving crisis. The way of the Lord is love, mercy and forgiveness. Mercy is more powerful that Revenge. Peace is more powerful than War. Dialogue is more powerful than Recriminations. Tolerance is more powerful than Quick Judgement.

Yes, there was a Friday. On Friday there were storms and heavy rains; there were thunders and everybody was crying. All followers of our Lord Jesus were desperate and scattered all over the place. They were all frightened. They thought our Lord Jesus, with all his power, would deliver them from the Romans. They were expecting a big phenomena. Unfortunately, to their surprises, our Lord Jesus was taken away from them. He was crucified on the cross. He died.

Similarly, we thought on May 1997 peace and democracy would be established in Ethiopia for always. We thought we would have a new beginning. We thought we would stop our country from draining downward to destruction. We thought blood would no longer be shed like sacrificial lamb. We thought the law would rule and citizens’ right would be respected.

Unfortunately the election was stolen. Our leaders were incarcerated. Our mothers, fathers’, sisters and brothers were killed. Thousands were brutally held in detention camps. Many were regularly beaten up (some of them to death). We had hoped the British and the Americans would stand up by the people for democracy. Instead Ethiopians were betrayed. The demon of bloodshed that originates from Arat Kilo is now engulfing Somalia. It is also making preparation to sacrifice more and more innocent civilians along the Mereb River.

Yes, today it is Friday for Ethiopia. Today we are not seeing the light. Today we only hear thunders and bad news. We only see storms and images of our dead brothers and sisters. Yes, today it is Friday.

My fellow Ethiopians, I have good news. As our Lord Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, there will be resurrection for Ethiopia. There will be Tensae for Ethiopia. All the discouraging events we see now are temporary. God has remembered Ethiopia. Our leaders will be released. Sunday, the day of our freedom and happiness, will come.

Let us not give room to despair. Let us not be misled by propaganda of the forces of evil who are roaring their tanks and humvees in our cities. Let us be hopeful and focus on the struggle in a united front. Let us also be in our own term the second and third Hailu Shawels, Birtukans, Mesfins, Yacobs “¦.If we do that Sunday will come very soon.

Ato Meles Zenawi have been repeatedly asked to come to his sense and do the right thing. He has been asked to open the door for peace and reconciliation. Unfortunately, so far he has chosen to rule with arrogance and empty pride. Through his proxy cadres Ato Meles has publicly shown to us who he really is. Let us send a clear message to this dictator of Arat Kilo and his followers that there are millions of Hailu Shewals, millions of Birtukans, millions of Dr Berhanu, millions of Prof. Mesfins “¦..Let the world hear that Ethiopians will not let their destinity of their country be determined by none other than themselves.

Are you ready? Would you want to be one of the millions? Please come forth and say:”? NO”? to silence.

May you have a Happy Tensae!
May the Lord bless our beloved Ethiopia!

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