News Stories 9/12-9/18

Hundreds pardoned as Ethiopia celebrates New Year

Almost 1,000 inmates were pardoned in Ethiopia this September 11 as the country celebrated their New Year in accordance with the Coptic calendar. The Ethiopian New Year is rooted in religious traditions that embrace peace and forgiveness.

Federal police reported that the prisoners who were released had not committed serious offenses and demonstrated both good behavior and “sincere regret” for the crimes that had been committed.

Tanenbaum Peacemaker in Action Dr. Ephraim Isaac has worked to free thousands of Ethiopian prisoners. To read more about his work, visit his Tanenbaum Peacemakers in Action profile page and come back next week to read our full article and interview with Ephraim about his work in Ethiopia.

Merkel Leads Berlin Rally Against Anti-Semitism

Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke in Berlin at a rally against anti-Semitism. Merkel expressed her pain in hearing young generations of Jewish parents questioning whether Germany is a safe place to raise their children. At the rally she declared, “It is a monstrous scandal that people in Germany today are being abused if they are somehow recognizable as Jews or if they stand up for the state of Israel. I will not accept that and we will not accept that.”

Additionally she expressed the primary intentions of the rally:

“We are making unmistakably clear with this rally that Jewish life belongs to us — it is part of our identity and culture.”

“We want Jews to feel safe in Germany,” Merkel continued. “They should feel that this country is our common home, in which they like all people who live here have a good future.”

Life under Isis: Captured teenage girl tells story of horrendous abuse at hands of Islamic State militants

Thousands of women and girls have been enslaved by Islamic State terrorists. An anonymous girl who remains captive has given testimony about her torture at the hands of the Islamic State. Her testimony gained international attention when her parents in Kurdistan gave her phone number to a journalist from La Republica, an Italian newspaper.

“Part of me would like to die immediately,” she said, “to sink beneath the ground and stay there. But another part that still hopes to be saved, and to be able to hug my parents once more.”

She describes abominable living conditions and “rooms of horror” where women are raped throughout the day by multiple men.

“They threaten us and beat us if we try to resist. Often I wish they would beat me so hard I will die. But they are cowards even in this. None of them have the courage to end our suffering.”

Words cannot express our sorrow and abhorrence that the Islamic State is inflicting such torture and pain.