NES Commentary No.53

Title: Appeal to All the People of the World for Prayer to End Conflicts to Bring Peace and Love to All in Ethiopia and the Rest of Africa


Prof. Ephraim Isaac

I: Introduction

A gentle and graceful call for all peace-loving humans to do at least a two-minute prayer of love, peace, and kindness for the millions of the suffering peoples of Ethiopia that has been going on sadly without end. The prayer will take place on Saturday June 19, 2021, from 10am-12am EST (New York Time) at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York. We shall pray for the cessation of all hostilities, mutual forgiveness, peace and love to all in Ethiopia including the rest of Africa and the rest of the world. Humanity as one community is what the world should value, not war, killings and endless conflicts.

The prayer is to stop the on-going killings in Ethiopia and it will take place in the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York physically but it will be held virtually globally calling all of you to join and pray to save all the people.

II: Ethiopia Deserves Peace, Stability and Unity

This current on-going killing must never take place in the Ethiopia that has given spiritual strength to all humanity. Ethiopia is an ancient African country and one of the first in the world to accept Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in their early days. The Ge’ez language is one of the first seven languages into which the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament were translated from Hebrew and Greek, along with Syriac, Coptic, and Latin. Some scholars believe that the Abba Garima Gospel is the oldest existing illuminated Gospel. In short, Ethiopia is a very religious country. Its people are among the most pious and humble African people.

Yet, today, we hear daily about the trials and tribulations of the country of Ethiopia. We read about a dangerous civil war and inter-ethnic propaganda of hate that is tearing the people apart. That such things happen in one of the most religious countries of the world is beyond belief, sorrowful and most distressing.

So, we have set a date to pray for the peace and salvation of the people of Ethiopia to promote love among all to secure the full wellbeing and decent life freed from the ethnic division that should never have been imposed on Ethiopia. We want the poor religious people of Ethiopia to know that they are not forgotten in their time of dire need. We shall pray for a new day of peace and love.

III: Prayer for Ethiopia at the Historic Abyssinian Baptist Church

The historic Abyssinian Baptist Church of New York has, therefore, dedicated a day for a non-political and spiritual Global Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace in Ethiopia to provide a safe space for reflections, prayers, and hope.  We will pray for comfort to the families who have suffered and to the people of Ethiopia.  The Prayer Service will be both in person at the Church and virtual through Zoom worldwide.  The Service will also stream through the Church’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

We have selected the prayer to be in the Abyssinian Baptist Church (ABC) in Harlem, New York City which is among the most historic faith institutions in the United States.  The congregation began after an incident in 1808 when visiting free seamen from the Ethiopian Empire (then known as Abyssinia) and allied African American parishioners left the First Baptist Church in protest over being restricted to racially segregated seating.  They named their new congregation the Abyssinian Baptist Church after the historic name of Ethiopia.  Over the years, the church has continued its strong bond and relationship with Ethiopia while serving as a place for African American spirituality, politics, and community.  Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III has served as Pastor of the Church for over 30 years, and as President of the State University of New York College at Old Westbury for two decades.   Rev. Butts continues as the eminent pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church.

IV: Concluding Welcome to all who Care and Love Humanity

All who value the values of humanity are welcome to join the prayer to save all who are facing risks to their survival to make them to be able to live decent lives. The Network of Ethiopian Scholars ( supports the Peace and Development Center International (PDCI) which is an independent, non-profit, and non-governmental organization established in the United States of America to promote and foster a culture of peace, reconciliation, and non-violence; prevent and resolve conflicts for peaceful co-existence; and advance socio-economic development to build a just, equitable, and peaceful Ethiopia.

Professor Ephraim Isaac: Chair, Ethiopian Peace Makers; a Founder and First Professor of Harvard University African and African American Studies Department; 2020 Harvard Divinity School Peter Gomes Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient, USA.