Catholic Irob minority has lost its home in Ethiopia’s Tigray region

( Catholic Herald).

A Catholic minority in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region is “in danger of disappearing” after three and a half years of brutal and violent occupation by the Eritrean army, according to a recent article in the Italian press.

The tragedy of the Irob community is unfolding against the larger tragedy across the Tigray region caused by two years of civil war that has resulted in at least 600,000 deaths, millions of displaced persons and a famine, reports Avvenire, a leading Italian daily newspaper.

The Irob, who number around 50,000 people, have lived for centuries in the rural and mountainous territory on the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea, primarily as farmers. Speaking the Saho language and with the majority following the Catholic Faith, this has set them apart from the rest of the population of the surrounding region who speak Tigrinya and belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

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