Ethiopian Muslims on Sunday celebrated Eid al Fitr, the end of the fasting month of Ramadan with tens of thousands of worshippers congregating at the national stadium in Addis Ababa for a period of fervent prayers to Allah.Some later slaughtered cattle and shared it with the needy in the metropolis.
Speaking on the ocasion Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council President Sheikh Muhammad-Amin Jamal Omar called on worshippers to continue the support and compassion that they have shown for the needy during Ramadan while celebrating the day.
Around 11 am, the faithful dispersed from the stadium, singing religious songs to the delight of passers-by.
The country’s Central Statistical Agency (CSA), in its last census conducted five years ago, revealed that Ethiopia’s Orthodox population makes up 43.5 percent of the country while Protestant Christians are 18.6 percent, for a total Christian population accounting for 62.1 percent.
However, Ethiopian Muslims claim that the country’s national census which puts their population at 33.9 percent of the total population is inaccurate.
They claimed Muslims account for between 45 and 50 percent of Ethiopian population.
Pointing out that Ethiopia is a multi-religious country where different faiths co-exist peacefully, Sheikh Muhammad-Amin urged Muslims to help strengthen this unique tradition.
He called on the Muslim community to play their role in ensuring peace and stability in Ethiopia and enhance their engagement in the country’s economic growth.
Moreover, the president called on citizens living in Saudi Arabia to return home before the end of the 90-day amnesty period, which ends next Friday.
Unofficial data show that more than 95 percent of undocumented Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia are Muslims.
The Addis Ababa City Mayor Diriba Kuma said on his part that the Muslim community needs to teach and promote the essence of co-existence.