Two mosques have been burned down in northeastern Ethiopia, in a suspected campaign to encourage inter-faith conflict, the regional state Islamic Affairs Supreme Council said Monday.
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The mosques were torched yesterday, in Este, South Gondar, in Amhara state, the country’s second-most populous region, the council said in a statement.
“The act is a deliberate move by those who want to use religion to wreak havoc in the country,” the Amhara Media Agency quoted Council Secretary General Sheikh Mohammed Hassan as saying.
The agency quoted him as saying that it was a brazen act that deliberately tried to pit followers of Islam against Christians and vice versa.
Police are reportedly investigating the blazes.
The fires happened after Muslims using scrap paper to decorate a tent inadvertently used scraps showing the Virgin Mary, reportedly drawing Christian anger, said Mohammed.
About a third of Ethiopians are Muslim, with most of the rest practicing various forms of Christianity.