A team of 33 volunteer Orthodox Christian attorneys-at-law stood to defend Pastor Binyam Shitaye who was arrested in relation to the Orthodox church dispute.
Arraigned to court today, the Pastor was allowed to be released on a 5000 ETB bail after hearing the defense the lawyers presented.
He was among the non-Orthodox religious leaders who opposed and voiced concerns against the alleged appointment of episcopates by a collective of dissident clergy which the church denounced as “illegal”.
Pastor Binyam disclosed on his social media pages that he tried to approach one of the breakaway bishops in an effort of mediation and said he found him accompanied by Protestant pastors and national security agents.
“Truly speaking all the dissident clergy wish to ask forgiveness to the Holy Synod led by Patriarch Abuna Mathias, but they are entangled like a rat in a trap,” reads his social media post at the time.
The pastor was hailed by the Orthodox community for his defense of the church during the time the Ethiopian Orthodox Church had blamed some protestant church leaders for disgracing and promoting schism in the Orthodox church.
Pastor Binyam was arrested in a string of arrests the government conducted on dissident voices related to the church dispute including believers, holy fathers, activists, and journalists. Several arrested individuals in a similar case were released recently.
The dissident bishops who spearhead the denounced ordination of episcopates officially asked the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Holy Synod for pardon ushered in by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.