An academic seminar titled, “Mirror of Memory”: ‘Some Thoughts on the Ethiopian Red Terror’ was presented by Dr. Theodros Assefa followed by a series of questions and answers.
In his lecture, Dr. Theodros described what happened during the Ethiopian Red Terror in order to demonstrate that the “martyrs” of the Red Terror are martyrs of intolerance. He pinpointed that the Ethiopian Red terror is both a memory (of sacrificed bodies) and a mirror (to the political and ecclesial bodies). He noted that through a cursory review of the Red Terror, we can understand how the sickness of the political body of the revolutionary times produced martyrs of intolerance.
During his lecture, Dr. Theodros briefly described the consequences of trauma which affected the national psyche. He explored in depth how the Red Terror could be seen as a mirror of the political body. By doing so, he draw attention to the wide array of cultural production that offers insights into the depiction of death in Ethiopia and which, in turn could serve to explain underlying sacrificial motives producing and regulating death in relation to political domination in the historic ordering of Ethiopia. He further considered the Red Terror as a mirror to the ecclesial body, the Church, highlighting the need for a post-traumatic response to the Red Terror for a new horizon of Hope.
In his conclusion, Dr. Theodros affirmed that taking the admonition of non-repetition demands that today’s political and ecclesial bodies examine themselves through the mirror of the Red Terror. As a mirror, the Red Terror also serves to remind the Church the need for sounding loud and emphatic opposition in the face of atrocities committed against human beings created in the image of God. The ecclesial body needs to be mindful of its responsibility to serve as the conscience of society. The Church is expected to develop a Christian response to the troubled past. Generating theological resources for a new horizon of hope, which heals the trauma in the national psyche, is also expected from the ecclesial body.