Ethiopian Protestant (Pentay) Christians in Addis Ababa accused VOA Amharic journalists of religious defamation in reporting the recent controversy of the renowned singer Pastor Tekeste Getnet. According to local Christian magazine of hiwot Berhan, churchgoers overwhelmingly showed sympathy to the singer, despite the rape accusations he has faced.
The Voice of America (VOA) Amharic program recently reported that Mrs Hosana Dadaa and her husband Melaku Yeshidagna accused Mr Tekeste of raping Mrs Hosana while he was in Minnesota. The rape allegedly occurred in October last year and it happened at midnight in Hilton hotel.
Hosana told VOA that after the first rape, she went back to the hotel again to have “forced sex” with the singer Mr. Tekeste. Many observers blamed Mrs Hosana of setting up and seducing the singer knowing that he already had marriage problems; and questioned why she went back repeatedly to her alleged rapist if it was not consensual sex. Some added that Mrs Hosana is not credible because she was heard laughing through out her VOA interview while narrating her rape allegation.
Ethiopian Protestants (Pentay) also said they were disappointed that Tekeste did not show restraint. But many state he is human and he should repent for adultery.
Many Protestants say there have been several cases of Orthodox priests facing similar accusations over the years but VOA failed to give as much media coverage. They say there is no diversity in the VOA Amharic staff and it is controlled by Orthodox Ethiopians.
Nearly 20% of Ethiopia is Protestant, while Orthodox accounts for over 40% of the population. But inside the United States, around 50 percent of Ethiopians are said to be Protestant and evangelical.
Tekeste, who is married, became famous for his Christian songs over the last decade and he was recently a leading pastor of an evangelical church in Washington DC. Before converting to Protestant Christianity, Tekeste was a devout Orthodox singer. He often described his rough childhood in rural Ethiopia as “Kolo temari,” which are homeless children in the Ethiopian countryside who sing orthodox liturgical hymns door-to-door in search of food.
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Mrs. Hosana has also alleged that Tekeste contacted his friend and fellow Pastor Samuel Tesfamichael in order to have a “threesome” sex. Pastor Samuel has denied her accusation.