By Fredrick Nzwili, Catholic News Service

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) — As Ethiopia celebrated Christmas Jan. 7, Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel of Addis Ababa called for humility, patience and gentleness, while urging the people to remember those suffering from war.

Ethiopia is celebrating the birth of Christ under the shadow of a deadly war in the northern state of Tigray. In less than 14 months, the conflict has killed thousands, displaced millions and ignited an international outcry over human rights abuses. Agencies say a huge humanitarian crisis is unfolding in the region, as food, medicine and basic needs fail to reach the people.

“As we celebrate the birthday of Jesus, let us remember those who are suffering in war, those who have suffered a moral breakdown, those who have been displaced from their homes and injured, those who have lost their parents and families, by sharing in their pain and grief,” Cardinal Souraphiel said in a message.

The cardinal said people needed to get away from pride, hatred and anger for the sake of peace.

“The remedy for these things is to be able to overcome evil with humility, gentleness and patience. We can only be loved when we support each other. Let us return to him with all our hearts so that we can walk together in the spirit of forgiveness,” he said.