Concern is growing for the safety of a priest with links to Warrington after it was reported he had gone missing in war-torn Ethiopia.
Bishop Tesfay Medhin of Adigrat is missing amid the conflict in the northern part of the country.
He completed some of his training as a priest at St Joseph’s Parish in Penketh and has stayed in touch with many families in the town since returning to Ethiopia about 30 years ago.
Warrington South MP Andy Carter is aware of concerns for Bishop Medhin’s safety and has raised them with ministers.
He said: “The ongoing violence between federal and regional forces in the Tigray region is deeply worrying and I know that the Government also shares these concerns.
“I was saddened to hear that the Bishop of Adigrat, Tesfay Medhin, has gone missing probably due to the deteriorating situation in Tigray.
“From speaking to constituents, I know he is a much-valued member of the community and did some of his training as a priest at St Joseph’s parish in Penketh.
“He has been known in the area for around 40 years, with many residents staying in touch with him and rightly concerned for his safety.
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“I have written to Foreign Office ministers to make representations of the concerns raised and asked that they immediately make contact with the Ethiopian Government to look for his whereabouts.
“The foreign secretary has also written to Prime Minister Abiy and spoke with him recently where he emphasised the need to protect civilians and to allow humanitarian access.
“I will be following up on these developments regularly and keep residents informed where I can.”