Perhaps Aba Sereqe Birhan has been one of the most controversial figure in Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo patriarchate for many years now. Recently he held the position of special secretary to Abune Mathias.
Hara Ze Tewahdo, a blog with focus on Ethiopian Orthodox Church, repored that Aba Sereqe Birhan is removed from his position with effect from today.
He is removed from the position on grounds of incompetence, insubordination and celerity. Among other things, Aba Sereqe Birhan is known among many of his detractors for corruption and parochialism. A few years ago, he was mobilizing authorities within the church to take a stand against Mahibere Kidusan – an association of pious Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo followers,mainly from intellectuals, that provides a range of spiritual services to the laity in addition to its rigorous development projects in a range of areas across Ethiopia.
As in any other institutions, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church came under the command like structure of the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front and became a reflection TPLF government in many regards. For example, human resource allocation on grounds of ethnicity became rife practice in the church after the church came under TPLF influence.
Patriarch Abune Mathias, albeit he was initially viewed as politically neutral person in spite of controversial process through which he became patriarch, recently became increasingly unpopular due to a passion he developed for the politics of TPLF. Some go to the extent of saying that he has become a propaganda tool for the repressive regime.
Government intervention in the affairs of Ethiopian Muslims was fiercely resisted and gave rise to a movement called Dimtsachin Yisema ( translates to “hear our voices).
Regime in power still seem to have firm grip of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Amharic report of Hara Ze Tewahdo on Aba Sereqe is available here