Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church Patriarch Abune Mathias is in Russia for a six day visit. His visit to Russia is reportedly initiated by Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill.
Abune Mathias met and held discussion with Russian Foreign Affairs minister, Sergey Lavrov. The latter is cited by Ethiopian government affiliated media as saying that Moscow sees the historical relation between Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Russian Orthodox church in a positive light, and that the two churches could play their part for the effort to bring about tolerance and peace in the world. Servey Lavrov was in Ethiopia in early March of this year.
In a twitter message, The Russian Embassy in Ethiopia described the patriarch’s trip as “historic” and that it intends “to revive ties between two sisterly churches.”
Foreign Minister (Acting) Sergey #Lavrov meets Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarch Abune Mathias who is on historic visit to #Russia to revive ties between two sisterly churches 🇷🇺 🇪🇹 pic.twitter.com/3WZGSPL7Oh
— Russia in Ethiopia (@RusEmbEthiopia) May 15, 2018
Ethiopian Orthodox Church used to have more than 45 million followers in the country but is reportedly loosing membership fast as Protestantism is expanding fast in the country along with western cultural influence in the country. In fact, the church was rattled as Tehadiso sect, a form of protestant faith, disguised as a reformer, took contest to win followers and to alter the Orthodox faith from within the church.
In addition, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo church, which is one of the oldest churches on earth, is divided into two on political grounds. The former patriarch is in exile and there is a patriarchate based in the United States. The new prime minister,Abiy Ahmed recently met with Abune Mathias and reportedly discussed on ways to resolve the division within the church.
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