Ethiopian Church celebration of reunification at the Millennium Hall in Addis Ababa attended by Muslim and other religious leaders.
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church (Ethiopian Church) had the second peace conference at the Millennium Hall in the capital Addis Ababa today. It was organized to herald reunification of the two Holy Synods to form a single one as was the case before twenty-seven years ago. The church was divided, just on matters of administration, when the fourth patriarch, Abune Merkorios, was compelled to leave Ethiopia with the order of the then prime minister, Tamrat Layne, who is now saying that he was ordered to do so by the late Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi.
Millennium Hall was full to capacity; over twenty-five thousand residents of Addis Ababa and its suburbs are believed to have attended the ceremony.
The first peace conference which announced end of the division within the Ethiopian Church took place at the Water Gate Hotel in Washington DC, in the presence of Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed.
The event at the Millennium Hall was attended by high level government officials, including the president of the republic, and leaders of various faith groups.
“Let there be peace from today on,” said Abune Mathias, the sixth patriarch of Ethiopian Church, speaking during the ceremony which was transmitted live for millions of faithful. Ethiopian Church is believed to have over 50 million followers. Abune Mathias added that he is happy with the peace that the church attained. ” We praise God for helping us see this day” he added. The patriarch also thanked bishops and others who made peace happen within a shortest time. Prime minister Abiy Ahmed was also hailed for his contribution for the success of reconciliation process of the two Synods.
Abune Merkorios, the fourth Patriarch who was attending the conference, expressed his message through his representative, Abune Tewoflos (II), and expressed special gratitude for Ethiopia’s new prime minister. He said the church will remember him in prayers.
The church has a special place for prime minister Abiy Ahmed and will remember him in prayers, said Abune Dioskoros, head of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church. He also thanked bishops and others who support the effort to reunite the church and make it a success.
The event was also attended by Muslim and other Christian congregation leaders
Ethiopian Muslim Affairs council representative, Sheik Omar Mufti who attended and made a speech at the ceremony, said, “God has given us unity…Unity is developmental and religious.” He also expressed his well wish for the crowd for ushering to the day of unification of the church. “Today is a special day. If the re-unification is from the heart, we can help others, not just Ethiopia” he added.
Ethiopian Catholic Church cardinal, Berhane Eyesus, said “Today is a day of joy for heaven and earth”
Representative of Ethiopian Evangelical Church Unity on his part said “We are all happy that peace is achieved within Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church.”
Kale Hiwot Church representative on his part described the Ethiopian Church “as the mother of all our churches and we are happy that the church is reunited.”
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