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Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Holy Synod to deliberate on hijacked agenda this week

Ethnic politics brought about much political problems in Ethiopia. Now, a radical Oromo nationalist group is creeping to Ethiopian Church with an apparent move to break up the church along ethnic lines, and establish an ethnic Oromo patriarchate. And it is interrupting as the church is intensifying the effort to expand services in other languages. The Holy Synod is set to respond to it this week after an emergency meeting on Thursday.

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Holy Synod _ Ethiopia
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Holy Synod Members. Photo credit : VOA Amharic

borkena
September 3, 2019

The Holy Synod of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (also known as Ethiopian Church), one of the five Oriental Orthodox Churches in the world, called an emergency meeting.

According to the VOA Amharic service report, the meeting will take place on Thursday this week in the capital Addis Ababa.

Purpose of the emergency meeting is to discuss current affairs affecting the church. The top agenda item is an ultimatum from an ethnic Oromo group consisting of priests who are working to establish an ethnic Oromo Orthodox Church.

Based on VOA Amharic report, the group under the leadership of Belay Mekonen (priest) claims that church service in the Oromo region of Ethiopia is weakened due to a shortage of priests and deacons who can offer services in Oromo language.

Belay Mekonen and the group of priests he is leading want answer for their question regarding the establishment of “Oromia Church.” And the group has given a deadline to get an answer to their question.

Based on emerging stories on social media, there are voices from Oromo region of Ethiopia that see Priest Belay Mekonen led movement for an ethnic Oromo Patriarchate as an act of hijacking the legitimate concern of the Ethiopian Orthodox church laity in Oromo region of Ethiopia.

In fact, members of the group that advocates for Oromo patriarchate are also asserting that church service in the capital Addis Ababa, where more than 95 percent of the population is non-Oromo, has to be in Oromo language. Because, in their view, “Addis Ababa belongs to Oromo and is the capital of Oromia”

Megabi Solomon Tolcha, a priest, is the head of Gospel services in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church patriarchate. He told VOA Amharic Service that the issue raised regarding offering services in Oromo region of Ethiopia appropriate. What is not appropriate is the way it is presented and the proposal to solve the problem – establishment of “Oromia Ethiopian Orthodox Church”

He is also cited as saying that the issue is one of the challenges that the Ethiopian church is facing but the church is working hard on service expansion in Oromo language service.

The move to establish a separate church based on ethnicity is, however, dangerous and could demolish the church, he added.

He is not alone. From the point of view of many Ethiopians, including activists, the Ethiopian Church need to strengthen the effort to expand service in other languages including Oromo. 

On the other hand, many see the campaign to establish ethnic Oromo patriarchate as a political project of radical Oromo ethno-nationalists. They also seem to speculate invisible external powers intervention on the side of radical Oromo groups who are believed to be interested in demolishing not only the Ethiopian Church but also Ethiopia.

Many Ethiopians who are not even followers of the church, too, seem to be alarmed by the move to establish an ethnic Oromo Orthodox Tewahdo Church for they tend to see a sinister political motive.

Abiy Teklemariam, a co-founder of the now-defunct Addis Neger Amharic Newspaper, tweeted:

“I left the EOC as a religion skeptic when I was a 16-year-old law student. Since then I had been to mass a few times just to please my family. But the recent vandalistic attack on this august institution is making me re-embrace my identity as a Tewahedo Orthodox Christian.”

The topic is being intensely debated among Ethiopians on social media, and some are pointing fingers on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. This is collection of corrupted people owning the church as thier private enterprise.

    Amhara is using thier language to numb the citizens.

  2. Thier decision is just like that of dictator leaders controlling the budget coming from oromia region.

    Burglars and robbers behind the scene.

    The church leader is saying he tried to spy the background of Kesis Belay and his brothers and sisters which is not religious act rather satanic .

    They openly speak for their financial benefit but when the ethiopian political leaders do harm against innocent people.
    mahibrekidusan is behind this snoping act
    Robbers in the bottom of the Holy Cross!!

  3. Copied from above:

    “The issue raised regarding offering services in Oromo region of Ethiopia appropriate. What is not appropriate is the way it is presented and the proposal to solve the problem.”

  4. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church (EOTC) was and remains the major stumbling block for the Oromo and part and particle of the repression system spread over the Oromo and other exploited population in current day Ethiopia. As during the past repressive regimes, EOTC needs the Oromia, the land, but not the people. It’s main objective in Oromia is not to bring the good news of Christ, but the yoke of Pharaoh. The difference is now that the Oromo are better organized, educated, fearless than before. As in the old days, EOTC is asking the government to do the dirty job of cleansing Oromia of the Oromo. I pray that the government does not get involved. Whether the government gets involved or not, EOTC will no be able to remain tyrannical in Oromia.

  5. Betam niw yemigermew! Kesawestu betam tenekake betemolabet zede menkesakes alebachew! Isis/Al shabab kesawestu deres hedo liyateka yechelal! manniw yemitadegachew? Seytanawiw sidist sidist sidist, belu yenante amlak yadenachehu niw yemibalut. Memenan, bemerinet meketatel menkesakes alebachew. Kesawestu Soria wist min endehone yetegenezebu aymeslegnem. Ye geta teketayochin memenan, papasat isis/ alqaeda gelual! Ityopia wist endemikeset, ytakede niw.

  6. I donot represent any tribe or region but I support the autonomous Oromia Orthodox church. Why are tellig that Tigray could separate itself but oromia should stay with ethiopia; Why ? it is al about the money . Since Oromia region has the largest contributors for Ethiopian orthodox due its population . However, Tigray has only 5-6 milion population. Kulibi Gabriel is in Oromia region and it is known for its huge amount of money providing to the church annually.

    Oromia should be autonomous and Finfine is the capital city of Oromia.

    Amharas are saying church is one and language is a means of communication but not a reaso to divide among ourselves; Did they forget this fcat before while they were suppresing others and using their language to rule and suppress the language of the socalled minorities??

    if christian has no race or tribe why do they divide and discriminate us ?

    bishops are leading the church divinding pepe among tribes and promoting nepotism. Some of them were elected thrugh corruption Church is corupted tha the politica leaders!!!!!

  7. The comments given here below by the oromo extremists are very surprising it’s like we’re not living in the same country. It seems like oromo extremists are all over the internet always exagerating things in narrow minded way and unable to see the big picture

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