Addis Ababa Mayor has made a new remark about relation with faith groups weeks after she angered Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers
Addis Ababa City administration representatives with the leadership of deputy mayor, Jantirar Abay, on Friday met with members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Holy Synod.
A report by state-owned media, EBC, said that it “went well.” The Focus was the “conditions” for discussion – apparently between the City administration and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Holy Synod.
A meeting was already scheduled to take place on Friday. But the mayor did not make it due to a City council meeting which continued for a second day. And the meeting with the Holy Synod had to be cancelled.
EBC reported that Adaech Abebie’s office has notified the Church that she could not make it to the meeting. It is unclear if it was done last minute or otherwise.
What is known at this point, based on EBC report, is that the City administration and the Holy Synod are to meet next Thursday. The mayor will attend it.
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Broadcasting Service (EOTC TV )has confirmed that a meeting took place on Friday between the Holy Synod and Jantirar Abay, Deputy mayor.
According to EOTC, Jantirar Abay has confirmed to the Holy Synod that the meeting will continue on February 15 in the presence of Adanech Abbie.
The focus of the meeting is on the issue of Meskel Square, over which the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is said to have ownership right, and other current affairs issues impacting the church. It is to be recalled that three Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers were killed in the capital Addis Ababa about three weeks ago during Epiphany celebration.
Addis Ababa City mayor made an outrageous remark, from the point of view of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church followers and some even outside the faith, saying that Meskel Square belongs to all Addis Ababans and to all Ethiopians. She made the remark during a fundraising event, at Meskel Square, organised by a Protestant Pastor.
Last Sunday, she separately met with His Holiness Abune Mathias at the Patriarchate and shared a status update on her face (with a picture) claiming that an agreement was reached between her and the Patriarch, which Ethiopian Church sources dismissed as incorrect information.
And today she made news in the state owned media. “Our relation with all faiths is institutional and does not violate the principle of secularism,” she said. She reportedly said so during a City Council meeting which evaluated six months performance.
Furthermore, she is cited as saying that there were issues on which government and faith groups work together without religion transgressing government jurisdiction and government without violating the jurisdictions of religion.
There has been noticeable disenchantment among the followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church due to what many believe to be increasing systemic pressure on the church from different levels of government in the capital Addis Ababa and some regional states.
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