In a detailed message released on Wednesday, His Holiness Abune Mathias also highlighted attacks, challenges and rivalry the church has been facing and asked relevant bodies to act on it
The Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) had its annual “Rekebe Kahnat ” for this year.
Patriarch Abune Mathias has conveyed a statement after the meeting.
His message highlighted the challenges the church has been facing, including rivalry for places of worship, in recent years and months and called on relevant bodies and government bodies to address them.
Recalling the martyrdom of prelates and elder fathers paid in the Christian tradition, the message from Ethiopian Patriarch said the path of the Cross has never been discontinued and it is not expected that it will be discontinued too.
And there has never been a dearth of saints who travel that path. There are many, it said. “The path of the Cross is full of hurdles, unlevelled and uneven but the end of it is always success and victory. It is a path that has to be travelled for the sake of absolute peace and unity,” it said.
Furthermore, it said that the path of the cross in our time, we do not need to doubt, is mounting hurdles, setbacks, and pressure on our country, our church, and our spiritual children.
Damage to the laity, clergy, and churches is continuing with great magnitude. Worry, anxiety, mistrust, and false hope are prevalent.
Instead of living together, we are observing that the race to knock out the other and mount on the saddle has become prevalent. In order to achieve such a dangerous move, an unprecedented practice is pushing our church aside and saddening our laity.
Our church has no problem with the observation of freedom of religion. However, we do not dare to say that unusual rivalry and unprecedented practices to scramble our places of worship are wise.
The statement said unless all get their respective space it will not be good as the problem is evident. It called on relevant government bodies to act on it.
Abune Mathias also reminded members of the Holy Synod in his message saying that “We should not forget that more than ever before we are at a time when our church is living challenges. The shedding of the blood of our laity is like a flood in every direction our children and our compatriot’s blood.
With regard to the impending war, the message from the patriarch said let us stop resorting to forceful measures to ensure unity and peace, and let us support the effort to resolve our problems through dialogue and discussion.
“We appeal to you in the name of God to help support our children [spiritually] and our compatriots who are impacted by war, famine, drought, and disease,” It said.
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