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HomeEthiopian NewsEthiopian Church criticizes National Dialogue Commission for lack of inclusion 

Ethiopian Church criticizes National Dialogue Commission for lack of inclusion 

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church _ Ethiopian News
Member of the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

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Toronto –  The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church on Thursday concluded its annual meeting. His Holiness Abune Mathias, Patriarch, read out a 14-point statement from the meeting which stated the churches position on a range of issues. 

The National Dialogue, which is already underway despite reservations and objections from different bodies in the country including opposition parties, is one of the issues the statement talked about. 

“From the proclamation that established the National Dialogue Commission, we understand that the National Dialogue Commission is established to resolve national problems in a way that involves stakeholders. However, the mother church, which has been at the forefront since the formation of the nation, and as a mediator in peace-building, has not yet received  an official call for participation…” said the statement. 

The church also notes that the commission has already entered the dialogue stage after completing the identification of the agenda and participants.   The church complained that it was excluded from it, and called on the commission to respect the church’s right to participate in the process and contribute agenda. 

It is indicated that the church has assigned a committee to follow up on its right to participate and present agenda items. 

The Ethiopian Church is said to have well over 50 million followers across the country. The attack on the church has intensified since Abiy Ahmed took power in 2018. From the massacre of its followers to the burning of churches to restrictions on where and how it can celebrate open-air religious festivals, the Ethiopian Church has seen it all, and they are all documented.  

There were several instances where the government authorities at different levels of government directly or indirectly supported the attacks. Worse, there has been what appears to be a politically motivated move to break up the church from within by dividing the Holy Synod. The Prime Minister himself is on record for attempting to give the Holy Synod order to appoint Bishops from the group that attempted to establish an ethnic-based Holy Synod in January 2023 after it declared that it broke away from the Holy Synod. 

The Holy Synod Statement from today also raised several other issues including homosexuality. Homosexuality is a topic Inter -Religious Council in Ethiopia  , Ethiopian Muslims and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church have been opposing what they think is a move by the Ethiopian government to accept homosexuality in the country – the reference was made to the agreement that the Ethiopian government signed at  Samoa.  The Ethiopian Church said Sodomy is unacceptable from religious, social and cultural point of view. It is a crime in the Ethiopian law. 

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