Evangelical Ethiopian Helps End Orthodox Schism

Ethiopian Cross

This article was first published at Christianity Today, on August 14.

Ending 27 years of schism, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians in their homeland and in America reunited the two feuding branches of one of the world’s oldest churches.

Ironically, the push came from the Horn of Africa nation’s new evangelical prime minister.

“It is impossible to think of Ethiopia without taking note of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, which is both great and sacred,” said Abiy Ahmed at the July 27 ceremony in Washington, reported the Fana state-run news agency.

A member of the World Council of Churches, the Tewahedo church split in 1991 due to political manipulations.

After the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) removed the Derg military junta from power, Patriarch Abune Merkorios was forced to abdicate.

He later fled to the United States, where dissidents and diaspora Ethiopians formed a rival patriarchate. According to church tradition, the position is held for life…

Please click here to read the full article at Christianity Today.

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5 thoughts on “Evangelical Ethiopian Helps End Orthodox Schism

  1. Dear Julie and Jayson Hope you are enjoying your time away. Great article on Ethiopia what amazing news, may God watch over this man and may he become a real emissary for peace not only locally but also on a wider scale. I have just finished reading the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, not a pleasant book but a book that really needs to be read widely, in hope that both countries accept the wrong they have done and move to reconciliation because that will not come without the admission of wrong. Instead of pretending it never happened and refusing to allow it to be included in any peace talks. My father was there in 1947 and 1948 and I was aware he had problems with Israel. But I did not realise this was the reason. The US has been blamed for allowing IS to germinate, but so much of there behavior putting people in cages and pouring oil on them or getting barrels of fuel and lighting them at the top of hill and then letting them roll down the hill, this is exactly what was done to the Palestinians in 1984 and 1948. Important reading as I say. Your emails are still somewhat intermittent and I am sure it is not because you are away, for instance I am lucky if I get 1 in 3 Friday prayer. Enjoy the rest of your time away, and safe travels when you return. Lphg&p in abundance Peter

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    • Yes, I always assumed he was, based on his name. I don’t know Ethiopian traditions well, but in Egypt the last name is also the name of the father. And Ahmed, his father, is a Muslim. I would like to better learn this story.

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      • This is not the first case that the religious belief of a usually prominent person is portrayed contradictory. Sometimes family heritage is assumed to define what religion a person is, but that is not always true. Sometimes the person in question is also secretive or cautious about his/her faith, making it very difficult to find out the truth.

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      • This is not the first case that the religious belief of a usually prominent person is portrayed contradictory. Sometimes family heritage is assumed to define what religion a person is, but that is not always true. Sometimes the person in question is also secretive or cautious about his/her faith, making it very difficult to find out the truth.

        BTW, do you know about that: https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/ethiopian-pm-says-gulf-countries-not-fit-teach-islam-1372998477

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