By Solomon Mengist (OCP Special Correspondent in Ethiopia)
Photo courtesy: Stalin Gebre-Selassie
His Holiness Abouna Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, celebrates 20th anniversary of enthronement as patriarch of the church on Thursday (July 12)
Leaders of sisterly churches, government officials, members of the diplomatic community and invited dignitaries were part of the event, which took place at the Holy Trinity Cathedral.
The Indian Malankara Orthodox Church was represented specially by Metropolitan Gregorious Gabriel of Trivandrum President of the Department of Ecumenical Church Relations). His Grace visited Ethiopia as part of inviting His Holiness Abuna Pulose to take part in the Catholicate centenary celebration which is scheduled to be held in November 2012.
Same day, the Patriarch laid a foundation stone for the expansion of the church printing press “Tinsaé ZeGubaé” which has served for 37 years publishing various publications ranging from prayer books to newspapers. The new publishing house which lies on 3000 m2 plot of land will have two four buildings of up to eight stores and will cost 120 million Birr.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church has currently 55 million followers, 44 dioceses, 60 archbishops and Bishops; 500,000 clergy, over 1000 monasteries and convents; and 50,000 Churches.
It continues growing including among Ethiopians in Diaspora in European countries: Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Austria, and Rome; and in the middle East; in Kenya, South Africa, and Sudan in Africa; in the United States of America, Canada, and in the Carabian Islands. There are also seven monasteries in the Holy Land of Jerusalem.
The church has a strong Sunday School Movement, Mahibere-Kidusan, which also publishes its own newspapers and magazines to teach the youth about their religion, history, Christian culture and tradition.
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OCP News Service