Prime Minister of Ethiopia gives a send-off to the delegation hoping to end the schism in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

Patriarch Abune Mathias of Ethiopia (L), Prime Minister Ahmed Abyi of Ethiopia (C) and Patriarch Abune Merkorios of the Ethiopian Synod in Exile (R)

Patriarch Abune Mathias of Ethiopia (L), Prime Minister Ahmed Abyi of Ethiopia (C) and Patriarch Abune Merkorios of the Ethiopian Synod in Exile (R)

Solomon Kibriye (Editor – Ethiopian Affairs) – OCP News Service – 19/7/18

On Wednesday July 18, 2018, Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia received the delegation of the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Church in Ethiopia that departed later that evening for Washington D.C. to meet with the delegation of the Exile Synod there to achieve reconciliation between the two groups and end the schism that has lasted for two decades. The delegation that met with the Prime Minister is headed by three Archbishops of the church and includes several prominent lay members of the faith as well.

An End to the Ethiopian Schism in Sight?

During their discussions with the Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy stressed to the delegation the importance of their task. He said that Orthodox unity was not just important to the members of the Orthodox faith, but also to others outside the faith. He underlined the importance of the Orthodox Church in the language, culture, history and unity of the country. He noted that quarreling and tearing things apart was very easy, and that reconciliation and healing of rifts was much more difficult. He advised them to be patient and persistent to achieve peace. He urged them not to prolong reconciliation, but to complete it, and to bring the exiled fathers home.

Ethiopian Orthodox Quest for Unity

The delegation was also seen off by the Standing Holy Synod at the Patriarchal Palace. His Holiness Patriarch Abune Matthias wished them well, and noted that the Church is the home of peace and reconciliation, and that division could not express Christianity in any way. He prayed that God bring success to their efforts.

The delegation is led by Archbishop Abunä Qäwestos of Selale and North West Shäwa, and includes Archbishop Abunä Gorgorios of Eastern Shäwa, and Archbishop Abune Abraham of Bahǝr Dar and Eastern Gojjam. Also included in the delegation are prominent citizens such as Ato (Mr.) Girma Wake, former General Manager of Ethiopian Airlines, Ato Haile Gebre Selassie, the noted long distance runner, olympian, real estate tycoon and philanthropist, Ato Samuel Tafesse and others. The group will arrive on Thursday July 19, 2018. They will meet with a delegation of the Exile Synod headed by Archbishop Abunä Elias and are expected to be joined by the Prime Minister at the end of their conference late next week.

May God crown their efforts with success.

OCP News Service