To all diplomatic communities, Nation States, religious institutions, International Civic Societies (ICS), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and all International Communities (ICs)

On the 22 January 2023, three individuals who were archbishops and members of the Holy Synod of our Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, conducted an illegal and un-canonical installation of a group of 26 monks to the rank of episcopate against the teaching and practice of the Church, without the knowledge of the Holy Synod and the permission of His Holiness Abune Matthias I, Patriarch of Ethiopia, Archbishop of Axum and Echegue of the See of St. TekleHaymanot. 

The Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church convened urgent general meeting to discuss the anti-canonical actions whereby all archbishops from all over the world assembled and made canonical decision. Consequently, the Holy Synod excommunicated the three Archbishops, who made a great violation of our ancient apostolic canons, and their delinquency by denying the right and lawful dignity, legal personality of the Holy Synod and the Church. Furthermore, the Holy Synod nullified the unlawful and uncanonical ordination of the 26 monks to the rank of episcopes as it is totally unacceptable and against the fundamental and established doctrine, canon and administrative tradition of the Orthodox Church.  

The allegedly illegal ordination of the monks have faced opposition from all local and abroad dioceses, all organizational structures of the Church, Oriental Orthodox Churches, global interfaith and interchurch institutions,  and our development and social service partners. The Holy Synod considers the action as part of the ongoing hostility against the Church by different extremist political bodies and fanatic religious groups; hence the Holy Synod officially requested the government to undertake its legal responsibility to protect the Historic, legal, apostolic, globally recognized Holy Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Ethiopia, the security of social/civic institutions, never to recognize the illegally formed group in the name of our church, maintain the countries stability, preserve the rule of law and the safety as well as the religious freedom of the citizens. 

Apart from the Government bodies, the Holy Synod also called upon all diplomatic communities, Nation States, religious institutions, International Civic Societies (ICS), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and all International Communities (ICs), to understand and respond considering the situation we are in, to show your solidarity towards our ancient, historical, purely civic and spiritual institution, known to all by its identity as the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The Holy Synod by far called on the church’s members inside the country and all over the world to guard and defend the Church. 

The Holy Synod addressed the all International community that it is for the first time in her history, there is a strategic attempt to ethnically divide the Church and the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. As a result, our Orthodox Archbishops, in various places are being targeted and facing with various abuses, their Archbishoprics are being forcefully broken, church properties including our parish church building are being forcefully broken and are invaded by an illegally and uncanonical organized groups, named itself as “Ethnic Synod”; our clergies, youth and faithful are under sever persecutions. It is noted that in various places security forces of regional government are involved. In general, our Orthodox Church is faced with sever persecution which needs very serious global attention.

The Holy Synod is trying to handle the situation canonically, legally, spiritually, morally and responsibly.  However, the killing and forceful persecutions are beyond our control, where Institutional right of the church and its legal identity is cruelly violated.

Finally the Holy Synod would like to inform all that there is only one Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, One Holy Synod and one Holy Patriarch under the spiritual organization of our Church. Once again, the attempt to create another Ethnic Synod is invalid and  condemned by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and many others. The Holy Synod conveyed its deepest gratitude, acknowledged and appreciated, the continuous support and solidarity from the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Malankaran Syrian Orthodox Church of India, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, the World council of Churches, the Middle East Council of Churches, other Churches and Church related Originations, Civic Societies inside and outside of the Country. Furthermore, the Church anticipates the strong and dedicated support and solidarity until the problem totally resolved.  

Filed in: Current Affairs / News