School of Divinity of Howard University Returns Sacred manuscript to Ethiopian Orthodox Church

February 1, 2016 (In Featured News)

After more than forty years of being in American Howard, the sacred Ethiopian manuscript has been returned to its original home and rightful owner, the Monastery of Debre Libanos thanks to the goodwill of Howard Divinity School.  A delegation of the university brought the sacred items to Ethiopia and delivered to the Monastery on January 11, 2016. 

The manuscript which composes the Hagiographies of Saints Sarabamon and Paul was taken from the Monastery for an unknown reason and stayed abroad for more than forty years. Howard University decided to return to its rightful owner following the realization of the prevalence of the manuscript. 
The manuscript contains two texts:  the Acts of Paul and the Acts of Sarabamon.  The manuscript was donated to Howard University by the late Dr. Andre Tweed, a prominent psychiatrist and Howard alumnus in 1993; it was not clear how he came to own the items. 

According to the information obtained from Howard University, Alton B. Pollard III (the School’s Dean), Dr. Gay L. Byron (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity), Professor Steve Delamarter, Professor Alice Bellis,  Lawrence Rodgers and others are the members of the team involved in the process of returning the manuscripts. 

During the event of receiving of this priceless manuscript, His Holiness Abune Matias,  Patriarch and Catholicos of Ethiopia, Ichege of the See of St. Tekle Haymanot and Archbishop of Axum said, it is very glad to see the return of this lost ancient church heritage and of the country in general.  Using this event as an opportunity, our church shall make unreserved efforts along with its fellow Christians to demand the return of sacred items lost in various unknown ways. The government also should play its own role in the returning process of the lost items found abroad for they are property of the church and are of valuable significance for the church and the country in general, the Patriarch added.  

His grace Abune Kewstos, Archbishop of North Shewa Dioceses, said that I feel happy about the return of these ancient manuscripts and our church’s heritage.  His grace also indicated that the coming of this manuscript contributes a lot in image building of the country and we the rightful owners shall have control of the sacred book by returning the looted sacred ancient manuscripts. His grace also extended his gratitude on his behalf and on behalf of his diocese to all those who were involved in the process of returning the manuscripts.  

The abbot of the monastery, Tsebate Qomos Abba Welde Mariam Admasu expressed his utmost joy saying, “today is unique for me.”  

Lastly, Alton B. Pollard III, the school’s dean said, “We feel proud for we returned this great and the only ancient manuscripts to its rightful owner. Even if we don’t know how it came to our country, we decided to return after we discovered as the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church is the owner of the text.”

It is discovered that Howard University made the head of the monastery to sign a memorandum of understanding which appeared to have some controversial statements about the ownership of the manuscript.  Under the Patriarchs’ direction, a commute is established which is responsible to examine the signed deed of gift. 

Mahibere Kidusan is set to hold its 5th Grand Exhibition

Janury 28, 2016
Mahibere Kidusan is finalizing preparations to hold its 5th Grand Exhibition from March 24 – 30, 2016 at Addis Ababa Exhibition Center.

The exhibition, which will be held under the theme ‘Realizing the doctrine of Orthodox Church, and our roles’, aims at acquainting believers of the church with the Orthodox Christianity doctrine and encouraging them to contribute their share in preserving their faith. 

According to Ato Tesfaye Bihoneng, Secretary General of Mahibere Kidusan, the exhibition will also highlight the current challenges faced by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and catalyze increased participation of the faithful in serving the church.  

Ato Girma Teshome, Vice Chairman of the Grand Exhibition Organizing Committee said “The exhibition will showcase the historic journey of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and its role in evangelical expansion in the world in general and in Ethiopia and Africa in particular.”  

 More than 100,000 people are expected to visit the exhibition.

If you have comments, suggestions and questions, please feel free to mention them

Mahibere Kidusan Marking Campus Fellowships Week

December 30, 2015
By Tsegaye Girma
Mahibere Kidusan (MK) is marking Campus Fellowships Week from December 30 – January 5, 2015 under the theme “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…”  (Heb 10:25). 

Campus Fellowships are established in higher learning institutions across the country with the support of MK to coordinate programs and services offered by young Orthodox Christian students in their respective parish churches, Sunday schools and higher learning institutions. Currently, there are 369 Campus Fellowships catering for the spiritual education needs of the hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Christian students under them, parallel to their secular studies.

As per the responsibility bestowed on it by the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, MK has been teaching students of higher learning institutions for decades. MK conducts its education programs in line with the curriculum and spiritual course books it prepared for the Campus Fellowships. It also assigns teachers for the fellowship education programs in coordination with the parishes where the respective institutions are located. 

  The Aim of the Program

  • To create awareness among parents about the advantages of taking part in Campus Fellowships for Orthodox Christian students. It also sets the platform for parents to discuss Campus Fellowship programs and provide the needed support to strengthen them. 
  • To explain to parents about the benefits of campus services for their children to keep their faith and lead ethical life. 
  • To share information that helps Campus Fellowship services to grow.  
  • To facilitate experience sharing among campus students especially on the benefits of taking part in Campus Fellowships  
  • To support MK’s Main Department of Campus Council financially, materially, in manpower and management 

Program Schedule  

  • From December 30 – January 5, 2015, at MK’s Headquarters – Photo Exhibition and fund raising event  
  • Saturday January 2, 2015, 7:30-11:30 local time, at the Patriarchate Hall – special program for former students of Campus Fellowships   
  • Sunday January 4: 3:30-6:00 local time, on the 3rd Floor of MK’s Headquarters – special counseling  program  with parents and youths in coordination with counseling  professionals.

Coptic Pope Tawadros II in Rare Visit to Jerusalem

November 27, 2015

Egypt’s Coptic Pope Tawadros II arrived in Jerusalem on Thursday for the funeral of a senior cleric, the first visit by the head of Coptic Christians in decades, the church said. He attended the funeral of Archbishop Anba Abraham, the head of the Coptic Church in the Holy Land, who died on Wednesday at the age of 72.

The funeral took place on Saturday in the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem’s Old City, adjacent to the Holy Sepulcher, the church said. Egyptian Copts were forbidden from visiting Israel in 1980 by their late Pope Shenouda III in protest at Israel’s occupation of east Jerusalem. Shenouda passed away in 2012 after leading the ancient Orthodox Church for 40 years.Despite the ban, hundreds of Egyptian Copts have visited Israel over the past few years during Easter.

"The visit is to attend the funeral and nothing more," a spokesman for the church in Egypt, Boulos Halim, told Agence France Presse. "The position of the church remains unchanged, which is not going to Jerusalem without all our Egyptian (Muslim) brothers." While the body of his predecessor was returned to Egypt for burial, Abraham specifically requested a burial in the holy city, according to Halim. "He wrote in his will that he wanted to be buried in Jerusalem," he said.

The dominant form of Christianity in Egypt, Coptics make up between six and 10 percent of the country’s estimated 90 million population. In Israel, however, the church is one of the smaller of the 13 recognized Christian sects, with only a few hundred families.The entrance to the Coptic Patriarchate in Jerusalem is one of the 14 Stations of the Cross — the route said to have been taken by Jesus on the day he died.

Source: Agence France Presse.

Hamer ZeOrthodox Tewahdo Magazines Appear on the Web

November 26, 2015
By Mesfin Zegeye 
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church Sunday School Department Mahibere Kidusan Media department have made available on website photographic copies of magazines published between May 1985 and August 2000 (Eth. Cal.), Mahibere Kidusan announced.

Head of the department Deacon Dr. Mersha Alehegne told the media department that the reason behind uploading the magazines on website in this way is the fact that there are people who were not able to get the magazines that appeared regularly in the 15 years and these were unable to access copies of such educational materials. Thus, the target is making the magazines accessible to these people using internet technology. 

One of the tasks bestowed upon Mahibere Kidusan by the Holy Synod is “to spread the Word of God among the laity,” the departmeent head said and went on to add, “accordingly, on the morrow of receiving such a mission from the Church, it started publishing Hamer ZeOrthodox Tewahdo magazine and Sime’a Tsidik ZeOrthodox newspaper and has been serving the Christian community for the last 24 years. 

It has continued providing this service by adding various other media products to this day. Since a major focus of our association is strengthening this endeavor further, God willing, photographs of the magazines published for 15 years from the beginning will be made available particularly to the youth who have access to the technology and found spread around the world by putting the material on our website / This service will also be provided in other publications of the magazine and Sime’a Tsidk newspaper as well”, the head indicated.

We will pray that God may reward our brothers and sisters who made it possible for the magazine to go so far by contributing the whole of their time, providing materials and opinions on content of the magazine, reading and distributing the publications, and finally making a lot of efforts for the publication to be on website, the head said. Deacon Dr. Mersha went on to add that this message be passed on to the public so as Christians read the publications.

Mahibere Kidusan announces launch of second round scholarship program (Featured news)

November 17, 2015  
By Kassa Nigus  
Mahiber Kidasan’s (MK) Holy Places Development and Social Service Department announced the launch of the second round of Abba Giyorgis Zegasicha free scholarship and training award at a ceremony held last week, on November 8, 2015 at Semein Hotel. The event was also aimed at raising the needed fund for the scholarship program run under the theme ውስተ፡ አዕጻዲነ : ኵሉ፡ አቅማሕ : ሐዲስ : ምስለ : ብሉይ፡፡ At our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old) (Song 7:14).

Abba Giyorgis  Zegasicha free scholarship and training award was initially launched last year with the aim of strengthening and preserving the traditional education system and schools as well as the canon and dogma of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and pass them on to future generations by equipping church scholars with modern secular education.    

The scholarship program was initiated by visionary youth Christians recognizing the fact that the Church is lagging behind in terms of positioning itself in the modern world though it was the first to provide the country with an arts of early civilization, such as indigenous alphabet and writing system that making it one of the few countries in the world having their own unique alphabets.  

The launching event for the second round of the scholarship program was attended by His Grace Abune Lukas, Secretary General of the Holy Synod and Archbishop of Setit Humera diocese, MK’s management staff, representatives of MK’s 46 area offices (Ma’ekelat), heads of coordinating bureaus, scholarship awardees and invited guests.

His Grace Abune Lukas noted on the occasion that the scholarship will go a long way towards reviving the country’s ancient church schools, history and tradition, and ensure their continued existence. Commenting on the university graduates who will attend church education as per the scholarship, His Grace said, “What amazes me most is their decision to dedicate their lives to study church education. I’m very glad to witness this as it reassures me that their communal learning program keeps the church’s doors open. We can use better approaches to maintain the church’s canon and dogma without distorting its rules.”

Ato Gizachew Sisay, Board chairman of Mahibere Kidasan’s Holy Places Development and Social Service Department, for his part said, “A survey we carried on church schools revealed that there are some high-level church scholars who cannot write and identify numbers. Some even use their finger print as signature as they couldn’t write though they are well educated church scholars. So we held an event in 2004 E.C at Gion Hotel to discuss the issue with both church and university intellectuals and find a way to run church education in harmony with modern secular education system. Then we decided to start the scholarship program under the title, “‘Abba Giyorgis Zegasicha’ free scholarship and training award”.

Ato Gizachw also added that the first (pilot) program started at basic primary education and adult training program at church schools in Gondar diocese. However, the second round is granted to awardees including church school students and teachers from 5thgraders to students of higher learning institutions.

At the event, W/o Alem Tsehay Meseret, Deputy Chairperson of Mahibere Kidasan’s Holy Places Development and Social Service Department, handed certificates to 17 awardees of the second round program. The awardees include both church schools teachers and students, parish administrators, students who studied in theological colleges and in colleges and universities and are interested in upgrading their church knowledge. On the occasion, the awardees presented different Ge’ez poetry (Qine), songs and short sermons in three languages (Gumuz, Oromifa and Amharic).

According to information obtained from the Department, the scholarship program includes both formal education and short and long term trainings.

1. Modern Education: secular education for church school teachers and students, which include:

  •     Basic primary education
  •  Secondary, preparatory school and higher institution education for outstanding students
  • Higher church’s college education

  2. Church Education: to provide free church education for university graduates and certify them in one of the church school of excellences

3. Trainings: to improve the knowledge of church school teachers and students as well as evangelists who serve at different positions of the church’s hierarchy

Opportunities for Implementation of the Program: Better church school methodologies to understand modern education, for example, existence of:

  •  Creativity, peer learning andself-learning among the students
  • The need to contribute to the fulfillment one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), providing basic primary education for all
  • Fulfilling the desire of church school students for modern education in parallel with their church education
  • Mahibere Kidusan’s experience in supporting church schools serves as spring board                 Beneficiaries of the program
  • Church school teachers currently engaged in teaching
  • Church school students currently studying at schools of excellence (Gubaeyat)
  •  Church servants at different levels of the church’s hierarchies and engaged in evangelic services
  • Church school students who joined modern higher institutions and want to serve in different professions                       

    Types of sponsorship the program covers:

  •  Food supplies
  •   Clothes
  • Training and formal education
  •  Provision of educational supporting materials
  •  House allowance for those who studied modern education and joined church’s school of excellence

   List of 2008 E.C Award’s Costs



Level of Education

Average Monthly Aid

Financial Aid rate/year

Number of Beneficiaries

Annual Cost(in birr)


1st -4th class (adult program)






5th – 8th class (regular)






9th _ 12th (regular)






5th – 8th class (distance)






9th – 10th (distance)






Theological Colleges






Higher learning  institutions






Church’s schools of excellence (Guba’eyat )






Leadership and entrepreneurship






Faith education and evangelical methodology









                                  Please join us for sustainable and efficient church services!

May the grace of Gob be up on us all!

Statement from Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church Holy Synod

November 4,  2015
By Kassa Nigus  
 In the Name of the Father, of the Son, and 0f the Holy Spirit, One True God, Amen!

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church makes its regular Holy Synod meeting twice in a year in accordance with the Church’s book of Fitha Negest, Article 5, and Sub-article 164. Accordingly, it has run its first meeting starting on October 22 to November, 2015 for twelve days. The Holy Synod opened the session with prayer to discuss on the following agenda:

  • Preservation and enforcement of the church’s faith and canon;
  • keeping and controlling church canon ;
  • Coordinating priests in their spiritual mission;
  • Teaching believers to persist in their faith and deeds and,
  • Deciding an order  for the praise of God and church services .

The Holy Synod pledged to implement the declarations the council had passed before it wrapped up with the blessing and fatherly orders of His Holiness Abune Mathias, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church. 

    The main declarations drawn from the statements include:

  • The Holy Synod has assessed every church aspects, both spiritual and  social services, and it realized that due to the lack of rain in our country this year, drought and shortage of food have occurred in different parts of our country; thus, since it is natural that we need to carry the suffering of fellow citizens in accordance with the instructions of our religion and social values, in addition to teaching the public to share what they have, this Holy Church, which is the Mother of the people, needs to do everything in its capacity to help those in need, and that this conference of the Holy Synod deliberates on the issue. The Holy Synod appreciates what the government has worked on the disaster and deliberates to work being in the side of the government and other concerned charity organizations by establishing a committee led by one archbishop. 
  • The Holy Synod has done meticulous discussion on the identification of the root causes of maladministration that affects the country and mankind as a whole. Accordingly, the Holy Synod has established a committee with nine members embracing archbishops to work on the general problems of the church, especially on corruption and maladministration.    
  • It is known that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has valuable contribution to the country for centuries in teaching about peace, development, patriotism, and tolerance in all what she can. Now also it has completed the prerequisite criteria to launch modern media system (a 24hr TV channel) at a cost of 12 million birr for one fiscal year budget after studying the area by experts. The satellite TV will cover North East Africa, Western Europe and North America. 
  • Establishing charitable organizations and sustainable development schemes in a diocese that has no charitable organizations to help orphans and helpless elderly people was another topic of discussion in the meeting. 
  • It has been known that the Ethiopian Church is the pioneer in teaching- learning process of the country before modern education system started. Beyond many traditional church schools across the country, currently it has three spiritual colleges (Holy Trinity College, St. Paul Sewaswe Birhan Theological and Abba Selama Kesate Birhan [Revealer of Light] College), which have been producing many disciples serving the country in general and the church in particular . In view of that the Holy Synod has assigned three archbishops to assess the internal structure of the colleges and to increase the quality of education given there.
  • The Holy Synod has also decided to make accountable those who transmit evangelical services through different media and publish magazines, newspapers, songs, different pamphlets without the approval of the church under the country’s law. 
  • To commence an assessment up on the usage of church instruments (vestments, crosses, drums, sistra, prayer stcks, etc.) which  are the blessed property of the  ancient, apostolic and orthodox church has been found mandatory because some other religious institutions have been using them corrupting the church’s innate ownership.
  • It is decided that children and family affairs organization established under the Ethiopian Church shall reinforce its aid to the orphans taking into consideration the current occurrence of drought and shortage of food in different parts of the country.
  • The Holy Synod has discussed on the strengthening of the newly opened theological colleges in Jimma and Bahir Dar towns to run their learning teaching process effectively in harmony with the benefits of the society;
  • The Holy Synod ratified the 2008 Ethiopian fiscal year strategic plan and budget that enables the Church to accomplish its duties in a better way than ever;  
  • Ethiopia has endowed with the blessed young generation that understood the value of work and fearing of God as the beginning of wisdom that is witnessed in the social and spiritual services they contributed. Accordingly, the church has passed its message to the youth to improve their thinking capacity and innovation abilities;
  • To reinforce the evangelic mission through the improvement of the spiritual knowledge of the preachers, the Holy Synod discussed and passed special emphasis for its implementation; 
  • It is obvious that, today, there is a great effort to improve the living standards of the society and to bring all round development for the benefits of the mass  by government and society; in the same way,  the Holy synod discussed  in awakening the society for the accomplishment of the Renaissance Dam  and preservation of natural resources; 
  • In response to the request of Ethiopian believers abroad, the Holy Synod decided to establish churches in Japan and Korea and to send preachers to widen the social and spiritual mission of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church;
  • Members of the Holy Synod also passed a decision to build on the efforts to bring about reconciliation with their fellow bishops who set up another Synod abroad, and they confirmed that continuous discussion for unity is in the best interests of the church and the country at large; and 
  • Finally, following the opening of the session by the speech of His Holiness the Patriarch, the Synod endorsed the declaration of the 34th general parish holy council to be the direction for the activities to be carried out in the 2008 Ethiopian fiscal year.

Abune Fanuel writes letter to Obama condemning legalization of same sex marriage

October 28, 2015
By Kassa Nigus  
During the 34th regular General Parish Holy Council of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church which lasted three days, from October 19-22, 2015, the reports of all departments were presented. Among the presented reports, one is the report of Abune Fanuel, archbishop of Washington DC and California diocese under the Ethiopia Orthodox Tewahido Church.

In his report, His grace Abune Fanuel attached the letter written to the 44th and current President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama. The letter is full of rebukes against the endorsement of the same sex marriage in the constitution of USA in the presidency of President Obama. The letter read as follows;
To His Excellency, President Barack Hussein Obama
President of United States of America.
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20500

Your Excellency, May God’s grace be up on you! 

I am Abune Fanuel, archbishop of Washington DC and California diocese under the Ethiopia Orthodox Tewahido Church writing this letter to you. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has three dioceses (the throne of archbishops) in the USA:  New York, California and Washington DC. We have no less than one hundred parish churches with more than one million church members.   

Your Excellency,
We would like to thank you for visiting our country Ethiopia, the blessed land of GOD. This historic visit makes you the first American president to visit Ethiopia. We are so grateful for this visit.

Your Excellency,
We are in extreme sadness about the endorsement of same sex marriage during your presidency. GOD condemns same sex marriage. America is a blessed and sovereign country that is a host to people without any discrimination in race and colour. But the practice of Sodomite violates God’s law; brings disorder to the rule of marriage; and puts in danger the God-given law of generation succeeding generation. 

 This blessed land has been living by worshipping God and puts the label “we trust in GOD” in its currency to express subservience to GOD. But the law that was enacted recently will be invoking the Wrath of GOD the same way as recorded in the Holy Scripture, “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted His way upon the earth.”(Genesis 6:11-12), “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.” (Genesis 19: 24-25) This Wrath could befall in this land in your presidency for giving legal recognition for the rule of sodomite and trespassing GOD’s Commandment. 


In the New Testament, St Paul in his epistle to Rome also teaches about the wickedness of sodomites and God’s rage in response to this shameful action, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, …Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever… For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Rome 1: 22-28)

Your Excellency,

In your term of office, a period in which we saw a lot of good things with our eyes and heard good news, it is not understandable to hear you, who we believe cares about all mankind, approved such a legal provision (sodomite), while we are still expressing our admiration for good job you have done.  It is very wise to give the issue a lot of thought before it had a chance to take roots in the nation; not only for the sake of the kind of history you are making but also for America, the mother of all mankind, for it might bring the Wrath of God. 
If the “GOD bless America” kicker sweet to the ears across the USA, is not counterbalanced by a practical respect for the Law of God, will be like the epistle of St Paul to Timothy, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…”(Tim2. 3:5), as we learn from our apostolic fathers, “….We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts3:5). 
Accordingly, we would like to express our indignation at and condemnation of this sodomite law on my own behalf and on the behalf of parishes found in my diocese.


Your Excellency,

We beseech you in the strongest terms possible to correct this historic error and to retrace the steps from this evil deed and repent so as to make sure God’s Laws are respected. 

May GOD’s peace be with us all!

Abba Fanuel, archbishop of Washington DC & California diocese

The Patriarch Identifies Focus Areas for Holy Synod to Ponder

October 27, 2015
By Mesfin Zegeye  
In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one True God, Amen!
His Holiness Patriarch Abuna Mathias delivered message to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church Holy Synod regarding focus areas for action in the time to come. The message communicated to the Seven Asian Churches and their respective leaders also holds true for the Church today and its leaders, the Patriarch said.

Of the Church leaders some are commended, others are in the middle, while others were severely reprimanded. Church leaders found currently in Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church cannot say that the challenges that earlier Church leaders faced in those days do not exist today, as we are found in this world of many trials.

It would be difficult for one to make the claim that all problems can be avoided. However, we remember that great fathers arise amongst us who manage to exert utmost efforts to keep serious problems and gaps at bay. The fundamental issue is not the question why the gap emerged; rather the issue is, why there is complacency and lack of action in view of such a situation.  This conference is of huge significance and is expected to exert enormous efforts regarding this issue. 

Although there are tasks that should have been carried out by the Church but were not done satisfactorily, it should not be forgotten that there are still some areas of good performance.  Particularly, the efforts of the laity to support the Church and development works is very encouraging more than ever. More important of all, the efforts of the Church to spread the Word of God in different parts of the world can be claimed as an illustration that the Church has grown to become international.
Since the tasks of the Church are enormous and of diverse nature, it is important that some tasks need to be focused on for action:

• Laying down procedures to equip the Church with a modern administrative system for it to be able to manage its resources and property efficiently;
• Make sure that regulations, policies and rules that are designed  in accordance with the legal framework requirements of the Church are transparent and provide for accountability;
Budget should be allocated this year for the master plan and media study that have been put on hold thus far, and they should be put to use urgently; 
• Laying down good governance and strengthen the spread of the Gospel so as to reverse the fleeing of the laity; 
• Strengthening the tie and relation of parish Churches overseas with the Mother Church;
• Making the Church economically prosperous by expanding development works in various sectors;
• Bringing up children and the young, who are the successor generation of the Church, with religious education and imbuing them with ethical values by organizing them in Sunday schools;
• Strengthening the efforts of Sunday schools and monasteries, and it is of utmost significance that particular attention be given to these efforts;
• On the other hand, we have realized that due to the lack of rain in our country this year, drought and shortage of food have occurred in different parts of our country, as reports of the diocese in the 34th general spiritual conference of the Church indicated;
• Thus, since it is natural that we need to carry the suffering of fellow citizens in accordance with the instructions of our religion and social values, in addition teaching the public to share what they have, this Holy Church, which is the Mother of the people, need to do everything in its capacity to help those in need, and that this conference of the Holy Synod deliberate on the issue.

Finally, we call up on this Holy Synod to discuss on the major issues raised above so as to reach at appropriate decisions. Hence this Holy Synod conference of October, 2015 has been blessed and declared open in accordance with the Church’s tradition of spiritual article 5 sub article 164.
                                                               May God Bless Our Conference  Amen!!
                        Aba Mathias Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church Patriarch. 

The 34th regular General Parish Holy Council concludes

October 26, 2015
By Kassa Nigus 
The 34th regular General Parish Holy Council of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church has ended on October 22, 2015 after three days of meetings. During the council which was held at the patriarchate, the reports of all departments were presented by His Grace Abune Matewos, General Manager of the Patriarchate and Archbishop of Wolayta Konta and Dawro Dioceses.
The participants pledged to implement the 23 declarations the council passed before it wrapped up with the blessing and fatherly orders of His Holiness Abune Mathias. The declarations passed based on the presented reports include: 
  • Strengthening the evangelic mission especially in keeping church members, achievement of transparent and accountable administration in line with the teachings of the Church, and one that ensures the supremacy of the law, as maladministration in the church is leading many believers astray,
  • Protecting the supremacy and legitimate administration of the Holy Synod from different groups which evolved around it and have been challenging its power by circulating rumors and heretic teachings,  
  • Strengthening evangelic missions to peripheral areas of the country through the leadership of archbishops and church fathers to provide better church service to the local people, 
  • Introducing ‘the double entry book keeping system’ to modernize the church’s financial system and to stem wastage of resources, 
  • Increasing the number of preachers who teach in their mother tongues so as to expand evangelic services to different nations and nationalities who seek the church’s service, 
  • Providing evangelic services beyond the church’s compound in prisons, hospitals etc using modern media,  
  • Banning self-declared ‘baptizers’ and ‘preachers’ who spread heretic teachings in name of the church’s dogma, which eventually affects the wellbeing of the church,
  • Requesting collaboration from the participants to amend the ‘Kale Awadi’ (A book detailing the church’s rules and regulations) taking into account to cope with today’s world,   
  • Strengthening and paying prime attention to church schools and training centers  as well as the disciples they produce, by allocating adequate budget and resources, 
  • Solving the problems of churches, monasteries and parish church diocese affected by drought in collaboration with concerned bodies,
  • Strengthening and sustaining the ongoing global evangelic mission and cooperation with Oriental sister churches especially the Coptic Orthodox Church, 
  • Working together with the Holy Synod to implement the canonization of 30 Ethiopian Christians martyred in Libya’s desert,  
  • Establishing charitable organizations and sustainable development schemes in every diocese to help orphans and helpless elderly people, 
  • Confronting and curtailing the expansion of homosexuality which is against nature and God’s Commandments. 
At the end of the council, the general parish holy department awarded recognitions to selected diocese which achieved better performance in the previous fiscal year. The session was finally concluded with sermons, prayers, blessings.