New Year blessings by His Holiness Abune Mathias

September 10,2015
By Kassa Nigus and Tsegaye Girm
His Holiness Abune Mathias I, Patriarch of Ethiopia, Archbishop of Axum and Ichege of the See of Saint Takle Haymanot, has given his blessings concerning the Ethiopian New Year 2008. Excerpts:  

All Ethiopians;

• living in urban and rural areas of the country 

• residing abroad 

• guarding our borders

• suffering illnesses in hospitals and holy water sites 

• put behind bars, 

I wish you a happy New Year 2008, Year of John.

 “Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.”  Deut 32:7

Time is among the invisible and colorless things God created. It is something which manifests itself through events, and no one can deny its existence. It has been calculated using units such as minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, and so on.since time is the moment when events take place, people describe it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depending on the nature of the events that occurred at that particular time. What matters, however, is that we realize the benefits of time and that we do our best to make the most out of it. 

Time came into existence with the creation of the world, and is meant to be used by humans living in this world. The heavenly world lies outside the bounds of time. (Gen.1:14). Without time, human beings wouldn’t have been able to lead orderly and planned lives. So, time is a resource that humans need to make their existence in this world worthwhile.  

In addition to this, since people can learn from time and what happened in it, God tells us to remember the past and take lessons from it. Hence we should make good use of this valuable resource and refrain from wasting it. 

All of you, our dear children in the Holy Spirit;

Our country Ethiopia is a beautiful land endowed with diverse resources. We should all work together and stop talking about poverty while living in this earthly paradise. We have to find out the root causes of our poverty, and work hard to achieve sustainable development.  

If truth be told, the key to end poverty lies in developing a good work ethic and initiation, and striving hard to change our situation at home. Especially, the young generation should develop such working culture and improve their lives. When we understand this and take practical measures, we will be able to eradicate poverty. 

We know that, in today’s world, there are many countries that prospered through hard work though they are not endowed with diverse natural resources such as fertile land, clean water and suitable weather condition, all of which Ethiopia has. 

As we welcome the New Year, we call on the public, and especially the youth, to align their plans with the country’s development ambitions and act accordingly to achieve remarkable growth and realize our renaissance. 

Happy New Year! 

May God bless you!

First International Orthodox Women Conference held in London

September 1, 2015


Under the auspices and blessings of His Holiness Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II, the Orthodox Women’s Ministry (OWM) is excited to launch its first international Orthodox conference. The conference’s main objective is to establish an understanding of the role of women from a historical, theological and practical perspective in our modern world, and the general calling to holiness of men and women in the Body of Christ.

OWM First International Women’s Conference is welcoming both men and women to attend – as each member of the Body affects the other – so it is vital, a necessity that each member supports and learn the need for the other – male and female. OWM also welcomes all ages to attend above the age of 18.


There is a great desire to meet the needs of the people of the Church and this desire is found in the role of women today across the globe, particularly in the West. A few questions, yet not exhaustive, must be asked to address such concerns:

• What is the role of women outside of the diaconate and Sunday school services?

• What is the purpose of their presence in the Eucharistic and other liturgical services?

• How do women identify their membership as a living and equal member of the Body of Christ, among cultural aversions and feelings of subservience among the opposite sex and members of the hierarchy?

There is an essential need across the globe to revive the rich Orthodox tradition in accordance with our modern world today without compromising or altering the faith. For Orthodoxy is dynamic and living; it is not a static entity and a mere point of reference to the past.


The Orthodox Women’s Ministry (OWM) aims to launch its first international Orthodox conference. The conference’s main objective is to establish an understanding of the role of women from a historical, theological and practical perspective in our modern world.

There is a great desire to meet the needs of the people of the Church and this desire is found in the role of women today across the globe, particularly in the West. A few questions, yet not exhaustive, must be asked to address such concerns:

• What is the role of women outside of the diaconate and Sunday School services?

• What is the purpose of their presence in the Eucharistic service?

• How do women identify their membership as a living and equal member of the Body of Christ, among cultural aversions and hierarchal feelings of subservience towards them?

There is an essential need across the globe to revive the rich Orthodox tradition in accordance with our modern world today without compromising or altering the faith. For Orthodoxy is dynamic and living; it is not a static entity and a mere point of reference to the past.

The aim of the conference is to address the position of the Orthodox women in the Church today, and is not concerned with reviving the early Church tradition of the woman diaconate, although this topic may be addressed from a historical approach during the sessions. Throughout history, there are numerous examples of women who played a pivotal role in leadership, apostleship and witness to the faith and such lives are exemplary to our understanding of women’s role and the role in the ministry in the Church yesterday, today and tomorrow.

We are also not concerned at this time on the issues of neither women’s ordination nor women administrating any sacraments. While these matters are important and must be addressed in the future, our aim of the conference is how we can engage and encourage women leadership in the Church outside of ordination, and vivify the essentiality of women’s identity as crucial members of the Body of Christ in a practical manner. Thus, it is also important for the presence of men to support, encourage and be educated concerning the role of women; for without the presence of women in the Church, the Body would be incomplete (1 Cor 12:12-31).

Please support us with your prayers for the vision and mission of this ministry.




Blaze damages property at Mahibere Kidusan workshop

August 27, 2015
By Kassa Nigus 
A fire broke out in a workshop at the premises of Mahibere Kidusan’s (MK) Development Institution (Limat Tekwam) on Monday, August 24, 2015, damaging property whose worth is yet to  be determined. No one was killed or injured in the accident. 

The blaze started at around 7 PM local time and was put out about an hour later by the Fire and Emergency Prevention and Rescue Authority of Addis Ababa City Government as well as the local people, according to Ato Hailu Fisiha, Managing Director of MK’s Development Institution. The local police are investigating the cause of the fire. 

The workshop is located in a residential neighborhood in Ginflle area around 1 kilometer north east of MK’s headquarters. Part of the workshop as well as machineries including twelve sewing singers, garment pressing, slashing and finishing machines were totally damaged by the fire. Garments, vestments and veils also went up in flames. But the full extent of the damage has not yet been determined. Things could have been worse if the incident had happened late in the night when the local residents would have been sleeping. 

The Managing Director stressed the need to revamp the workshop and replace the damaged machineries as quickly as possible to resume the day-to-day operation of the institution. He also pointed out that in the future the institution will provide insurance for its staff to compensate for all eventualities including specified loss and damage. 

Mahibere Kidusan films centenary celebration for TV production

August 18, 2015
By Kassa Nigus 
The Broadcast Media Department of Mahibere Kidusan (MK) has filmed Aleka Tekle Gebrehana’s Centenary, the 100 year of death anniversary, celebration being held at Dabre Tabor Iyyesus and Mekane Birhan Holy Trinity Church in Dabre Tabor town from May to September, 2015. 
The production from the event will be aired at MK’s weekly TV program on Ethiopian Broadcasting Service (EBS). The Department recorded the program on August 15 and 16, 2015.  The faithful who gathered in the compound of Debre Tabor Iyyesus church also celebrated the Feast of Transfiguration of Jesus Christ along with the Centenary of Aleka Tekle Gebrehana, the son of Aleka Gebre Hanna, which is being observed in a series of programs under the theme ‘Zikre Tekle’. 
His Grace Abune Endrias, Archbishop of South Gonder Diocese, his grace Abune Abraham, Archbishop of Bahirdar town and West Gojjam Diocese, church scholars as well as people from the locality and neighboring villages attended the event. 
The sermons at the event focused on: 
• The feast of Pagumen and the Ethiopian New Year called ‘Kidus Yohannes’ (St John) that falls on September 10, 
• St John the Baptist, Gorgorios of Nazianzus and St Cyril, 
• The Holy Cross, 
• The history, tradition and service  of Tekle Aquaquam and spiritual chants in Tekle Zimame tradition,
• Biography of Aleka Gebre Hanna and his son Alekla Tekle,
• The Assumption of St Mary and the Feast of Debre Tabor (Transfiguration), among others. 

Mahibere Kidusan TV program expands to Chicago city

 August 17, 2015

By Kassa Nigus

Mahibere Kidusan’s (MK) spiritual television program aired on Ethiopian Broadcasting Service (EBS) has expanded its reach to Chicago city in the United States starting August 1, 2015. According to MK’s Center of Publication and Electronic Media in America, the transmission in the US was previously confined to Boston, Cambridge, Seattle, Minnesota and Saint Paul.

Now that the program is also aired in Chicago, Ethiopian faithful residing in the city will have alternative means of learning the Word of God. The television program is aired three times on Saturdays and Sundays.

Officials in Chicago contributed a lot in the launch of the program by providing production studios. MK’s Center of Publication and Electronic Media in America said members of the fellowship across the US can play a significant role to further expand the transmission in all states by collaborating with church authorities.

The Publication and Electronic Media Department at MK’s headquarters in Addis Ababa is making efforts to increase the time of transmission of the TV program. The department also runs a two-hour internet television program and a one-hour radio program every week.  

  Source: Mahibere Kidusan’s Amharic website ( 

Mahibere Kidusan opens exhibition on church schools and monasteries

July 15, 2015
By Kassa Nigus 

The event that prepared by Kidusat Mekanat development and social service main department was opened at the hall of Mahibere Kidusan building on July 11, 2015.  The exhibition entitled in Ge’ez, “ማዕዶት ዘቤተ ጉባኤ ወገዳማት ዐውደ ርዕይ” roughly translated as “Exhibition on፡ the bridge of monasteries and School of excellence ”.

The exhibition was released by his grace Abune Lukas, secretary general of the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church and arch bishop of Setit Humera diocese. Nibure Eid Abba Gebre Mariam Gebre Sillase, the general manager of Ethiopian monasteries was one of the special guests at the opening ceremony of an exhibition.Ever since the show has been visited by multitudes of visitors of that interesting and nostalgic exhibition.

The event has been on the scene in eight divisions, such as the history of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church, the contribution of Ethiopian Orthodox Church schools and monasteries, causes of problems of church schools and monasteries and its effect,  efforts and measures taken by Mahibere Kiduasan for the restoration of  these centers which are the source of indigenous knowledge, and the last part is entitled “what shall we do?” that arouses the visitors to take their role in alleviating the existing problems of church schools and monasteries.

According to Ato Gizachew Sisay, board manager of Kidusat Mekanat and social service main department, the main goal of the program is to create awareness on the problems of Ethiopian monasteries and church schools as well as on the ongoing efforts and   future plan of Mahibere Kidusan that mainly targets to create and build a sense of ownership and responsibility amongst the members of the church in order to participate in the existing situation of the stated impediments.

The exhibition will continue until 22 July.

Being a double-edged sword

June 30, 2015

By Kassa Nigus

His grace Abune Ephraim, bishop of north Shoa diocese ordained twenty five students of Debre Birhan University who attend religious courses along with their regular studies on June, 2015.

The appointment has been done after the newly chosen students fulfilled the required qualifications needed to be a deacon. This kind of missionary activities have been become a usual practice in most Ethiopian universities under the coordination of Mahibere Kidusan institution that facilitates a condition for  young students to have a versatile personality, i.e., for the church mission and the country in general.

After the sanction of the candidates, his grace Abune Ephraim forwarded his advice to the newly appointed deacons saying, “The ordination you received is not from man but from God; you shall use this great authority wisely in the evangelizing mission of the church.”

The center of MK at Debre Birhan consists of 16 Gibbi Gubaeyat (Campus centers where Christian students attend religious courses). In 8 of the centers, there are more than 500 hundred students who attend religious courses by two hired evangelist teachers.

Source: Debre Birhan center of Mahibere Kidusan.

Centenary of Aleka Tekle Gebrehana

June 9, 2015
By Mesfin Zegeye

We are pleased to announce that preparations are well underway to celebrate Aleka Tekle Gebrehana’s Centenary through a series of events under the title ‘Zikre Tekle’.  The event is organized by the parish council of Dabre Tabor Iyyesus and Mekane Birhan Holy Trinity Church.

Objectives of the event

  • Celebrating Gebrehana’s Centenary,

  • Promoting the significance of Tekle Akuakuam Misikir Gubae Bet (school) to the chant traditions, history and culture of the Ethiopian Church through presentations of various studies ,
  • Identifying the causes for the decline of the school (Gubae Bet) and discussing solutions with relevant stakeholders and,
  • Publishing a book which raises awareness about the distinct features of the Tekle Akuakuam traditions so as to create conducive learning and teaching environment  

What does the celebration include?

 ‘Zikre Tekle’ centenary celebration will be held from May to September 2015.
The program includes:

  • Presentations of research papers, documentaries and exhibition,
  • Panel discussion,
  • Visit to Nabega Giyorgis and Rema Medhanealem church which is the birth place of Aleka Tekle Gebrehana, founder of the Tekle School, 
  • Procession to Debre Tabor Iyyesus Tekle Akuakuam Gubae Bet (school)  and,
  • Sermons, spiritual chants performed in Tekle Zimame tradition, Ge’ez poetry recital, etc
 Stakeholders of the event

  • Tekle Akuakuam scholars,
  • Academia on Ethiopian history, heritage, culture, religion, etc 
  • The local culture and tourism office,
  • The local public as well as others interested in the history and tradition of Tekle Akuakuam

Achievements of Tekle Akuakuam School

Since its establishment, Tekle Akuakuam (school) has gone through many ups and downs while achieving some of its goals along the way:

  • When the master of this art, Aleka Tekle, became old, he entrusted his disciples with the responsibility of preserving and passing the knowledge to the next generation. In line with that, Tekle School (Gubae Bet) has been producing scholars and certifying them for chant services in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church; people who graduated from the school are taking part in church services in different parts of the country.
  • The school administration recently obtained land from Debre Tabor Iyesus Church to provide additional space for its students.
  • The school administration has also built a lounge for teachers.

The current condition of the school

Tekle Akuakuam is currently in a state of decline. One individual who knows the situation closely says, “There are problems in church schools (Gubae Bet) everywhere; but the situation of Tekle Akuakuam School is deteriorating by the day.”   

Causes for the decline of the school      

The Tekle Akuakuam tradition is not studied among Orthodox Christians in all localities of the Ethiopian church. Moreover, there is less demand in churches for people qualified in this chant tradition.

  • Students at the school in Debre Tabor do not get their basic needs such as food, lodging, clothing, water and electricity among others. This discourages the students and leads to high number of dropouts while putting off others who want to join the school. 
  • Due to lack of sense of belongingness, the local public do not make enough effort to preserve the tradition as their heritage.  
  • Lack of attention on the part of stakeholders to preserve the heritage better has also contributed to the worse situation the school finds itself in.  

The main purpose of the centenary celebration is to bring these problems to light and discuss them with relevant bodies so as to come up with lasting remedies.

Source: The Amharic version sent to us from Dabre Tabor branch of Mahibere Kidusan


May 9, 2015
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church celebrates the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Ginbot 1 (May 9), nine months after Nehasie 7 (August 13) celebration of her Immaculate Conception.

Both Joachim and Anne, Mary’s parent were lived a very modest and simple life. They were God-fearing people and were known for their humbleness and compassion. They never had children and, being very aged, had little chance at having any. However, not willing to despair, they began to devote themselves extensively and rigorously to prayer and fasting asking GOD to give them a child.  They even made a vow that if they had a child, they would dedicate that child to the service of God. Seeing their patience and faith, the LORD finally gave them a blessed daughter, Mary.

With Mary’s birth the era of darkness is avoided and there appears the star of the dawn that heralds the Sun of Justice, Jesus Christ.

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church Holy Synod Release

May 9, 2015

By Mesfin Zegeye
In accordance with the Church’s tradition as provided for in Fitih Menfesawi Article 5 no. 164, the annual conference of the Holy Synod takes place twice a year. One out of the two is the council that takes place on the Wednesday twenty-five days after Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Resurrection.  Accordingly, the council of the Holy Synod started in the afternoon of May 5, 2015.

Following that on May 6, 2015 the regular session started after prayer and opening speech by His Holiness Patriarch, Abune Mathias, and the session continued for three days. Various decisions were passed and directions laid down.  

In the four days session of the Holy Synod of Ethiopian Church thoroughly deliberated on issues:

•  Beneficial to the Church and the country,

•  That contribute to development and peace,

•   Regarding the safety of the lives of fellow Ethiopians outside and inside of the country, and discussed on these in detail and passed the following decisions.

1. Since the opening, historical speech delivered by His Holiness the Patriarch covered all aspects of the life of the Church as well as indicated the importance of peace and development for our country in depth, the conference has endorsed it unanimously.

2. The council, after listening to the annual performance report by the office of the Holy Synod and making some modifications, has endorsed it unanimously.  

3. Based on the recommendation submitted by the Standing Holy Synod following its deliberation on the spiritual lives of Ethiopian and Egyptian Christians who had been executed cruelly and in an inhuman manner entirely because they are Christians and for no other reason by the terrorist group called IS in Libya, the annual Holy Synod council has passed the decision to declare them martyrs of the time.

4.  Since Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Christian believers martyred in Libya on April 19, 2015  and Coptic Orthodox Church Christians martyred in Libya on February 15, 2015, have been given status of martyrdom by the Holy Synods of the two Churches, the Holy Synod has agreed to commemorate them together as the 21st century martyrs of the two sister Churches.

5. Regarding fellow Ethiopians that have left their country for various reasons and living in foreign lands and those returning, the Church will do everything in its capacity to coordinate her efforts with the government’s undertaking of ensuring their safety and rehabilitation; in this connection a committee overseeing the issue has decided the Church’s Christian Relief and Development Association should take over the task to mobilize donors and put into it energetic efforts to that end.

6. The Holy Synod cognizant of the country’s current endeavor to undertake the fifth national election, the conference communicates the message that the Church prays steadfastly for the election to be peaceful and fair.

7. Although our country Ethiopia has suffered a lot because of poverty and civil conflict for so long and bears the mark of that suffering, the considerable success in development and growth being registered, equality and unity achieved, has resulted in realizing in the significance of peace in the last years; the Holy Synod underlines in the strongest terms that the people of Ethiopia cling to the peace and unity of the country and keep a watchful eye to protect Ethiopia from terrorists and extremists.

8.  Apart from the limitations in technology and capital as well as lack of awareness about the possibility of achieving prosperity by working within the country, since it is an established fact that our country Ethiopia is blessed with natural resources and is better than other countries in many respects,  the Holy Synod passes on the message that our young children abstain from moving to other countries and by so doing avoid exposing themselves to various dangers; should instead remain within the country and work to improve their lives and that the society should recognize this fact and work towards that end.

9.  Since the key solution to the problems of our country and people is eradicating poverty by strengthening development and ensuring progress, the Holy Synod brings to attention that by taking this realization to heart and supporting the development endeavor at various levels, our people should exert maximum efforts to put the country in the middle income nations’ category.

10. The Holy Synod has passed a strict resolution that all Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church localities undertake green development and self-initiated development so as to speed up growth.

11. Since the arbitration with Church Fathers found outside of Ethiopia has a crucial contribution to the development of the country and unity of our people that cannot be underestimated, the conference expresses that the doors of the Church is open for peace and reconciliation.

The Holy Synod after deliberating on the issues indicated above and other spiritual, social, and economic issues, wounded up its council today with a prayer.

May God bless our country, our people, and the whole world with peace, forgiveness, love and unity!