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!