In his opening speech, Deputy Secretary-General of Mahibere Kidusan, Ato Seyfe Alemayehu, made the remark that preparation of the Encyclopedia is one among the major activities carried out by the Research Center of MK. He also thanked Church and university scholars who contributed towards the success of the project.
Director of Research Center, Dr. Abate Mekuria, said that since the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the owner and source of many invaluable treasures, ancient monuments and has thousands of believers, the absence of church Encyclopedia till now has created a gap not only for the Church but for the country in general. Taking this fact into consideration, Mahiber Kidasan decided to prepare Bahire Tibebat in consultation with the relevant bodies in order to facilitate further the transmission of the teachings of the Church. Dr. Abate added that the Preparation of the Encyclopedia (Bahire Tibebat), directed by an Advisory Board under the chairmanship of Archbishop Abune Lukas, incorporates editorial staff members. The project embraces the involvement of three hundred and seven more local and foreign experts.
Mel’ake Tabor Teshome Zerihun, one of the members of the Advisory Board, in commenting on the matter cited an Ethiopian saying, “journey of a thousand miles begins in one step”. Though the work required many trials and efforts, one should strive using shortcuts to attain the project before one passes away to see its fruition. He also recommended that the term Medbel be incorporated parallel to the word Encyclopedia.
Dr. Mikre Sillasie G/Amanuel, another member of the Advisory Board, thanked Mahibere Kidusan for taking the initiative and start of this project. Though it is sad that Church Encyclopedia is absent till now, now they are sitting there making every effort to attain it. He also added that as the word encyclopedia comes from the Greek word meaning a source of knowledge, it is better to give it an equivalent name for it. He suggested alternative names such as Mezgebe A’emro, Mezgebe Tibebat, Felege A’emro, Felege Tiobebat, etc.
During the ceremony, the Advisory Board and other members of the editorial board expressed their excitement for being participants in the project. They also added that it is important to anticipate problems through insight so that it is possible to go past it and exhibit patience and understanding. They also underlined the need to ask God in prayer for the success of the project.
During the event, an Advisory Board and an Editorial Board were set up. Accordingly, Prof. Shiferaw Bekele [chairman], Prof. Baye Yimam [vice chairman], Dr. Abate Mekurya [Secretary], became members of the Advisory Board while members for the Editorial Board are Dr Yohannes Adgeh [chairman], Dr. Abebaw Minaye [vice chairman], and Deacon Mulalem Kassa [secretary].
Finally, Dr Yohannes Adgeh, chairman of the project, expressed his appreciation to the participants of the event and the owners of Semien Hotel for letting them use the hall for free. Following the lunch program to the guests, the event was closed in prayer.