The War on Tigray heightens schism in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Ethiopia Tigray

(Source: Tghat) –

The War on Tigray heightens schism in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church based in Addis Abeba and its followers have been behind the war on Tigray. On 17 November 2020, the patriarchate convened in response to Abiy Ahmed’s call for all sections f society to support his war on Tigray. The patriarchate expressed its support. Ever since then, the church has not expressed any concern regarding the destruction of monasteries and churches and the massacres of Christians in churches and outside churches.

Similarly, christian associations and interest groups have been active supporters of the war. Prominent individual from powerful association like Mahbere Kidusan have been active supporters of the war.

As a result of this, a latent schisms between Tigrayan Christians and what Tigrayans call an Amhara patriarchate and associations in Addis Abeba has started to be intense.

Two recordings show the magnitude of the schism. One is of a Mahbere Kidusan meeting in Mekelle. Mahbere Kidusan is a powerful politico-religious association that covertly and openly works for Amhara supremacy.

It is not clear when the meeting occurred, but from the content, it is recent. It is also not clear who is chairing the meeting, but the participants see the chairing people as representative of the Amhara church in Addis Abeba. The Tigrayan participants accused of the association and its members of supporting the war, being a political Amhara association. The Tigrayans said they would not like to be a part of such association any more. Some said they will work to eradicate Mahbere Kidusan from Tigray. The participants also added that, now, there is no Tigrayan that is not aware of the political nature of the patriarchate in Addis Ababa and the church associations, particularly of Mahbere Kidusan, implying no Tigrayan Christian will like to associate themselves with such partisan patriarchate and associations.

Another recording was aired by Mahbere Kidusan youtube channel. Biniam, a Tigrayan member of Mahbere Kidusan talks about the sadness of Tigrayan Christians with respect to how the Church and Christians outside Tigray have reacted to the war and its devastation. He said the Church has lost Tigrayan christians for they don’t want to be a part of it any more.

It is to be remembered that when Ethiopian elders visited Mekelle for supposedly peace talks, Tigrayan religious leaders rejected a meeting with them citing the former had supported the war on Tigray.

A schism in the Ethiopian church is common. There has always been a difference between the Tigrayan churches and the various Amhara divisions. The churches in Amhara have always been part and parcel of Amhara’s political expansion and subjugation of other peoples. It was Emperor Yohannes IV who convened a conference in the 19th century bringing an end, at least temporarily, to the the schism in the church. But those Schism are now on the rise again, as churches in Gojam have resumed their previous ideological beliefs, and Tigrayan Christians do not want to belong to what they consider an Amhara political church.

It is also to be remembered that in 15th century, Tigray monks, the Dekike Estifanos, started a powerful movement opposing new introductions in the church by an Amhara king. Their movement spread to monasteries and churches in all of Tigray and beyond and became a powerful movement that shook the empire. The Dekike Estifanos were eventually exterminated with brute force and barbarity, but they have still fellowship in Tigray, and with current developments, this will likely grow.


1 thought on “The War on Tigray heightens schism in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church

  1. The War On Tigray Heightens Schism In The Ethiopian Orthodox Church – yes perfectly. We donot need any ethiopian orthodox church priest, pastor scholar even bishop who were silent when the laity were suffering and subjected to all sorts of unimaginable attrocities. When 166 dies in Shashemene, the local Bishop or the head of the ecclesiastical adminstrative staff were saying the killing is religiously motivated. However, when our priests are killed collectively, churches turned into ashes, nuns and monks slaugheterd , no one among EOTC synod member nor teh socalled Mahibrekidusan( intellegence headquarter )disocese talked about it . This is a complete manifested in the modern day history of Orthodox church and Christianity in general.

    BTW, the history of Ethiopian or Tigrian Orthodox church is the history of Christinity even if we live in a poor under developed nation. For me, Christianity evloved and took the current shape or form and composed of several tenets and organizations and divided into several denominations and cults – therefore, our history is the part of Christianity- one of the major religion in our planet.

    These modern day pharisees ( who do the gambling beneath the HOly Cross- collect taxes , tithes(Asrat bekurat )A portion of one’s annual income contributed voluntarily or due as a tax, especially a contribution of one tenth of one’s income for the support of the clergy or church.) priests and bishops of the current Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo church ( EOTC) are committing a serious crime by preferring to remain silent and oppose the attrocities in their time like St John the Evangelist who spoke boldly before the then royal family-Herod.

    People like me, we associate Ethiopianism, ethiopian flag etc, with EOTC and our christian faith , so we had been thiniking for so long to dissociate ourselves from ethiopia is like segregating ourselves from EOTC or Tewahedo haymanot.

    Because we were brainwashed by those crooked amharanized bahtawiyan , and preachers who tell us ethiopia is the only God-chosen country etc we are no longer ethiopians and couldn’t be member of EOTC in the blanket of maintaining one united EOTC whose leaders are ahadawuyan amhara people who teach about the upcoming one man who rule the world and Monarchical rule.

    We could still worship and serve God without being part of that tax collectors and without letting to suffer our future children for generations to come.There is no gurantee that our children could maintain peace and solidarity with neftegna generations. Our forefathers didn’t tell us about their challengs while living with Amhara but we discovered it now and learned a lesson after agreat deal of sacrifces that can’t be repaired(irreparable loss) at all- loss of our priceless people, heritages etc..

    I personally felt extremely sad upon hearing the massacre of Priests and clergymen. In many villages and towns, Priest preside public gatherings, manage adminstrative tasks and do multifacted activities , since they are the most educated and influencial members of teh society we lived in. It is great loss for so many people in those villages and small towns where these religious men were slaughetered. They are our father confessors , leaders in social and intercommunal lives, and professors in religious sphere, and played asignificant role in Fostering social cohesion which is defined as striving for greater inclusiveness, more civic participation and creating opportunities for upward mobility.

    A cohesive society is “one where people are protected against life risks, trust their neighbors and the institutions of the state and can work towards a better future for themselves and their families.

    To sum up, we donot need to be part of EOTC anymore. If I were the member of the governing body( It is enough for me the grace God had Given me , it is an example and intensifying phrase depicting how we got hurted when we lost our family and heroes ) , I will deport all those who claim they are ethiopians and part of EOTC- group of tax and tithe collectors- gamblers beneath the HOLy Cross.

    Mahibrekidusan members , most of them were as poor as a church mouse, destitutes, and school dropouts , but later on they became rich by stealing the riches of poor men in the village and asking school graduates to send money .
    During the those days that mark Russian Orthodox church and Ukrnian church schim, some police officers resigned and quitted their job , because they were not willing to take part in beating and bullying protestors who demonstrate their anger and feeling . This police officers decided to sacrifice thier job in abid to honor their religion and their religious leaders by disobeying the order they received from their leaders.

    Why do those eritrean and ethiopian soldiers kill, mutilate and torture church men and destroy our churches ? It was not only beacuse they were forced , but they received a huge amount of money and other incentives including all those precious commodites they stolen . I donot believe anyone who claim he is forced. Why did many soldiers fled to Sudan ?? Thank you

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