Ethiopian Church reconciliation in Melbourne

by Befekir Kebede
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A formal and public reconciliation has taken place among the five Ethiopian Orthodox Churches in Melbourne at a ceremony held on 29 September 2018.

Attended by hundreds of congregations and key clergymen from the five churches, the ceremony followed the recent unification of two Synods of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

The Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church split into two in 1991 after the TPLF-led regime that took power in that year forcibly removed the Patriarch of the Church and sent him into exile.

The exiled Patriarch, Abune Merkorios, and the Synod he led continued serving followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the United States and around the world including Australia while another Synod was created in Ethiopia.

That changed abruptly this year when a popular uprising forced the removal of the TPLF from power, resulting in the emergence of a new Prime Minster from another political party in March.

The new Prime Minister came with a reformist agenda, who took it on himself to bring the two Synods together.

Following the Prime Minister’s efforts to facilitate the repatriation of the exiled Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and its Patriarch, an announcement was made in July that the Synod and the Patriarch would return to Ethiopia ending 27 years of division and feud that plagued the Church and its followers.

The announcement was made in Washington, D.C., where the Prime Minister met with Abune Merkorios and senior members of the exiled Synod.

On 1 August 2018, the reinstatement of the exiled Synod was confirmed when the Patriarch and senior members of the Synod arrived back in Ethiopia.

Accepting the Prime Minister’s invitation, the Patriarch and senior members of the exiled Synod flew back to Ethiopia on the aircraft carrying the Prime Minister and other senior government officials.

Just under two months later, the five Ethiopian Orthodox Churches in Melbourne were invited to a reconciliation event which was held in the western Melbourne suburb of Maidstone.  

Choirs of the various Churches performed moving hymns, praising God for the reconciliation that many thought wouldn't come about at this point in time.

Now that the two Synods have become one, the divisions are not expected to remain and this public display of reconciliation marks the end of the divisions that plagued the community and the beginning of a new era of cooperation and togetherness.

Below are photos taken at the Melbourne reconciliation event.

 

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne

 Church Reconciliation in Melbourne