October 30, 2008

የላሊበላ ደብሮች አስተዳደር በ5 ሚሊየን ብር ዘመናዊ ሆቴል አስገነባ

ደሴ፤ ጥቅምት 8/2001/ዋኢማ/ በአማራ ክልል የላሊበላ ደብሮች አስተዳደር በ5 ሚሊየን ብር ወጪ ዘመናዊ ሆቴል አስገንብቶ ለአገልግሎት ዝግጁ ማድረጉን አስታወቀ።
የላስታ ወረዳ ቤተ ክህነት ጽሕፈት ቤትና የላሊበላ ደብሮች አስተዳደር ኃላፊ አባ ገብረየሱስ መኮንን ዛሬ ለዋልታ ኢንፎርሜሽን ማዕከል እንዳስታወቁት፤ በላሊበላ ከተማ በ1999 ዓ.ም. የካቲት ወር ግንባታው የተጀመረው ዘመናዊና ደረጃውን የጠበቀ ሆቴል በተያዘው ወር ተጠናቋል።
ሆቴሉ የተገነባው በዓለም አቀፍ ደረጃ እውቅና ያላቸው የላሊበላ ውቅር አብያተ ክርስቲያናትና በዙሪያው የሚገኙ የቱሪስት መስህብ ሃብቶችን ለሚጐበኙ ቱሪስቶች ምቹ የመኝታና የምግብ አገልግሎት ለመስጠት ነው።
ከቤተክርስቲያናቱ ገቢ ተመድቦ ግንባታው የተካሄደው ሆቴል፤ ምቹ አገልግሎት በመስጠት የሃገርን ገጽታ በመልካም ለመገንባት ምቹ ሁኔታ ይፈጥራል ብለዋል።ዘመናዊና ባህላዊ ገጽታ በመላበስ የተገነባው ሆቴል አካባቢውን ለመጐብኘት ለሚመጡ ጐብኚዎች የቆይታ ጊዜያቸው ለማራዘም ታስቦ ነው።
ሆቴሉ 56 ዘመናዊ አልጋዎች፣ ልዩ ልዩ የአገልግሎት መስጫ ክፍሎች ደረጃውን የጠበቀ የመሰብሰቢያ አዳራሽና ለአስተዳደር አገልግሎት የሚውሉ የተለያዩ ክፍሎች አሉት።
በቅርቡ አገልግሎት መስጠት ሲጀምር 45 ለሚሆኑ ሰዎች የስራ እድል ለመፍጠር የሚያስችል ነው ያሉት አባ ገብረየሱስ፤ ከቱሪዝም የሚገኘው ገቢ ለአካባቢ ልማት ለማዋልም የተጠናከረ እንቅስቃሴ እያደረጉ መሆኑን ገልፀዋል።
በተጨማሪም በ2 ሚሊየን ብር ወጪ አንድ የሃይማኖታዊ ሙዚየም ለመገንባትም ዝግጅት እያደረጉ መሆኑንም አስታውቀዋል።
የላሊበላ ከተማ ባህልና ቱሪዝም ኃላፊ አቶ በለጠ ወዳጄ በበኩላቸው፤ ቤተ ክህነት ያስገነባችው ዘመናዊ ሆቴል የውጭና የሃገር ውስጥ ጐብኚዎች ተቀብለው ለማስተናገድ የሚያስችልና የአገልግሎት መስጫዎች እጥረት የሚያቃልል ሲሆን፤ የቱሪዝም ገቢ ከፍተኛ የልማት አቅም መሆኑን የሚያስመሰክር ነው ማለታቸውን ዋልታ ኢንፎርሜሽን ማዕከል ዘግቧል።

የድሬ ሼከና ሁሴን መስጊድን በዓለም ቅርስነት ለማስመዘገብ እንቅስቃሴ በመደረግ ላይ ነው


Saturday, 25 October 2008
አዲስ አበባ፤ ጥቅምት 14/2001/ዋኢማ/ የድሬ ሼከና ሁሴን መስጊድን በተባበሩት መንግስታት የሳይንስና ባህል ድርጅት/ዩኔስኮ/ በዓለም ቅርስነት እንዲመዘገብ እንቅስቃሴ በመደረግ ላይ መሆኑን የኢትዮጵያ እስልምና ጉዳዮች ጠቅላይ ምክር ቤት አስታወቀ። በቅርሱ አካባቢ ለሚከናወኑ የልማት ስራዎች የሚውል ከ50 ሚሊየን ብር በላይ ገቢ ለመሰብሰብ የሚያስችል ቴሌቶን ለማካሄድ ስምምነት ዛሬ ተፈርሟል።

የኢትዮጵያ እስልምና ጉዳዮች ጠቅላይ ምክር ቤት ምክትል ፕሬዚዳንት ሼህ ኤልያስ ሬድማን በፊርማ ስነ ስርዓቱ ላይ እንዳስታወቁት፤ ጠቅላይ ምክር ቤቱ ድሬ ሼክ ሁሴና የነጃሺ መስጊድን ጨምሮ ሌሎች እስላማዊ ቅርሶች በዓለም ቅርስነት እንዲመዘገቡ አዲስ አበባ ከሚገኘው የድርጅቱ ኃላፊዎች ጋር በቅርበት እየሰራ ይገኛል።



በአገሪቱ የተለያዩ አካባቢዎች ተደብቀው የቆዩ ታሪካዊ ቦታዎች፣ መስጊዶችና የእምነቱ ታላላቅ ሰዎች ታሪክ ተገቢ ቦታውን እንዲያገኝና ለአገሪቱ መልካም ገጽታ ግንባታ የበኩሉን አስተዋጽኦ እንዲያበረክት ለማድረግ የሚያስችሉ ተግባራት እየተከናወኑ መሆኑን የገለጹት ሼህ ኤልያስ፤ ያለፉት እስላማዊ ልምዶችና ተሞክሮዎች የኢትዮጵያውያንን ተቻችሎ አብሮ የመኖር ባህል አጉልቶ እንደሚያሳይ ጠቁመዋል።



በኦሮሚያ ክልል ባሌ ዞን ጃራ ወረዳ የሚገኘውና ጥንታዊ መስጊዶችን፣ ቤተ መጽሃፍትንና እስላማዊ የህንጻ ጥበብ ያረፈባቸው ግንባታዎችን ያካተተው የድሬ ሼክ ሁሴን ቅርስ በዓለም ቅርስነት መመዝገቡ ለቱሪዝም ኢንደስትሪው ጠቃሚ እንደሆነ አመልክተው፤ ቅርሱ የኢትዮጵያ ብቻ ሳይሆን የአፍሪካ ቀንድ ታላላቅ መሻኮዎች መናኸሪያ እንደነበርም አስረድተዋል።



ቅርሱን በዓለም ቅርስነት ለማስመዝገብ በሚደረገው ጥረት አካባቢውን ለጎብኝዎች በሚመች መንገድ በመሰረተ ልማቶች ማጠናከር እንደሚያስፈልግ የገለጹት ምክትል ፕሬዚዳንቱ፤ የቱሪስቶች ማረፊያ ሆቴሎች፣ የመንገድ፣ የውሃና የመብራት አገልግሎቶችን ለማስፋፋት በቅርቡ ዓለም አቀፍ የገንዘብ ማሰባሰቢያ ቴሌቶን እንደሚካሄድ አስታውቀዋል።



ቴሌቶኑ በድሬ ሼክ ሁሴን በሚከበረው የአረፋ በዓል ላይ እንደሚጀመርና ጥር 3 ቀን 2001 በሸራተን አዲስ እንደሚካሄድና ሃምሳ ሚሊየን ብር ለማሰባሰብ መታቀዱን ጠቁመው፤ ሁሉም የህብረተሰብ ክፍሎች በቴሌቶኑ በመሳተፍ የዜግነት ሃላፊነታቸውን እንዲወጡ ጥሪ አቅርበዋል።



ምክር ቤቱ ለአካባቢ ነዋሪዎች ማህበራዊ ተቋማትን ደረጃ በደረጃ ለማማላት ጥረት እንደሚያደርግና ተመራማሪዎች በጃራ አካባቢ ለሚያደርጉት ምርምርም ተገቢውን ድጋፍ እንደሚያደርግ ሼህ ኤልያስ አስታውቀዋል።



የኦሮሚያ ክልል ባህልና ቱሪዝም ቢሮ ኃላፊ አቶ አልዪ ዑመር በበኩላቸው፤ የድሬ ሼክ ሁሴን ታሪካዊ ቅርስ በዓለም እውቅና አግኝቶ ተገቢ ጥበቃና እንክብካቤ እንዲደረግለት እየተሰራ ባለው ስራ ቢሮው ተሳታፊ መሆኑን ተናግረዋል።



ቅርሱን የማጥናትና ቅርሱ በሚገኝበት አካባቢ አስፈላጊ የልማት ስራዎች እየተሰሩ መሆኑን ገለጸው፤ የክልሉ መንግስት ቅርሱ ታሪካዊ አሻራውን እንደጠበቀ ለትውልድ እንዲተላለፍ ከሚመለከታቸው አካላት ጋር በቅንጅት እንደሚሰራ አረጋግጠዋል።



እስላማዊ ቅርሶችን ለማሰባሰብና ለመጠበቅ እየተደረገ ያለው ጥረት ተጠናክሮ መቀጠል እንዳለበት ገልጸው፤ ሙስሊሙ ህብረተሰብ ተገቢ ትኩረት ሊሰጠው እንደሚገባ አሳስበዋል።



የገቢ ማሰባሰቢያ ቴሌቶኑን ለማዘጋጀት የሚያስችለው ስምምነት በኢትዮጵያ እስልምና ጉዳዮች ጠቅላይ ምክር ቤት፤ በኦሮሚያ ባህልና ቱሪዝም ቢሮና በኢትዮጵያ ኢንቨስትመንት ፕሮሞሽን ሰርቪስ መካከል መፈረሙን ዋልታ ኢንፎርሜሽን ማዕከል ዘግቧል።

Somali woman executed by stoning: The Ugly Face of Islamization

A woman in Somalia has been stoned to death after an Islamic Sharia law court found her guilty of adultery. The woman was buried up to her neck and then pelted to death with stones in front of a large crowd in Kismayo.
It was the first such execution in the southern port city since Islamist insurgents captured it from government-allied forces in August.

A local Islamist leader said the woman, Aisho Ibrahim Dhuhulow, had pleaded guilty to committing adultery.

"She was asked several times to review her confession but she stressed that she wanted Sharia law and the deserved punishment to apply," said Sheikh Hayakallah.

A group of men performed the execution in one of the city's main squares in front of thousands of people, AFP news agency said.


October 19, 2008

የቫንኩቨር ቅድስት ማሪያም ቤ/ክርስቲያን እያጨቃጨቀች ነው

ጉዳዩ በፍርድ ቤት መታየት ጀምሯል
ውሳኔ በሚቀጥለው ሣምንት ይሰጣል

Ethiopia Zare (ቅዳሜ ጥቅምት 8 ቀን 2001 ዓ.ም. October 18, 2008)፦ ከተመሰረተች ከ13 ዓመት በላይ የሆናት የቫንኩቨር ካናዳ ቅድስት ድንግል ማሪያም ቤተክርስቲያን ውስጥ በተነሳ አለመግባባት የተጀመረው ክርክር በብሪቲሽ ኮሎምቢያ ጠቅላይ ፍርድ ቤት ቀርቦ መታየት መጀመሩ ተገለጸ።

የችግሩ መነሻ ቤተክርስቲያኗን ስም ያለአባላት እውቅና ስምና ገንዘብ አዛውራችኋል፣ መተዳደሪያ ደንብ ቀይራችኋል በሚል በአንድ በኩል ሂደቱን በተቃወሙ አባላትና በካናዳ አቀፍ ቤተ ክርስቲያን፤ በሌላ በኩል ደግሞ ስሙን አዛውራችኋል በተባሉ አምስት ግለሰቦችና ቤተክርስቲያኗ መካከል መሆኑ ታውቋል።

የቫንኩቨር ቅድስት ማሪያም ቤተክርስቲያን በ1995 ዓ.ም. በቫንኩቨር ነዋሪዎች ጠያቂነት ቶሮንቶ በሚገኘው የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ቤተክርስቲያን ካናዳ እውቅና አግኝቶ በስሩ የተቋቋመ ሲሆን፤ (በ2005) በኋላ የተመረጠው የሰበካ ጉባዔ የቤተክርስቲያኑን ስያሜ በአዲስ መልክ በማዞር "ኆኅተ ሰማይ ቅድስት ድንግል ማሪያም" በሚል በብሪቲሽ ኮሎምቢያ (ቫንኮቨር) ያስመዘግባል።

የቤተ ክርስቲያኗን ስም መዛወር በሰበካ ጉባዔ አባላትና በዋናው ቄስ መካከል በተፈጠረ አለመግባባት ከዓመት በኋላ ምዕመናንና አባላት ጋር ይደርሳል። የስሙ መዛወርና ከዛም አልፎ አዲስ ስያሜ የተሰጣት ቤተክርስቲያን በውጭ የሚገኙትንም ሆነ በሀገር ቤት ያሉትን ፓትርያርክ ሳንከተል ገለልተኛ ሆነን እንቀጥላን ቢሉም ምዕመናኑ ሳያውቁ ውስጥ ውስጡን ሀገር ቤት ካለው ሲኖዶስ አስተዳደር ጋር ግንኙነት ያደርጉ እንደነበር ታማኝ ምንጮች የገለጹ ሲሆን፤ የሰበካ ጉባዔው አካሄድም ያልጣማቸው ምዕመናንን አስቆጥቷል።
በአዲስ የተቋቋመውና ኆኅተ ሰማይ ቅድስት ድንግል ማሪያም የተሰኘው ቤተ ክርስቲያን ንብረትና ገንዘብ በ1995 በካናዳ አቀፍ የተቋቋመችው ቅድስት ማሪያም ቤተ ክርስቲያን ንብረትና ገንዘብ በመሆኑ ሰበካ ጉባዔው አዲሱን ስያሜ ይዞ መቀጠል ይችላል ንብረቱንና ገንዘቡን ለቀድሞዋና በእውነተኛው ፓትሪያርክ አቡነ ማርቆሪዮስ ለምትመራው በካናዳ አቀፍ ለተመሰረተችው ቤተክርስቲያን መመለስ አለበት በሚሉ ወገኖች የተነሳውን ጥያቄ በሽምግልና ለመፍታት ለሁለት ዓመታት ብዙ ጥረት ቢደረግም ውጤት አልባ በመሆኑ፤ ቫንኩቨር በሚገኘው የብሪቲሽ ኮሎምቢያ ጠቅላይ ፍርድ ቤት ቀርቦ መታየት ከመጀመሩም በላይ የቤተክርስቲያኒቱ ንብረትና ከ300 ሺህ በላይ የካናዳ ዶላር ካናዳ አቀፍ በሆነችውና በብጹዕ አቡነ ማርቆሪዮስ ስር በምትተዳደረው ቤተክርስቲያን እንዲመለስ የሚጠይቁት ወገኖች የእማኝነት ቃል ለአራት ቀናት ሲሰማ ቆይቷል።
ክሱ ቤተክርስቲያኗ ያለአባላት እውቅናና ሕጋዊ ባልሆነ መልኩ ስሟ በመቀየሩ፣ በነበረው ላይ አዲስ ቤተክርስቲያን መቋቋሙና በባንክ የነበረው ገንዘብ በመዛወሩ ወደቀድሞው ቦታ እንዲመለስ የሚል ሲሆን፣ የተከሳሽ ወገኖች የክሱን ሂደት በሚመለከት ምንም አይነት አስተያየት ለመስጠት ፍቃደኛ ሆነው አልተገኙም።
ሂደቱን በሚመለከት ያነጋገርናቸው ኢትዮጵያዊ የፖለቲካ ተንታኝ፣ የዚህ አይነት ችግሮች በተለይ አሁን ያለው አገዛዝ ሥልጣን ላይ ከመጣ ጀምሮ አሁን በእስር ላይ የሚገኙት የቀድሞ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ታምራት ላይኔ ከብጹዕ አቡነ መርቆሪዮስ የሚመራው የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ሲኖዶስ ጋር መሥራት አንችልም በማለት በተደጋጋሚ በሚያሳድሩት ተጽዕኖ ምክንያት ፓትርያርኩ ተወግደው አቡነ ጳውሎስ ከተተኩበት ጊዜ ጀምሮ በቤተክህነት ውስጥ ከፍተኛ ችግር መፈጠር መጀመሩን አውስተው፤ የዚህ አይነት ችግር በተለያዩ ዓለማት በሚገኙ አጥቢያ ቤተክርስቲያን ውስጥ ከመፈጠሩም በላይ አገዛዙ የየቤተ ክርስቲያኑን ገንዘብና ንብረት ለመቆጣጠር ብሎም በውጭ የሚገኘውን ኅብረተሰብ የተጠናከረ እንዳይሆን ከፍተኛ በጀት በማውጣት ሲሠራበት የቆየ መሆኑን ጠቁመዋል። አክለውም በካናዳም ይሁን በሌሎች ሀገራት የሚገኙ ምዕመናን አካባቢያቸውን ከእንደዚህ አይነት አደጋ በንቃት እንዲጠብቁ አሳስበዋል። እንዲሁም ጠቅላይ ፍርድ ቤቱ ውሳኔ በተለይ በካናዳ ፍርድ ቤቶች ለሚነሱ ተመሳሳይ ክርክሮች ገዥ ወይንም ጠንካራ የሚሆን ሕጋዊ መሰረት እንደሚጥል አስምረውበታል።

የኦርቶዶክስ ቤተክርስቲያንን ደንብና ሕግ በሚመለከት ያነጋገርናቸው አባት እንደሚሉት ደግሞ ፓትሪያርክ የሌለው ቤተክርስቲያን በምንም መልኩ የኦርቶዶክስ ቤተክርስቲያን ተብሎ ሊጠራ እንደማይችል በአጽንዖ ያስቀመጡ ሲሆን፤ ገለልተኛ ሆኖ ያለፓትሪያርክ መቀደስ እንደማይቻልና ገለልተኞች ነን በማለት የሚያደናግሩ ካሉም ምዕመናን በትኩረት እንዲከታተሉ አሳስበዋል።

October 18, 2008

Mahibere Kidusan's EOTC Past, Present and Future Exhibition in Boston

By SAMUEL M. GEBRU
CAMBRIDGE - On October 4 and 5 Mahibere Kidusan hosted a special exhibition in Cambridge, Massachusetts entitled The Ethiopian Church: Past - Present - Future. The event attracted hundreds of Ethiopians and Americans who were either members of the Ethiopian Church or were simply interested in its history, doctrine and practices. (PICTURES CAN BE FOUND HERE)

Mahibere Kidusan, or The Society of Saints, is a society of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and organized under the Sunday Schools Department. It was established in the 1980s by Ethiopian Orthodox youth who were concerned about the future of the Ethiopian Church and believed that they were the makers of its future. Mahibere Kidusan strives to promote and protect the faith and order of the Ethiopian Church from outside influences as well as to evangelize, spreading the Word of God to non-Orthodox Christians. Mahibere Kidusan founding members were primarily concerned with the expansion of Sunni Islam and Pentecostal Christianity in Ethiopia, especially during the Government of Mengistu Hailemariam when the Ethiopian Church was heavily suppressed. Today, Mahibere Kidusan is a successful society of the Ethiopian Church which has educated a robust section of our Church.

Recently, in connection with the Ethiopian Millennium of 2000, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has been opening its doors to the faithful and nonbelievers in order to exhibit the uniqueness of this Black African Church which has embedded itself into Ethiopian lifestyles, culture, customs and daily life. Through Mahibere Kidusan, the Ethiopian Church has organized successful exhibitions throughout Ethiopia and abroad. Under the guidance of the United States Archdiocese of the Ethiopian Church, Mahibere Kidusan's USA Center organized a two-day event at Saint Paul's African Methodist Episcopal Church in Cambridge.

I had the honor of attending the exhibition on Saturday, October 4, 2008. Upon entering, attendees were given an Amharic-English booklet on the Ethiopian Church as well as a Mahibere Kidusan DVD. The exhibition was a guided tour in groups of people, starting with the History of Christianity and the Ethiopian Church and ending with the society's views on the Future of the Church and a presentation on what Mahibere Kidusan really is.

The atmosphere of awareness, faith and curiosity was quite evident in the faces of the Orthodox youth and African Americans who attended. Clergy from several of Boston's Ethiopian Orthodox Churches were also present at the 10 am opening ceremony on Saturday. The guides were extremely well confident and knew what they were saying.

History of the Church
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the second oldest Church in Christianity. The fact is Ethiopia was Christian before Europe even glanced at God. Although it was during the reign of Emperor Ezana that Saint Frumentius (Abune Selama Kesate Birhan) was ordained the first Bishop of Axum and Ethiopia officially "became" Christian with the reception of the Holy Communion and the Divine Liturgy, Ethiopia was practicing ancient form of Christianity which has its roots with Phillip the Evangelist (Acts 8). Mind you, Phillip the Evangelist preached to the Finance Minister of Queen Gersamot Hendeke VII who reigned c. 42. Years after our Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected our beloved Ethiopia turned to his grace!

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Ethiopian Church is that it is the only church to put equal emphasis on both Covenants: the Old and New Testaments; hence its strong Judaic-Christian heritage. The Ethiopian Church appeals many people since it’s a Black African Church founded almost 1,500 years before the "white man" entered Africa spreading Catholicism and Protestantism and at least 300 years before Rome looked to Christ. The Ethiopian Church alongside with the Coptic Church is a member of the Miaphysite (Oriental) Orthodox Churches; they follow the non-Chalcedonian doctrine of the united divine and human natures of Christ, hence the word Tewahedo which is Ge'ez for "Being Made One" from the Arabic word Tawhid. Although the Miaphysite Churches attest to the united nature of Christ, they are in communion with the Eastern Churches which together make Orthodox Christianity. Unlike Catholics or Protestants, the Orthodox Churches are one, although usually they are nationalistic churches (e.g. Greek, Coptic, Ethiopian, Syrian, etc.).

Ethiopia's adoption of Christianity came at a time when Axum was practically a Jewish State after the Biblical trek of Queen Makeda to Jerusalem to visit King Solomon (1 Kings 10). Makeda believed in Solomon's God so much that when she returned to Axum she burned down all pagan temples and built Synagogues. The notion of equal importance between the Old and New Covenants is because it was out of the Old Covenant that the New one came, additionally the Old Covenant taught us about the Messiah who would save us all if we believe in him. Hence, the Ethiopian Church practices extremely rigorous and faith-testing fasts which consist of 250 days out of the year, we also practice male circumcision, taking shoes off when entering churches (Exodus 3:5) and veneration of the Ark of the Covenant.

Moreover, the Ethiopian Church's relations to Judaism are a result of the antiquity of the church and Ethiopia's deep and longstanding relations with Jerusalem. We follow dietary customs similar to Judaism's Kashrut: pork is absolutely prohibited and animals must be slaughtered in a specific way. Our women cannot enter the church during menses (menstrual cycle) and are expected to cover their hair (1 Corinthians 11) which is actually a New Testament practice too. Although this isn't strictly an Ethiopian Orthodox practice, men and women are segregated when facing towards the alter: men to the left, women to the right. We also celebrate both the Sabbath and Lord's Day although the Lord's Day is emphasized more since our Lord and Savior was resurrected on Holy Sunday (Easter).

Lastly, the recent history of the church within the past century provides a great source of hope for its future: the autocephaly of the Ethiopian Church from Alexandria and the consecration of Abune (Archbishop) Basilios as Patriarch and Catholicos of the Ethiopian Church guaranteed the permanent status of the Church in Ethiopia. Since Patriarch Abune Basilios, we've had a total of 5 Patriarchs, Abune Tewephilos, Abune Tekle Haimanot, Abune Merkorios and the current being Abune Paulos I, Patriarch and Catholicos of Ethiopia.

Iconography
Many have criticized the Catholic and Orthodox Churches for "worshiping" icons. However, icons are representations of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary who is essentially the primus inter pares of all Saints because of her status as Mother of God; scenes from the Bible, Church History and other Saints including the Archangels Michael and Gabriel and Ethiopia's Patron Saint, Saint George (Kidus Giorgis).

Many refer to the Second Commandment (Exodus 20:4-5) where God banned the idolatry of all images; however God also instructed that images of angels be used to decorate the Tabernacle where the Ark, Vestments, Alter, etc., were located (Exodus 25-26). For the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, icons are representations and aren't objects of worship. They increase our spirituality because we honor those who have exemplified the works of the Holy Spirit through their work and beliefs in the Lord (John 4:24).

Divine Liturgy
The Ethiopian Church's Divine Liturgy is celebrated in Ge'ez, the ecclesiastical language of Ethiopia. Although in the 20th century the Ge'ez Liturgy was translated into Amharic, Ethiopia's national language, as well as English and Arabic to better serve larger audiences. The Ge'ez word for Mass, Kidase, literally means "Praise" or "Liturgy."

The Liturgy is sacrificial because it consists of the Holy Communion (John 6:51), a sacrament instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ himself on Holy Thursday (Matthew 26:26-29). Many symbolic and real actions of both Testaments are taken in order to ensure the completeness of the Liturgy: the procession from Bethlehem to the Holy of Holies; offering the sacrifice on the alter; opening and closing of curtains; rising of incense and prostration. Additionally, the Liturgy is divine because it is angelic worship because within the Holy of Holies lies the Tabernacle where the Divine Liturgy is led by the priests (Revelation 15:5). Additionally, the Liturgy consists of great reverence and we extol God just as the Angels did (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:2, 10).

In the Ethiopian Church, there are times during Liturgy where the laity will cover their face and feet to indicate we cannot see His glory and aren't worthy to stand in His presence, respectively (Isaiah 6:1-3). While we pray, we will recite "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of His Glory." These actions are actions of the Angels and we remind ourselves to act humbly and with deep reverence to the Gospel. The Church argues that worship is not running around the church, jumping up and down or a Christian rock concert but a deep and profound spiritual moment where we pray in fear of the power of God but as we worship His love and grace. During the Devine Liturgy, we are filled with the Holy Spirit as we dedicate ourselves to God and serving His Kingdom. The Ethiopian Divine Liturgy is Angelic Worship, our worship is ancient and holy: there is a temple in Heaven, a church on Earth, a tabernacle (Tabot) in Heaven, one on Earth, we fall to the Glory of God and we offer the sweet fragrance of incense as did the angels. We worship in the Divine Liturgy in the same presence as the Angels, praying for the Glory of God.

For the Ethiopian Church, preparing for the Divine Liturgy starts Saturday evening, about 12 hours before the actual Liturgy. We need to be spiritually prepared by understanding the importance of God, confession, repentance and the significance of the Liturgy. Additionally physical preparation is needed by wearing our cleanest and best clothing in the presence and house of God (Exodus 19:10-11, Matthew 22:1-14 and 1 Peter 1:13) which reminds us of the spiritual purity we must attain, similar to when one attends a wedding, you will wear your suit. Women are expected to wear ankle-length dresses with a white shawl covering their hair and men should wear pants with a white shawl over their shoulders/chest (Revelation 4:2); keep in mind that white is the symbol of spiritual purity. As we enter the church we make the sign of the Cross, completely prostrate and worship. Additionally, for someone to be eligible to partake in the Sacrament of the Holy Communion the following need to be met: the person received a Baptism into the Ethiopian Church, Confessed and Repented, truly believes in the Mystery of the Eucharist and understands the importance of consuming the symbolic Body and Blood of Christ.

The actual Liturgy begins around 6:00 am with the Preparatory Service and ends with a Benediction for the laity to depart in peace. The colorful and spiritual mass is celebrated with prostration, singing, prayer and the reading of the Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) which suits the day. The Ethiopian Church has 14 Anaphoras, or Liturgy of the Faithful, which coincides with particular holy days and slightly differ, but attain the core elements of the Divine Liturgy.

The Diaspora Church
The Ethiopian Church is a national church in a transnational setting. From its Patriarchate in Addis Ababa, the Church commands 45 million adherents worldwide with the number rising due to the availability of the Ethiopian Liturgy in foreign languages and the expansion of the church's teaching and evangelism methods. The western expansion of the Church is widely due to the contributions of the late His Holiness Archbishop Abune Yeshaq who was originally sent by the late Emperor Haile Selassie to the Caribbean to convert the Rastafarians to Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity. Perhaps Abune Yeshaq's most famous convert is the reggae legend Bob Marley who was Baptized shortly before his death and given the Baptismal name Berhane Selassie (Light of the Trinity).

In the 1900s, particular under the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie and after the acceptance of the Coptic Orthodox Church to grant the Ethiopian Orthodox Church autocephaly, the Church spread throughout Africa, and Europe, North America and Latin America/Caribbean due to the waves of Ethiopians leaving Ethiopia during the past 40 years. Most Ethiopian Churches abroad have had humble beginnings, usually renting from an already existing congregation until enough money has been collected to purchase a permanent building.

The Diaspora Church has been severely paralyzed in the past few years over disputes regarding the legitimacy of the Ethiopian Patriarch Abune Paulos. A good number of Churches abroad have defected from the Addis Ababa Synod as a result and are under the leadership of former Patriarch Abune Merkorios of the "EOTC Synod in Exile." Despite issues surrounding legitimacy, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church abroad has been able to adapt to new and existing locations. For instance, we've always maintained monasteries in Israel, Syria, Egypt, etc., but churches in North America and Europe are relatively new. For instance, the great celebration of Meskel requires that a bonfire be set in honor of the bonfire that led Queen Helena to find the cross our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was crucified on. However, in the United States, for instance, a bonfire of that magnitude is not only a major fire hazard but most likely illegal thus the cultural creativity of Ethiopians has resulted in other ways to celebrate the Meskel Damera including Church Mass and using hand-held firecrackers/sparkling candles.

Challenges
Many challenges exist for the Ethiopian Church at present. Administrative challenges consist of modernizing the management system, not doctrine, of the church in order to adapt better to the complex world of globalization. Additionally, the Church’s Hierarchy and accountability systems need to be more efficient in order to identify those who are hampering the work of the Ethiopian Church. And most importantly is the issue regarding the legitimacy of the Patriarch of Ethiopia, Abune Paulos and to devise ideas on how to permanently solve that problem while a schism has already been in place.

Religious challenges come from both other Christian denominations as well as Islam. In Ethiopia, 50% of the population are Orthodox Christian, 10% are Protestant (mainly Pentecostal) and Catholic, 35% are Sunni Muslim and 5% are Jewish, Animists and smaller local religions. According to news and Ethiopian Government reports, Orthodox Churches have been burned and attacked by Muslims in Southern Ethiopia, leaving many injured or dead. There are also issues with the over exaggeration of actual population sizes for Ethiopian Muslims, making it seem like Ethiopia is a Muslim-dominated nation.

Additionally, Catholicism and Pentecostalism present challenges to the development of the Church, particularly Pentecostalism which is rising in numbers due to its liberal approach to Christianity. Many view the Ethiopian Church as being archaic however it is a sign of its beauty and antiquity since it is an Ethiopian church and a pre-colonial church which dates back to about 10 years after the Lord was crucified. Pentecostalism’s influence on the Ethiopian Protestant realm is quite significant since most Protestants are regarded to as Pentay even if they’re not Pentecostal.

The Future
The future of the Ethiopian Church looks very promising. Mahibere Kidusan and the entire Sunday Schools Department are educating a new line of robust church scholars and laity who will be able to protect and pass on the traditions and faith our Fathers passed on to us from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Many Ge’ez manuscripts are being translated into Amharic and various other Ethiopian languages and are simultaneously being translated into English, French, etc.

Additionally, many faithful will argue that there’s a great potential of evangelism with the African and African Diaspora community since the Ethiopian Church is indeed a Black African church. Ethiopia inspires many people of African descent and the notion of an Ethiopian Church is quite attractive to many, including those who attended the Mahibere Kidusan exhibition.

I end with a verse from the Gospel of Luke: “For to whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:48).

Author's Note: This article contains two components. First, it gives an overview to the Mahibere Kidusan exhibition that was held in Boston on October 4 and 5. Second, it gives more detail on the Ethiopian Church through some of the material that was presented at the exhibition. Nothing here is conclusive based on this article and it is best to contact your local Ethiopian Orthodox Priest or Bishop for more information. The information presented here is for informative purposes, not theological.

The author, Samuel Gebru, is a 16-year-old Ethiopian youth activist, social entrepreneur, humanitarian and 12th grade student at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He can be reached at smgebru@gmail.com.

_________________________________
Sources:

1. Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Patriarchate: http://www.eotc-patriarch.org/EOC_Today.htm

2. Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Patriarchate: http://www.eotc-patriarch.org/educational.htm

3. Mahibere Kidusan: http://www.eotc-mkidusan.org/English/OrthodoxForB/breif_his_ch.htm

4. Holy Trinity Orthodox Church: http://www.holy-trinity-church.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=67&Itemid=81

5. U.S. Department of State International Religious Freedom Report of 2008, Ethiopia Country Practices: http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2008/108368.htm

6. U.S. Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook, Ethiopia: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/et.html


October 17, 2008

"King" Nejashi - Folktale, Farce or History?

"King" Nejashi - Folktale, Farce or History?
The Ethiopian Church is currently under attack from fundamentalist groups. One of the issues they continuously talk about is the issue of "A Christian king converted to Islam", Nejashi, who is a talking point of extremists and moderate Muslims alike.
There was leniency from the Christian side to attest Islamic claims. However, recently Christians have started giving well documented replies to extremists' allegations and reclaiming Ethiopian history. One of these outstanding articles is posted here. Please go through it and forward to your friends.

October 12, 2008

Saving Christianity from itself

By Haaretz Editorial
Jerusalem, christians

Israel's responsibility for the holy places in Jerusalem sometimes involves it in disputes and power struggles between religious communities. There is no better example than the centuries-old dispute between the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Coptic Church over the control of the Deir al-Sultan Monastery on the roof of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City.
According to Christian tradition, Deir al-Sultan (the sultan's monastery) was part of the ninth stop on the Via Dolorosa, the path Jesus took to his crucifixion. The Ethiopians and Copts fought over this sacred site and all the governments that ruled here were forced to deal with the dispute.

In the days of Ottoman, British and Jordanian rule in East Jerusalem, the Copts received preferential treatment. At Easter 1970, under Israeli rule, when the Copts went to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Ethiopian monks took advantage of the situation and changed the locks at the entrances to Deir al-Sultan. The Israeli police posted at the site to prevent violent clashes did not intervene, and since then the Ethiopians have controlled the monastery.
Over the years several attempts have been made to settle the dispute and a special ministerial committee was set up for this purpose. Israel was required to take into consideration its sensitive relations with Ethiopia and Egypt, where the Coptic Church is based. But the situation did not change and experts say there is no chance of reaching an agreement between the rival churches.

The problem is that structures at Deir al-Sultan are deteriorating. At the beginning of the week, Haaretz cited a report of an engineer hired by the Ethiopian Church who described "an emergency situation" at the site. He warned that the structures were in danger of collapse, which would jeopardize monks' and visitors' lives and damage the Church of the Holy Sepulchre itself.

The Ethiopian patriarch told Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan of the building's condition and warned them of the danger. The Interior Ministry suggested renovating the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at the ministry's expense four years ago, but conditioned this on an agreement between the Ethiopians and Copts. No agreement was reached and the Ethiopian patriarch even objected to it explicitly in his approach to the ministers.

Due to the risk to the lives of the monks and visitors and the danger to one of the world's holiest sites, the government must not neglect the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It must exercise its authority to maintain public safety and repair the building, taking great care not to intervene or take a stand in the fundamental dispute between the churches.

Such an intervention has precedents: In 1919 and 1927, under British rule, the Jerusalem municipality carried out vital repairs in Deir al-Sultan, then in the Copts' hands. Mayor Uri Lupolianski has said he would try to mediate between the churches. Even with good will, it is hard to see Lupolianski resolving such an ancient dispute. He would be better off working out with the government how best to save the Christian holy site from collapse, drawing on precedents and consulting with the Egyptian and Ethiopian governments.

Iraqi Archbishop: Christians Face 'Liquidation'

By Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Sat, Oct. 11 2008 01:10 PM EDT


The most senior Catholic cleric in Iraq warned that Christians in his country face “liquidation” if the Iraqi government and the U.S. military do not step-up protection for religious minorities in Iraq.
“We are the target of a campaign of liquidation, a campaign of violence,” said Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako, reported Agence France-Presse on Friday. “The objective is political.”

Sako’s comment comes after police reported earlier this week that seven Christians have been killed in separate attacks this month. Police found bullet-riddled bodies of seven Christians in October, with the latest body of a Christian day laborer found on Wednesday.

Since the U.S.-led Iraq war in 2003, more than 200 Christians have been killed, dozens of churches bombed, and more than half the Iraqi Christian population have left the country, according to the archbishop.

He called on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shiite Muslim-led government to act on repeated promises to protect Iraq’s minorities.

“We have heard many words from Prime Minister Maliki, but unfortunately this has not translated into reality,” he said. “We continue to be targeted. We want solutions, not promises.”

Iraqi Christians, who have no powerful tribes or militias, are completely defenseless and entirely dependent on the government and the U.S. military for protection against extremists, he said.

“We believe it is the responsibility of Americans who occupy our country to protect Iraqis,” Sako said.

He noted that six Christians had recently been killed in less than a week in the northern city of Mosul, including three Christian men who were killed within 24 hours.

“These attacks are not the first,” the senior cleric said. “Unfortunately, they will not be the last.”

Sako, based in the northern city of Kirkuk, has overseen the Christian community in Mosul since the death of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho in March. Rahho, the second most senior Catholic cleric in Iraq, was kidnapped by gunmen after Mass and found dead by the roadside in Mosul two weeks later.

“Those who carry out the attacks want to either push Christians out of the country or force them to ally with some political projects,” Sako said.

But he called on Christians to not lose faith in the country, and stated that “Christians are true sons of Iraq.”

Christians make up a disproportionate number of those fleeing Iraq as refugees to neighboring countries. Although Christians make up only three percent of Iraq’s population, they account for nearly half of the refugees leaving the country, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Christian leaders in Iraq and in the United States are currently urging the Iraqi parliament to reinstate a law that would reserve a quota of seats for minorities in provincial council elections.

The Iraqi Parliament had recently dropped the clause in its new provincial election law, causing human rights groups and the U.N. special representative Staffan de Mistura to criticize the decision and demand lawmakers to reinstate Article 50.

October 11, 2008

Ethiopian Census Finalized


ADDIS ABABA:- The much awaited Ethiopian census is finally finalized and ready to be public. According to the government aliened Ethiopian Reporter,the agency finalized the job a year after the actual survey was done.

The results are much awaited by religious groups, especially by Muslim Ethiopians, who claimed to have the majority lead in the country's demography. According to the 10 year old previous census, unlike Islamic claims, followers of Christianity are majority in 62.10 %, followed by Muslims at 32 %.

The current census was not an honest and free numbering since the Muslim groups intervened to undermine the number of Christians in Ethiopia. Having Mrs. Samiya Zechariah, a Muslim, as head of the agency has made the issue more complicated. Any exaggerated shift in the demography will definitely upset many Ethiopians, especially the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, who is feeling Islamic dominance in these two decades.

October 10, 2008

Saudi-funded textbooks being used in America's K-12 classrooms

Teaching, among other things, that Jesus was a "Palestinian," the state of Israel never existed, and that the Muslims discovered America before Columbus. At this rate, perhaps even Saudi grade-school textbooks -- complete with jihadi and dhimmi declarations -- will come to instruct American school-children. Go to CBN link for complete video report.


"Public Schools Teach the ABCs of Islam," by Erick Stakelbeck for CBN News, October 9:

CBNNews.com - Several recent studies have shown that American students are alarmingly ignorant about U.S. history and world events.

Experts have contributed the problem to everything from failing schools to substandard teachers.

But what about content?

For instance, did you know that Muslims discovered America? Or that Jerusalem is an Arab city? That's just some of the "history" that students in America's K-12 classrooms have been taught in recent years--with the help of taxpayer money.

A new report by the non-profit Institute for Jewish and Community Research finds that American high school and elementary textbooks contain countless inaccuracies about Christianity, Judaism, Israel and the Middle East.

The Institute examined 28 of the most widely-used history, geography and social studies textbooks in America. It found at least 500 errors.

One book ignored the Jewish roots of Christianity, saying the faith was founded by a "young Palestinian" named Jesus.

Another stated as fact that the Koran was revealed to Mohammed from God.

Yet another said ancient Jewish civilization contributed "very little" to to the arts and sciences.

Textbooks like these are used by millions of schoolchildren in all 50 states.[...]

Harvard is one of 18 universities that receives government funding under Title VI of the Higher Education Act of 1965. To qualify for that funding, the universities are required to conduct outreach to K-12 teachers, helping them to shape lessons for schoolchildren. Elementary and secondary teachers have taken full advantage of the arrangement: after all, they believe they're getting expert insight on Islam and the Middle East from distinguished university scholars.

"You have a lot of politically naive teachers--well intentioned teachers who do want their students to learn more about Islamic history," says Stotsky. "It has not been well covered in most history courses they've ever taken, so they do genuinely want to learn more for themselves and teach their students more."

In some cases they may be getting more than they bargained for: the Saudi government has donated millions of dollars to Middle East Centers at universities that receive Title VI funding.

The Harvard Middle Eastern Studies Center--whose recommendations to the Massachusetts Board originally drew Stosky's concern--is one of them. As CBN News reported earlier this year, the Harvard Center received a $20 million donation from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in 2005. Georgetown University--another title VI recipient--also received $ 20 million from the Prince that same year.

It's through these Title VI university centers--all of them government-sanctioned and taxpayer supported--that Saudi-funded materials find their way into K-12 classrooms.

"Saudi donations to American universities should be seen in a much larger picture of Saudi promotion of a Saudi point of view," said Daniel Pipes, Director of the Middle East Forum in Philadelphia. "Whether it be Islamic or political, the Saudis have a point of view. And they have been very clever and very generous over the decades to promote that point of view."


24hr Orthodox Tewahedo TV Start Operation

24hr Orthodox Tewahedo TV started broadcasting. An additional channel to about one year-old-Ethiopian Television Network, the EOTC TV will broadcast different Tewahedo programs from USA. We thank God for this achievment.


The organizers said all channels listed to be free services and "are available only when the content provider broadcast their channels." From time time they will add "new contents, remove unavailable or low quality contents, etc."
Good Job ETN.

Ethiopian Television Network brings over 40 free TV channels. It is with "great excitement that ETN offers these live channels for free. Any one around the globe who has a computer and high speed internet connection (Broadband) can watch: ETN Live, ETN Music, EOTTV, IEEC, CNN, EuroSport, Fashion TV, and much more ... for free" said ETV press release.

Good News!!! Good Job!!!
Cher Were Yaseman!!!!

Press Release
Breaking News!
This breaking news is coming to you from Ethiopian Television Network (ETN).
ETN has greatly expanded and diversified its offers to Ethiopians both at home and abroad. And it is on the verge of unveiling its outstanding programs and delivery options. Many have been asking why ETN went off the air during the last several weeks. The reason is what you are about to hear and see soon. But first, ETN apologizes to its faithful customers for the temporary interruption. The good news is that ETN has returned with great offers for every one.

The first piece of good news is that ETN has now decided to provide its customers with free service. Did you get that? Yes, the service is now free. There is no catch and there is no gimmick here. ETN has quickly come of age and it has joined the ranks of other major television networks which provide free basic service to the general public and rely instead on ads, investments, and specialized offers to particular groups. There will be no charge to access ETN’s programs and you can tune in from any where in the world and at any time. In other words, you can tune in 24 hours a day 7 days a week. And this remarkable service truly represents a sea change for all Ethiopians. This service is one of a kind and it is ready to win the hearts and minds of its viewers by providing great programs.

From now on, ETN will provide multiple channels and programs to make it possible for groups and individuals to choose what they like to watch and listen to. For example, there will be channels dedicated to religious programs, entertainment, movies, documentaries and much more. Ethiopian Orthodox churches as well as Ethiopian Evangelical churches will have their own dedicated channels to hear sermons, listen to music, and communicate with their members by way of announcements and special features. Businesses will be able to advertize to a large audience across state and national boundaries and expand their service. Artists, scholars, and community organizations will be able to reach much larger audience than they do now.

Perhaps, the most exciting aspect of ETN’s new service is its commitment to extend its offers to Ethiopia which will usher in a new day. ETN will become a bridge between Ethiopians at home and their brothers and sisters in the Diaspora. Here again, businesses and other organizations will have opportunities to expand their products and services. Ethiopians in the Diaspora can play a crucial role in making this service available in Ethiopia. Details on how this can happen will be communicated in the next few weeks.

Please stay tuned for further information and instruction.

With best regards,
Ethiopian Television Network

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የአቡነ ጳውሎስ "ሐውልተ ስምዕ"

ነጻ ፓትርያርክ ምርጫ ቢሆን ኖሮ ማንን ይመርጡ ነበር? እንበልና ሁሉም ነገር ሥርዓቱን ጠብቆ የተከናወነ የእጩዎች ምርጫ ቢሆን ኖሮ፣ አሁን የምናነሣቸው ጉድለቶች ባይኖሩ ኖሮ፣ 6ኛው ፓትርያርክ እንዲሆን የምትመርጡት ማንን ነበር? (ማሳሰቢያ፦ አሁን ያለው ክፍፍል እና የመንግሥት ተጽዕኖ ባይኖር ኖሮ ተብሎ የሚመለስ ጥያቄ ነው። የምን “ባይኖር ኖሮ ነው” የሚል አስተያየት ካለዎትም እናከብራለን።)