November 24, 2009

የእኛ ቤተ ክርስቲያን “በአማኞቿ ላይ ያላት ሥልጣን” እና “ተሰሚነት” ምን ድረስ ነው?

(ደጀ ሰላም፤ ኖቬምበር 23/2009)፦ ከሰሞኑ የአሜሪካንን ዜና ለተከታተለ ሰው የታዋቂው የጆን ኤፍ. ኬኔዲ ትንሽ ወንድም (በቅርቡ ያረፉት) ዝነኛው ሴናተር ቴድ ኬኔዲ ልጅ የሆኑት ፓትሪክ ኬኔዲ ከእምነት አባታቸው ካቶሊካዊው ጳጳስ Bishop Thomas Tobin ጋር የገቡትን እሰጥ አገባ ማግኘቱ አይቀርም። ነገሩ የተጀመረው ፓትሪክ ኬኔዲ ከካቶሊክ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ጋር በሚጋጭ መልኩ “ውርጃን በመደገፋቸው”፣ ይህም ሳያንሳቸው “መቁረብ መቀጠላቸው” ነው። ስለዚህ የአካባቢው ጳጳስ “መቁረብ እንዲያቆሙ” በምሥጢር ምክር አዘል ማሳሰቢያ ከሰጧቸው በኋላ ነው። አቶ ፓትሪክ ኬኔዲ ይህንን “የግል ውይይት” ለአደባባይ በማብቃታቸው ነገሩ የሚዲያ ሲሳይ ሆኗል። ለዛሬ የደጀ-ሰላም አጀንዳ የሆነበት ምክንያት “እገሌ ትክክል ነው፣ እገሌ ትክክል አይደለም” ለማለት ሳይሆን አንድ ጳጳስ በታላላቅ ፖለቲከኞች ላይ ሳይቀር ያለው የሞራልና የሥልጣን የበላይነት ስላስገረመኝ ነው። ጳጳሱ ካቶሊኩን ፓትሪክ ኬኔዲን “እንዲህ ማድረግ የለብህም” ያሏቸው ፓትሪክ “ካቶሊክ መሆናቸው” በሰጣቸው ሥልጣን ነው።
ነገሩን ወደ እኛ እንመልሰው።

እንደዛሬው “ቤተ ክርስቲያንና መንግሥት ተለያይተዋል” ሳይባሉ ይልቁንም “ክርስትና የሀገሪቱ ብሔራዊ ሃይማኖት” ከነበረበት ዘመን ጀምሮ ቤተ ክርስቲያን (አባቶች) በአማኞቻቸው ላይ በተለይም የመንግሥት ሥልጣን በያዙት ላይ ምን ያህል “መንፈሳዊ ሥልጣን” አላቸው/ነበራቸው? በተለይም “አብዮት ፈንድቶ”፣ አብዮት ልጆቿን “እየበላች” ልጆቿ ያልሆኑትንም “እየበላች”፣ ራሷም “ከተበላች” በኋላ እና አሁን ደግሞ “ሕዝብ የራሱን ዕድል በራሱ ይወስን” ከተባለ በኋላ በሀገሪቱ ውስጥ ብዙ ብዙ ነገር ቢደረግም/ እየተደረገ ቢሆንም “ቤተ ክርስቲያን የዳር ተመልካች” ናት እንጂ ከነገሩ ያስገባት/ የሚያስገባት የለም። አንዳንድ ምሳሌዎችን ላንሣ።
ባለፉት 40 ዓመታት በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ በተደረጉ ነገሮች የትኛውም መንግሥት የቤተ ክርስቲያንን ይሁንታ አይጠብቅም። ደርግም ሆነ ኢሕአዴግ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ድርሻ ያላት መሆኗንም የሚያውቁ አይመስለኝም። የተለያዩ ሕጎች ሲወጡና ሲጸድቁ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ከራሷ እምነትና ሥርዓት ጋር አነጻጽራና አመሳክራ “ይህ ይሁን፣ ይህ ይደረግ” አትልም። የሚጠይቃትም የለም። ሌላው ቀርቶ ጋብቻን፣ ውርጃን፣ የክርስቲያኖችን የቀን ተቀን ሕይወት የሚመለከቱ ሕጎች ሲወጡ ቱባ ቱባ ባለሥልጣናቱ ኮታቸውን ኮትተው፣ ከረቫታቸውን ከርቭተው ሲያውካኩ ውለው ያድራሉ እንጂ ከዚያ መካከል የቤተ ክርስቲአን አቋም ይህ ነው ተብሎ ሲነገር ሰምተን አናውቅም። ችግሩ ሁለት ነው።
ችግር አንድ፦ የኢትዮጵያ ፖለቲካና ፖለቲከኞች ለቤተ ክርስቲያኒቱ ክብር የላቸውም። አመለካከታቸውም ጤናማ አይደለም።
ችግር ሁለት፦ ቤተ ክርስቲያኒቱና መሪዎቿ ቤተ ክርስቲያኒቱን የሚያስከብሩ አይደሉም። ቤተ ክህነቱ ራሱ ዘመኑ በሚመጥነው ዕውቀት የተጠናከሩ ሊቃውንቱን ከዓመት ዓመት እያጣ በመሔዱ አሁን ያለው አስተዳደር “ግብረ በላ” ካህናትን የሰበሰበ በመሆኑ እንዲሁም ዕውቀታቸውም እዚህ ግባ የሚባል ባለመሆኑ ሀገሪቱ ውስጥ እየተደረገ ስላለው ክርክር በቂ ዕውቀት የላቸውም። ቤተ ክርስቲያኒቱ ዕውቀት ያላቸው ሊቃውንት ስለሌሏት ሳይሆን ዕውቀት ያላቸውን በተገቢው ቦታ አስቀምጦ የሚሠራ አሠራር ስለሌለ ለሁሉም ጉዳይ ተጠያቂ የሆኑ ሊቃውንት ያለቦታቸው በመጣላቸው ቤተ ክርስቲያኒቱ ድምጽ አልባ ያውም የሚገባት ክብር የማይሰጣት ልትሆን በቅታለች።
ቤተ ክርስቲያን ያላትን ተሰሚነት ማግኘት አለባት። ካህናቷም ከእርጥባን ልመና ወጥተው፣ የማንንም ፊት ሳያዩ፣ ሳይፈሩና ሳያፍሩ እምነታቸው የሚያዛቸውን የሚናገሩ እንዲሆኑ ምኞታችን ነው። የእነርሱ መናገር ብቻ ሳይሆን የሚሰሙ (ሰ ጠብቆ ይነበብ) መሆን ሲችሉ በርግጥም ቤተ ክርስቲያኒቱ ተሰሚ ሆናለች ማለት ነው። አለበለዚያ ግን የእግዚአብሔር እንደራሴዎችና ዐዕይንተ-እግዚአብሔር (የእግዚአብሔር ዓይኖች) መባላቸው የቃላት ኳኳታ ብቻ ነው የሚሆነው። በቅርቡ በፈረንጁ ሀገር የሚገኙ አንድ ቄስ (ሰባኪም ናቸው) ዘበነ ለማ የተባሉ፣ “አንዲት እህት ቅዱስ ቁርባን እንዳትቀበል ለመከልከል በመሞከራቸው” ጠብ መነሣቱን በድረ ገጾች ላይ አንብበናል። ሴትዬዋም የቀሲሱን ቃል እንዳልተቀበሉም ተጠቅሷል። በጠቅላላው አንድ ካህን የሚናገረው ቃል፣ ትምህርቱም ሆነ ውግዘቱ የሚሰማው ሲያጣ “ወፈ ገዝት” (ወፍን እንዳትበርሪ ብሎ የሚገዝት) ይሆናል። የሚናገረው ምንም እርባና አይኖረውም። ያን ጊዜ ክህነትም ዋጋ ታጣለች፣ ካህኑም ሥልጣኑ የማይሠራ ይሆናል ማለት ነው። ከዚህ አንጻር ከመረመርነው ካህናቶቻችን (ጳጳስም ሆነ ፓትርያርክ፣ ሰባኪም ሆነ ቄስ) ያላቸው ብሔራዊ ተሰሚነት ምን ያህል ነው ብለን መጠየቅ አለብን። ከዚህ በፊት አንድ ፀሐፊ በዚህ ርእስ ዙሪያ ግሩም ጽሑፍ አቅርቦ እንደነበር እናስታውስ ይሆን?
በጠቅላላው ተሰሚነት ያለው ቤተ ክህነት፣ ተሰሚነት ያላቸው አባቶች እንፈልጋለን!!!
ቸር ወሬ ያሰማን፣
አሜን
Is the Orthodox Church losing ground?
By arefe (http://arefe.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/is-the-orthodox-church-losing-ground/#more-1448)
One thing which may be a cause for concern in the new census is its indication of decrease in the number of Orthodox Christians, traditionally the dominant church in Ethiopia. The orthodox now comprise 43.5 percent of the population, as against just over 50 percent in 1994.The erosion is mainly due to the rising influence of Pentecostal churches and the recent Muslim revival in the country, it was said.
What does this mean?Why is the Orthodox Church finding it hard to cope with its competitors, the evangelicals and the radical Islam?
What implications does it have for the future? What should be done to reverse the trend?
The rise of secularism and the erosion of faith, and a new mood of independence are often cited for why the Orthodox Church is losing its privileges status.
But historian Professor Medhane Tadesse in his 2003 essay, “Religion, Peace and the Future of Ethiopia” mentions other reasons. The Orthodox Church (EOC) is “weak economically and organizationally,” he says.
“Lack of vision and leadership is part of the problem. Orthodox Christians do their teaching more in their capacity as committed individual believers than as commissioned agents of an international church organization,” writes Prof. Medhane.
There is a marked contrast in the modus operandi between the EOC on the one hand and the charismatic movement and radical Islam on the other, according to the analyst.
“The latter have shown a capacity for mobilization, discipline, patience, flexibility and social engagement that has consistently outshone the EOC. In fact, the EOC has become an easy prey and a soft target for all other religious institutions as each of them seems to be in competition to secure as many members of the EOC as possible for their churches”, argues the scholar.
The EOC opposes what it calls the unnecessary project of evangelizing the Evangelized. This remained key in the conflict between missions and the EOC for many years. According to Prof.Tadesse Tamrat, the clear basis for the permission given by the Ethiopian Christian rulers to the missionaries to operate in their domains was always the understanding that they try to convert only non-Christian subjects of the periphery. Now both revivalism and freedom of movement and other structural, financial and organizational advances have enabled other churches to focus on the center and target followers of the EOC.
Prof. Medanhe notes the fact that the EOC is losing its dominant position could be bad for the country.
”One major basis for the long history of religious tolerance in Ethiopia , I believe, was the feeling on the part of EOC that its dominant position was not in any way challenged; hence it was willing to tolerate the other religions. Now that equilibrium is threatened. Indeed, Ethiopia is undergoing a fundamental revolution, perhaps the deepest in its history, in the area of religion. The religious fabric is in perpetual turmoil. Engulfed by other religions, both radical and moderate, the EOC seems to be worried about losing members to missionary churches and the Wahabis. The long-held belief that the missionaries came to Ethiopia to destroy the Ethiopian Orthodox church has a large following. Arguably, if it has to survive it must prevail. Sooner or later this will lead to violent confrontation and conflict. The chronic problem of denying burial grounds to the Pentecoste and the violent confrontation during religious holidays between the EOC and the Pentecoste in recent years should be taken a s early warnings of an imminent problem.” says the Prof. Medhane.
But Prof. Medhane points that the big threat also come from foreign involvement which he said is “at its highest level.”
“The Saudi-based Muslim World League has remained at the forefront of spreading Wahabism in Ethiopia since the 1980’s.more disturbing, Ethiopia has occupied center stage in the struggle between radical and moderate Islam at a global level. One of the principal points of difference between moderates and extremists is the position they take on Ethiopia, i.e. Christian Najashi versus Islam Al-Nejashi. The former considers Ethiopia as a country which saved Islam and it should be accepted and tolerated while the latter believes that Ethiopia has remained a major obstacle to the southward (Sub-Saharan African) expansion of Islam and it should be punished. This camp seeks not to ensure the rights of Muslims but rather total Islamic victory over the country. Saudi Arabia’s more fundamental wing is at the forefront of this militancy against Ethiopia,” he points out.Radical Islamic groups are flourishing in Ethiopia in various forms and organizations, different from each other and depending rather on thier association with external funding than ideology.Hence, poverty at home and financial and organizational support from abroad is dramatically influencing the nature of political Islam in Ethiopia.

Despite the setbacks, the scholar argues that Orthodox is still important to the Ethiopians.
“Whether it is against aging and frustrating or it is more utopian than practical, the EOC still commands a sizable and very influential section of the Ethiopian society.”
But, as the religious equilibrium is collapsing very quickly, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church should be encouraged to face the challenges. How?
The first advice is to look out for religious militancy that come from foreign radical Islam and evangelical church.Explaining his reason, Prof. Medhane says that indigenous Islam and the early actvities of the Ethiopian Evanglical church were not directed against the Ethiopian state.Indeed although excluded from national life, indigenous Muslims had infact proven themselves to be unwilling to collaborate with external aggresive forces and they were no less loyal or patriotic than Christians.There has been an ongoing process of religious revivial in Ethiopia over the centuries, but the contemporary religious militancy should be seen as a wholly new phenomenon and a threat to the peace, stability and independence of the country.It is externally energized and directed, and focus should be made on the Ethiopianization of its leadership, resources and religous content.We should be consistently reminded that the new trend does not automatically equates to Islam or Western Christianity in its broader, cultural sense, and Ethiopia must always make efforts to distinguish between the two.
According to Prof. Medhane, something should be done to effect a mechanism of shared resources among the different religious institutions, above all capacity building and internal reform In the EOC, so that it cope with the new challenges.

Prof. Medhane warns that Saudi Arabia is becoming the main influential factor in Ethiopia’s Islamic affairs.” This new trend, coupled with Saudi economic activities in Ethiopia, triggers mixed signals. Ethiopia needs to learn how to seek accommodation with the Saudi connection, carefully mange its dangers, and possibly turn its advantage as a momentum that enriches its economy, pluralism and international dynamism.
The scholar is of the opinion that that religious freedom should be regulated (e.g. through a code of conduct), but religious conflict should be handled wit great care by the government.” A critical feature here is properly interfacing uncontrolled religious freedom with controlled democracy in the country. The media and school should play a pivotal role in disseminating a culture of tolerance and serving as forum for interreligious dialogue. Civic education is very important in this regard. The most serous challenges to religion tolerance and diversity usually come from exclusivist truth claims. Religious institutions should take such issues into account when preparing religious books and materials.
But of great consideration, according to the scholar, is poverty.” At the heart of militancy, the fast change in religious equilibrium and the growing influence of religion lies in the wide spreading of poverty, the economic weakness the state and the bankruptcy of ideologies.” he states.
“Whether to dream of better world, or try to live less poorly in this one, many people in Ethiopia (as elsewhere when the state fails) have switched their allegiances from politics to religion. Surely, the Ethiopian state couldn’t prevail if its economic policies continue to be poorly financed, directed or implemented. With events unfolding, it will have little chance to prove its usefulness to the masses. Instead, substantial majorities of Ethiopians will continue to pin down hopes on religion, but are likely to become more ready to experiment and accept different versions of it” concludes Prof .Medhane.

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