The World Council of Churches, a fellowship of 352 churches from more than 120 countries and representing almost 600 million Christians, is deeply concerned about the recent developments that massively affect the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and threatens its unity. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is one of the ancient churches whose origins goes back to the times of the Apostles; a Church which has always affirmed and worked for unity and peace even with the price of blood.
The World Council of Churches regrets the breaking away of a fraction from the body of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church to establish a new Synod. Although we have not had opportunity to study all the facts leading to the breakaway, yet we pray for the healing of the wounds and for the restoration of unity recognising the need for Christian unity in a broken and suffering country and world. Consequently, we appeal for responsible actions from all sides to work towards reconciliation and unity and to prevent an escalation of social and political upheaval. At the same time, we encourage openness and a sustained dialogue between all religious, social, and political actors.
We call upon all political leaders in Ethiopia to support the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in its efforts to achieve unity and peace among its members by allowing the Church, which is a legally recognized religious entity in Ethiopia, to use its internal rules and ecclesial canons to address the current situation.
The WCC commits to pray for and journey with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and with Ethiopia at large as we continue to pray and work for justice, reconciliation, unity and peace in the land.
Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay
World Council of Churches