25 january / 2019

Delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church visits Addis Ababa

The delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church visited Ethiopia fr om 18th to 25th of January 2019. During the delegation’s stay in the capital of Ethiopia the first session of the Commission for Bilateral Dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church took place. The Commission was jointly established by His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and His Holiness Patriarch Abune Mathias in May 2018 during the visit of the delegation of the Ethiopian Church to Moscow.

The members of the Commission fr om the side of the Moscow Patriarchate are His Eminence Metropolitan Ioann of Korsun and Western Europe, Heiromonk Stefan (Igumnov), secretary for inter-Christian relations of the Department for External Church Relations, Mr. Vakhtang Kipshidze, deputy chairman of the Synodal Department for Church’s Relations with Society and Mass Media, Deacon Dmitry Serov, executive secretary of the Student Exchange Commission of the Moscow Patriarchate. From the Ethiopian Patriarchate the members are His Grace Abba Filipos, Archbishop of South Omo Diocese, Nubre Id Elias Abreha, General Manager of Tinsae Publishing Organization, Rev. Daniel Seifemichael, General Manager of EOTC Broadcasting Corporation, Abba Gebrehanna G/Tsadik.

The counterparts determined on the priorities of inter-Church cooperation for the near future: in the sphere of academic and missionary activity, information, student and youth exchange, church art and churchware production, support of the traditional moral values, especially among diaspora abroad. Concluding the session, the parties signed a Joint Communique, in which the Commission asserted the importance of the meeting of the Heads of two sisterly churches that took place in May 2018, and praised their intention to intensify the cooperation between the respective departments of the churches.

The signatories also highlighted the necessity of joint efforts for protecting Christians in the Middle East and Southern and Central Africa wh ere they are discriminated, endangered and prosecuted. The Commission recognized the importance of international solidarity with all the victims of terrorism and extremism, paying the tribute to 30 Ethiopian Christians killed in April 2015 in Libya.

The Commission expressed gratitude to the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Ethiopia for its assistance in revitalizing the inter-church dialogue. It also appreciated the recent launch of a direct flight of the Ethiopian Airlines from Addis Ababa to Moscow, which facilitates the contacts.

The results of the Commission’s work will be presented to the Holy Synods of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

The delegation of the Russian Church during its stay in Ethiopia visited the publishing center, church workshops and the University of the Holy Trinity, the Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Debre Libanos and attended the celebrations of Epiphany. The Commission members were also received by His Holiness Patriarch Abune Mathias who conveyed the warmest greetings to His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill.

The delegation of the ROC visited the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Ethiopia, wh ere Metropolitan Ioann held a service. Afterwards they were invited to a solemn dinner on behalf of the Ambassador V.Tkachenko.