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November 25, 2017


ETHIOPIAN ORTHODOX TEWAHEDO CHURCH IN SOUTH AFRICA | CONTACT PAGE | History of the Church | Headquarters & Churches | OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF HIS EMINENCE ABUNE YESEHAQ, THE ARCHBISHOP OF THE ETHIOPIAN ORTHODOX TEWAHEDO CHURCH IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE AND SOUTHERN AFRICA | Picture Gallery/Clergy | UPCOMING HOLY DAYS, READINGS, SERMON | GUEST BOOK |

History of the Church

The Historical background on the formation of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Southern Africa.

Introduction

This church is called Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo church,the church of King Menelek of Ethiopia,(Abyssinia),the son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon of Jerusalem.
This church was founded by St.Phillip at the time he baptised the Ethiopian eunuch, Phillip went,and there he found "a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace the Queen of Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure,and had come to Jerusalem for to worship."

This Church is a member in the lineage of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and a member amongst the World Council of Churches.

It is the church of the indigenous African people,with customs,traditions,rituals,and similar rites that are not different to those that are in the Holy Bible,futhermore;it is also composed of the faithful and the believers indeed that constitute the big membership and followers,particularly of African descent.

This church has a wonderful history, that is very rich, and easy to follow, because;for the history to be preserved, it should be documented, for easy access to it, and also guard against absolute extiction. It is noted for example;in books such as "The Voice of Black Theology in S.A”.,where the history of Christianity and its origins are put narratively, and also points out that; Jesus Christ had set his foot on the African soil during the escape of Joseph and Mary to Egypt,from the furious rage of King Herod's paedocidal excuse in search of the Immanuel(Jesus)

This Ethiopian Country has a very rich and palatable history of Christianity; that even the Ark Of The Covenant is in Axum in the church of St.Mary, and the right arm of the Cross on which Christ was crucified, is also in Ethiopia with all the African Saints; like His Holiness Haile Selassie, the Ethiopian eunuch, the Queen of Sheba that we read about in the Bible ,about Ethiopian people and their way of life.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has its Patriarch, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, and also Ethiopian Christians of its own.

The rise of Ethiopian Orthodoxy in South Africa

During the 08 May 1983 in the Grahamstown in South Africa a town affectionately known as “The City Of Saints” in the church of St. Matthews where there was a National Convention of the Church of the Order Of Ethiopia of South Africa. That was the day of the ordination of the Bishop of the Order Of Ethiopia of the Church Of The Province of South Africa where it became clear that, there is dissatisfaction and unhappiness amongst the followers of the Order Of Ethiopia, all those who were dissatisfied with the planning process of the ordination of the Bishop were asked to remain outside the church building.
These people who were dissatisfied with these procedural irregularities whilst asked to remain outside; had to stay and endure the chill of the winter night and they had to resort to singing, chanting hymns and do preaching to keep themselves warm.

One of the sermons that were preached was the orations from the book of (I Kings 21;)
“And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee”. In Xhosa this passage also means "Makube Le! ukunikezela ngelifa loo Bawo"

The second sermon was in the book of (Acts 8; 21) “Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.”

These sermons were preached the whole of the Saturday night of the 7th May 1983, the night preceding the ordination day. The morning came; and it was the 8th of May 1983. The bishops of the (CPSA) Church of the Province Of South Africa, got informed of the situation in general, as well as the dissatisfied members of the congregation of the Order Of Ethiopia and the bishops found no thing wrong and sinister with that, as they were human beings which showed that they embraced that, there should in any situation disagreements and that was viewed as normal in the eyes of the dissatisfied members.

But, to everybody’s surprise; the worst scenario was when fellow members of the Order Of Ethiopia upon seeing that white bishops of the CPSA were not worried about the status quo because they knew that the Order Of Ethiopia was a “Society” of the CPSA(see Paul Makubu’s Book “Who are the Independent Churches. p.10)

On the morning at about 9:00 o’clock the fire broke up, and it was ups and downs, members of the Order Of Ethiopia were launching attack to the dissatisfied members with weapons guns, stone-throwing, sharp objects were an order of the day, Where, great men, Elders like the late Bloko, Thafeni, Fudu, Mbilini, Taku, Lose, Screech, Ndyibi, Sitho, Mkoto, Madwara, Nkobo, Vellem, Skepu,Ngqondela, Hopa, and others were lucky enough to have escaped death, but survived bruises and everlasting scars of martyrdom with their blood spilled on the South African town called "The City Of Saints" Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape South Africa.....