To Top

Abune Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Dies At 76

The patriarch of Ethiopia’s Orthodox Church, Abune Paulos has died aged 76, officials said yesterday. “His holiness has passed away,” government spokesman Shimeles Kemal told the news agency, AFP, but could not provide details of his death.


Abune Paulos, Patriarch of the
Ethiopian Orthodox Church

However, according to Ethiopian Review website (, he died after suffering a heart attack.

Their story stated that a staff member of the Bete Kehenet compound [the church’s headquarters] told them that the patriarch was admitted to Balcha Hospital in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, following a heart attack.

“Yesterday,” Ethiopia Review continued, “he was completely paralyzed and later on he went into a coma” from which he never recovered.

AFP reports that Abune was the patriarch of Ethiopia’s Orthodox Church since 1992, when he was elected to the highest order of the denomination.

“Some two-thirds of Ethiopia’s 83 million people are Christian, the majority following the Orthodox faith. The office of the patriarch is expected to hold an emergency meeting today to finalise funeral arrangements,” said the AFP story.

It is not clear whether Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi – who has been on sick leave in recent weeks and has not been seen in public since June – will attend the funeral.

“I have no information,” Shimeles said, when asked if Meles is expected to attend the mourning.

Born in Tigray in northern Ethiopia, Abune was sporadically seen in public in his characteristic white robes, striking silver cross and tall white hat. Before becoming patriarch, Abune – whose father was a priest – also served as a monk and a bishop, added AFP.

Abune served as a president of the controversial World Council of Churches, an umbrella organization made up of 349 churches and denominations from around the world and representing 560 million Christians.

“He was seen as instrumental in brokering peace in the Ethiopia-Eritrea border war that ended in 2007, and was awarded a Nansen Medal by the UN refugee agency in 2000 for his peace and humanitarian work,” said the AFP story.

Ethiopia is home to some of Africa’s oldest Orthodox churches, including a cluster of 11 ancient rock-hewn churches in Lalibella which are designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. (I once visited there with Franklin Graham and was astonished with the beauty of the site).

Meanwhile, the Coptic Orthodox Church Centre UK has issued a statement in which it said that it “extends its condolences to and offers its prayers for her sister Ethiopian Orthodox Church upon the departure of His Holiness Abune Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.”

His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom then said: “Upon hearing of the departure of His Holiness the late Abune Paulos, I contacted His Eminence Archbishop Antonios of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church here in the United Kingdom, expressing our condolences and assuring him of our prayers.

“We pray repose for the soul of Abune Paulos and for comfort, strength and wisdom for the Ethiopian Orthodox faithful around the world. Having ourselves recently experienced the departure of our pope and patriarch, we are as confident that God will provide our brethren in our sister church a faithful shepherd and servant, as we are that He will provide the same for us.”



You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Top News

  • Parenting in a Sexualized Culture

    All Church of God pastors, parents, and church leaders are encouraged to participate in a special webinar, titled, “Parenting in a...

    Pastor Aloys Evina, Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)April 19, 2016
  • London Terror Attack

    Amidst the horror that ensued when two men brutally hacked a British soldier to death in the London streets, four women’s...

    Jeremy ReynaldsMay 24, 2013
  • Oklahoma City Tornado 2013

    May 21, 2013–Residents of the city of Moore, Oklahoma took a deadly hit of an E4 tornado which tore through the...

    Pastor Aloys Evina, Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)May 21, 2013
  • U.S. Disavows 2 Drone Strikes Over Pakistan

    The New York Times article, “U.S. Disavows 2 Drone Strikes Over Pakistan” (4/3/2013), reminds me of Talleyrand’s advice: “lie, lie, lie,...

    Roger AKLMarch 5, 2013
  • “There was no legal evidence against Rimsha Masih”

    The strange case of Rimsha Masih, the 14-year-old Christian Pakistani girl who had faced life in prison for allegedly burning the...

    Dan WoodingSeptember 26, 2012
  • Extremist Hindus rout Christians from rural Indian village

    Hindus twice assaulted a Christian community in a rural India village early this month, beating believers, forcing them into Hindu worship...

    Continental NewsSeptember 25, 2012
  • Pakistani Church Burned By Islamic extremists

    Islamic extremists have attacked an Anglican Church in Mardan Pakistan and an adjoining school. Some believe the stimulus was the government...

    Jeremy ReynaldsSeptember 23, 2012
  • Cristiano Ronaldo Does Not Support Islam

    The Islamic Republic media tried to provoke Iranian youth’s feelings by distributing a photo of Cristiano Ronaldo to illustrate that the...

    Mohabat New AgencySeptember 21, 2012
  • Jhan Moskowitz, 64, dies after subway fall

    Jhan Moskowitz, 64, one of the founders of Jews for Jesus, the best known Jewish evangelism agency in the world, has...

    Dan WoodingSeptember 6, 2012
Continental News is a French Newspaper created by Aloys Evina, pastor of the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee).

Copyright © Continental News