His Grace Archbishop Abune Petros, Secretary of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Patriarchate (Photo : EOTC TV)

His Eminence Abune Peteros, General Secretary of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Archbishop of the Diocese of New York, was unexpectedly denied entry by a security official from the Ethiopian government at Bole International Airport.

He was in the United States to provide apostolic services, including participating in Epiphany and Baptism celebrations at his Diocese of New York, as well as engaging in other apostolic duties.

The reasons behind the deportation remain unaddressed by the government. Reports indicate that the government's decision to deport him may have been influenced by the realization that he had no intentions of remaining in the United States. This incident marks another chapter in the tense relationship between the Ethiopian Church and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's administration.

Tensions between the government and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church have been escalating over recent years. In February 2023, the Church faced internal strife when three ethnic Oromo bishops declared an independent synod, leading to violence in the Oromo region. Last December 2023, Abune Lukas publicly criticized Abiy Ahmed's military actions in the Amhara region, drawing parallels with the biblical story of David and Goliath.

Since Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has been subjected to various attacks, highlighting the challenges faced under the current regime.


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