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News: Police detain seven bishops spearheading “Oromia Orthodox Synod” in Bishoftu

Among the bishops detained by the police (Photo: Deacon Daniel Chala/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – The police in Bishoftu city have detained seven Orthodox bishops who were party to the movement to establish “Oromia Orthodox Synod”, according to Hailemichael Tadesse, spokesperson for the movement.

The seven bishops Abuna Barsuma, Abuna Lazarus, Abuna Urael, Abuna Minas, Abuna Daniel, Abuna Nicodemus, and Abuna Daxios were among the 26 bishops unilaterally ordained in January by three breakaway archbishops at the Haro Beale Wold Church in Woliso city of the South-West Shoa zone in Oromia Regional State creating widespread shock and anger among many of the followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC).

The Holy Synod of the EOTC and the breakaway archbishops have later resolved their differences ending a near month-long schism that threatened the unity of the church through “constructive discussion” and according to “the canon of the church.”

However, the seven bishops who were arrested with their aides from their homes in Bishoftu on Tuesday night, didn’t accept the reconciliation and the subsequent anointment of seven other bishops by the EOTC’s Holy Synod for the churches in Oromia region and continued to pursue the establishment of the “Oromia orthodox Synod”.

According to Hailemichael, the bishops are currently detained at the Dhakabora district police office, whereas  the youths who were assisting them are being detained at the Circle police station in Bishoftu. 

He further added that attempts to get in touch with them or get an explanation for their arrest from the police have been unsuccessful. He also noted without giving further detail that “pertinent authorities are holding talks” and that the bishops are anticipated to be released shortly. AS

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