Orthodox Church split is political hot potato for Abiy

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Ethiopia’s Orthodox Christian Church is locked in a bitter dispute with the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, alleging state interference in church affairs and threatening to hold mass protests this weekend, with the institution facing an historic schism. 

The crisis erupted last month when three rebel archbishops ordained 26 new bishops from Oromia and Southern Ethiopia, claiming their cultures were marginalised by the mainstream Orthodox clergy. They have formed a breakaway group called the ‘Holy Synod of Oromia and Nations and Nationalities’.

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