Message from the parents of artist Fitsum Asfaw There are no other possessions we could leave to our children. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the biggest of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.
One of the few churches in sub-Saharan Africa that was founded before to European colonization is the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Between 36 million and 49.8 million Ethiopians are members of the church, which was founded when the Kingdom of Aksum embraced Christianity in the year 330. It is one of the founding members of the World Council of Churches.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is in communion with the other Oriental Orthodox churches (the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, and the Syriac Orthodox Church).
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church was governed by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria from the first half of the fourth century until 1959, when Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, granted it autocephaly and its own patriarch.
Tewahedo, a Geez word, means “together as one.” This phrase alludes to the Oriental Orthodox belief in “one nature of Christ” as opposed to the “two natures of Christ” concept typically held by the Latin and Eastern Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, and most other Protestant churches.
This term denotes the Oriental Orthodox belief in the one perfectly unified nature of Christ, i.e., that a full union of the divine and human natures into one nature is self-evident in order to accomplish the divine salvation of mankind. It is also used to refer to the Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, and most other Protestant churches.