Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Addis Ababa City dispute continues

The confrontation and dispute between the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Addis Ababa City Administration which erupted recently in the capital in relation to the ownership of Meskel Square, has continued.

The meeting planned today to resolve the discuss their differences and resolve the dispute has failed because the two sides didn’t agree about where the meeting should take place. While the Ethiopian Orthodox Church synod said the meeting with the Mayor of Addis Ababa Adanech Abiebie should take place at its office, the Mayor Office said it should take place at the Sheraton Addis Hotel, according to the inside sources, who shared the dispute on social media today.

It is recalled that a few weeks ago when Protestant Church followers organized fund-raising was held at Meskel Square, there were confrontation between the security forces of the city and the followers of Ethiopian orthodox Church, who opposed the gathering claiming that Meskel Square is the property of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Many followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Church have also expressed their anger on social media opposing the speech Mayor Adanech has made the fund-raising event organized at Meskel Square by the Protestant religion followers.

Indicating that in the past Meskel Square has been used for various religious and entertainment programs, independent observers were expressing their concern that the issue shouldn’t be that much politicized and sensationalized.

It is recalled that Meskel Square was recently renovated inaugurated with a huge investment of the Addis Ababa City Administration, which also build underground parking lots.

Though there are no recent statistics, majority of the people of Ethiopia are followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which used to own a third of the land of the country. Next to Orthodox, the majority are the Islam Religion followers followed by Protests Religion followers. For centuries Ethiopia is known as one of the countries in the world for its religious tolerances where a Muslim marries to a Christian.

However in the recent years extrema ethnic politics promoters have been trying to use religion as a political instrument instigating their followers to attack churches and mosques in different parts of Ethiopia.

In its statement released later today, Ethiopian Orthodox Church has indicated that the meeting with the Addis Ababa City Administration in relation to Meskel Square will take place in the future. But didn’t mentioned why today’s meeting was cancelled.

The Addis Ababa City Administration on its part issued a statement indicating that it is ready “to discuss and work together with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as usual under any circumstance and anytime”.

As posted on the Addis Ababa Mayor facebook page today’s meeting between the two sides was cancelled because the representatives of Ethiopian Orthodox Church has not appear at the meeting place and sent a message requesting the postpone of the meeting for tother time.