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Exiled Ethiopian patriarch returns

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The exiled patriarch of Ethiopia’s powerful Orthodox Church, Bishop Merkorios, has returned home to the capital, Addis Ababa, after 27 years.

Ethiopia’s reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met him in the US last week and persuaded him to reconcile with a rival faction of the church.

Ethiopian Orthodox Christian gather near to the rock-hewn church Bete Giyorgis during the annual festival of Timkat in Lalibela, Ethiopia which celebrates Epiphany, the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, on 20 January 2012 © AFP Ethiopian Orthodox Christian gather near to the rock-hewn church Bete Giyorgis during the annual festival of Timkat in Lalibela… He was greeted by his followers, who sang and ululated in welcome.

The church split in the early 1990s after Mengistu Haile Mariam’s communist regime was overthrown.

Politics and the church are closely intertwined in Ethiopia – and Bishop Merkorios was perceived to represent the diaspora and opposition in exile.

As there are now two patriarchs, Bishop Merkorios will be responsible for the spiritual aspects of the church, while Bishop Mr Mathias will be in charge of the day-to-day affairs.

Musicians greeted the exiled orthodox patriarch: Musicians were part of the welcome ceremony for the patriarch

Ethiopia’s Orthodox Church split

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church can trace its roots back to the fourth century – and is one of the oldest organised Christian bodies in the world. It used to be part of Egypt’s Coptic Christian Church, but appointed its own patriarch in 1959.

Bishop Merkorios was forced to abdicate after the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) overthrew the communist regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991.

His followers objected, saying the role of patriarch is held for life. The cleric escaped to the US, where a rival synod was established.

In his place Bishop Paulos was elected as patriarch in 1992, becoming the first person from the Tigray ethnic group to head the church. When he passed away in 2012, Bishop Mathias was elected to replace him.

More than 40% of Ethiopia’s population of about 100 million are adherents of the Orthodox church

Ethiopia has some of the word’s oldest churches, including rock-hewn churches, which are a World Heritage Site, in Lalibella in northern Ethiopia.

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Motherland News

Nigerian President Buhari Warns Ballot box snatchers to value their lives

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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned those planning to snatch ballot boxes during the elections to desist or pay with his or her life if caught.



President Buhari who stated this at the opening session of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Caucus meeting in Abuja, on Monday, said that such act would be the last unlawful act the person will be brought to book.

Meanwhile, the governors of Imo, Rochas Okorocha and Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun were conspicuously absent at the meeting.

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Buhari who said he is confident that he has garnered enough supporters having gone round the country to campaign, urged party members to reassure their constituents to come out and vote on the rescheduled dates.

While urging party agents to watch out for the party interests at the polling units the president said that he has directed security agencies to identify hot spots and be ready to move should they suspect any attempts to cause problems by thugs across the country irrespective of party affiliations.

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DR Congo blame Unending Ebola Outbreak on Violence , Community Mistrust.

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DR Congo Ministry of Health spokesperson Jessica Ilunga has declared that violence and community mistrust have continued to hamper all efforts to control and end the fresh Ebola outbreak, which started Aug. 1.



Though according to the World Health Organization the number of new Ebola cases has dropped slightly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as there are 33% fewer cases to date in February compared with the same time period in December per STAT’s Helen Branswell, but some experts warn Axios that there remain signs that this outbreak is far from over.

Meanwhile, some experts warn that, that doesn’t mean the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak on record is yet under control, and in fact it could simply be moving to new areas of the sprawling country.

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Johns Hopkins’ public health expert Jennifer Nuzzo maintains there are several reasons people should continue to view this outbreak as a cause for concern.

However, Nuzzo said Congo needs more than money from the international community and the U.S. in particular. Safety concerns have largely caused the CDC to limit its Ebola experts to the capital city of Kinshasa, where some have returned after being evacuated during an uptick in election-related violence, Nuzzo added that Now is the time for the U.S. to send them into the field.

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