The Oriental Orthodox Church split from mainline Christianity after the Council of Chalcedon. Prior to Chalcedon, councils such as Nicea, Constantinople, and Ephesus had defined the orthodox view of Christ’s divinity. Nestorianism, which emphasized that the human and divine natures of Jesus Christ were two completely different entities, had been rejected. The Council of Chalcedon declared that Christ was a single person with two unified natures, human and divine. Some felt this was too close to Nestorianism and rejected the council’s decision.
The Ethiopia Orthodox Church intensifies that all regarding Jesus Christ should be related to his entire person as one God. Not to single out the “Human nature” as subjected to hunger, passion, suffering, etc., Properties strange to the human are referred to his Divine powers as God shed blood, God was crucified, God died, and God was risen up for the saving of all men.
The seven sacraments Penance, baptism, unction of the sick, confirmation, holy orders, holy communion and matrimony are valuable in the teaching of the Ethiopia Orthodox Church.
As a result of the split between the Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian churches, these groups are sometimes referred to as “monophysite” churches. However, they typically prefer the term miaphysite, since they reject Nestorianism.
Ethiopian Orthodox Churches are notable for their strong adherence to many Old Testament practices, including restrictions on pork and other non-kosher foods. They also heavily emphasize certain feast and fast days. Worshipers are expected to remove their shoes prior to entering a church building. Women are seated separately from men and may not enter during their menstrual period. Ethiopian Orthodox churches are each devoted to a patron saint and frequently pray to him/her, as well as to Mary. Exorcism is a common practice as well. Ethiopian Orthodox churches usually use the local dialect for sermons and other communication, but all liturgy is performed in the Ge’ez language, which today is used for no other purpose.
Although the primary school enrollment rate of girls in Ethiopia has climbed from 21 to 91 percent in the last three decades, the majority are unable to transition to secondary and tertiary school due to distance, personal security and economic challenges. As girls grow older, academic participation becomes increasingly difficult as it takes time away from essential income generating activities. Only 35 percent of undergraduate university students are female and five percent drop out in the first year. At the same time, female-led instruction at the university level is extremely low at only 11 percent. To tackle these challenges and better support the continued education of the next generation of female Ethiopian leaders, our Reading for Ethiopia’s Achievement Developed activity focuses on improving reading skills in primary schools. We provide supplementary reading materials and purposefully support girls’ participation in reading clubs to enhance learning performance and increase retention.
Expanding Economic Opportunities for Women
Women often face different and more basic economic constraints than men, including less access to credit and limited market access. To support women’s ability to create businesses and secure their own livelihoods, we encourage financing for female-owned businesses through the Development Credit Authority. To support women in agriculture under the Feed the Future initiative, we empower women in decision-making about production, the use of resources like land, water, or capital, and control over income. We support women in chronically food insecure households by boosting access to improved farming inputs and creating income earning agricultural activities.
USAID invests in empowering women and girls in Ethiopia across all of our programs by promoting equal access to education, health, and economic opportunities. In doing so, we help create opportunities for more equitable participation in society for females across the country. We also address the root causes of gender-based violence, child marriage, and female genital mutilation.
As in all Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Ethiopia Orthodox Church grounded on the Apostle’s experience of Jesus Christ who is Creator and Saviour of the World.
The three councils the council of Nicaea on 325A.D, the council of Constantinople 381A.D, and Epheus 431A.D which confessed the Son of God and condemned Arius’ formula are all been accepted by the Ethiopia Orthodox Church, but the Ethiopia Orthodox Church refuses the Council of Chalcedon at 451A.D conducted by Pope Leo I which preaches the formula of the “two natures” against that of “one nature”.