'Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit'
St Matthew 28: 19
Charity No. 282910
A. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the World Council of Churches (WCC)
The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches who confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures, and therefore seek to fulfil together their common calling to the glory of the one God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This Ecumenical Council was instituted in 1948 in Amsterdam for a variety of functions and purposes relating to the demands of the Gospel. The first and foremost of which is: "To call the churches to the goal of visible unity in one faith and in one eucharistic fellowship in expressed worship and in common life in Christ, and to advance towards that unity in order that the world may believe." Inter- church aid is also the other main function for the WCC’s general purposes. The EOTC implemented her development schemes with the aid and cooperation of the inter- church programme of the WCC.
In accordance with its constitution, the WCC discharges its functions through an Assembly, a Central Committee an Executive Committee and other subordinates bodies since its establishment. Since the constitution gives due consideration to the size of member churches, her large following enables the EOTC to play a significant role in the work of the WCC, by having twelve delegate in the General Assembly which is held at seven-year intervals, and an additional two representatives in the Central Committee meeting. Since the establishment of the WCC, seven ecumenical assemblie were held at which important religious and social matters were discussed and decided upon. As a result:
a. Tremendous progress has been made in the movement towards the establishment and maintenance of close relations among member churches as compared to divisive squabbles of the past
b. All member churches have demonstrated their goodwill to follow and give witness to the teachings and the faith of the Apostles in unison
c. Notable success has been achieved in the implementation of inter- church aid programmes.
To this effect, the EOTC has received substantial support and assistance of the WCC in the implementation of its relief, rehabilitation and development programmes. The EOC on its part continues to support the activities of the WCC and also contributes to the success of the WCC. The EOC considers it an honour, as a founding member, to belong to this universal council which strives to bring about close co-oporation and understanding between the churches.
B. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the All African Conference of Churches (AACC)
The AACC is also a fellowship of Christian churches who confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures and therefore seek to fulfil together their common calling to the glory of the one God the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. The AACC was founded in 1963 in Nairobi where its headquarter is permanently established, for the following functions and purposes:-
1. To keep before the churches and National Christian Councils the demands of the Gospel, pertaining to this life and mission, for evangelism, for witness in society, for service and unity, and to this end to promote consultation and action among the churches and councils.
2. To provide for a common programme of study and research.
3. To encourage closer relation and mutual sharing of experience among the churches in Africa through visit, consultation, conference, and circulation of information.
4. To assist the churches in finding, sharing and placing personnel and utilising other resources for the most effective prosecution of their common tasks.
5. To assist the churches in the work of leadership training lay and clerical for the task of the churches today.
6. Without prejudice to its own autonomy to collaborate with the WCC and appropriate agencies in such ways as may mutually be agreed.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is a founding member of the AACC. And as such she fulfilled her membership obligation. She is assigned five seats in the General Assembly which takes place every five years and another one seat in the Central Committee which is held once a year. Six Assemblies have been held since the establishment.
One of the tasks of the AACC is assisting member churches in sharing and utilising all necessary resources. One of the tasks it carries out is to give scholarship grants to enable church members to qualify in its training centres. It is also doing its utmost to assist member churches in the implementation of their programmes relating to refugee services in cooperation with the WCC and the UNHCR.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church shall strive to fulfil the aims and objectives of the Any ACCC as enshrined in its charter.
Archbishop Yesehaq. (1997). The Ethiopian Tewahedo Church. Winston-Derek Pub