Ethiopia suspends Orthodox TV channel amid fears of government interference in EOTC affairs

Ethiopia’s media regulatory body, Ethiopian Media Authority (EMA) announced on Sunday it has “temporarily suspended” the media license of the Mahbere Kidusan TV channel amid fears of government interference in Ethiopian Orthodox Tewhado Church (EOTC). 

In a letter widely circulated on social media, EMA said Mahbere Kidusan TV channel was suspended after publishing an “inflammatory message” designed to disturb the ongoing meeting of the EOTC Holy Synod. 

Mahbere Kidusan had earlier on Sunday published an information reportedly about efforts to ordain new bishops with a majority vote from EOTC Synod members in violation of the church’s canonical rule that prescribes that appointment of new bishops happen through consensus from all EOTC Synod members. 

The information published by Mahbere Kidusan media outlet indicated that EOTC church leaders are also being pressured to appoint new bishops based on ethnicity and political affiliation. 

The administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is widely believed to be orchestrating the division inside the EOTC church as the PM reportedly tries to exert total control over Ethiopia’s oldest continuous religious denomination. 

Separately, the online media outlet, Wazema Radio reported on Monday morning the detention of Birhanu Admas, Director General of a local TV station, Hagere TV by security forces. 

Birhanu is also a prominent Ethiopian Orthodox Tewhado Church teacher.

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