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A Row in the Ethiopian Church Dies Down

The influential Ethiopian Orthodox Church said that it had reached an agreement with a breakaway synod from the Oromia region following deadly violence that killed dozens and led to partial internet shutdowns. The rift threatened to bring fresh instability to Africa’s second most populous nation, just as its starts to turn the page on a two-year war in the northern Tigray region that killed tens of thousands before a truce was agreed in November. The row started on February 4, when three clerics from Oromia accused the leadership of the main church of discriminating against Oromos, the country’s largest ethnic group. They declared themselves archbishops and set up their own governing body, leading to protests by supporters and opponents in which the church said at least 30 people were killed. As part of Wednesday’s deal, which was sealed in the presence of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the Orthodox Church reinstated the three clerics and agreed to allocate funding and resources to churches across Oromia. It also acknowledged the need to train more Afaan Oromo-speaking priests and agreed to ordain more ethnic Oromos among high-ranking clergy, it said in a statement.