• Catholique

The Ethiopian and Eritrean Churches


In 451, following the Council of Chalcedon.


Following the King’s conversion, Frumence is freed and ordained Bishop by Saint Athanasius of Alexandria. He is sent back to Ethiopia.

At the end of the 6th century, the nine saints (monophysite Syrian monks) thoroughly evangelise the country and contribute to the translation of the Bible into Ethiopian.
In the 7th century, Islam isolates Ethiopia from the Copts.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ethiopian church refuses the “Latinisation” proposed by Jesuit missionaries.
In 1929, the Ethiopian Church commences the process of independence from the Coptic Church.
An agreement signed in 1948 provides that the Archbishop be Ethiopian and can ordain his own Bishops.
Birth of the Ethiopian Catholic Church: In 1839, an apostolic prefecture in Abyssinia is established, managed by Monsignor Justin de Jacobis. Playing the inculturation card, at great cost, it establishes an Ethiopian Catholic Church using Alexandrian rites in the Ge’ez language.

The current head of the Ethiopian Catholic Church is H.E. Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel, who resides in Addis Abbiba, with 900,000 faithful.

The Metropolitan Eritrean Church was established, sui iuris, on 19 January 2015, under the jurisdiction of H.E. Menghesteab Tesfamariam, Archbishop of Asmara, with 160,000 faithful.