Two rival synods of Ethiopia’s largest faith group, the Orthodox Church, have agreed to unite ending more than two decades of acrimony.
The two church councils have long been accused of mirroring the country’s political extremes aligning themselves one with the government and the other with the opposition in the diaspora.
Some say the union is indicative of Ethiopia’s new political atmosphere.
The church which was often associated with the country’s ruling elites for centuries has a large following in Ethiopia.
More than 40% Ethiopia’s 100 million population are members of the church.
A split in senior leadership occurred in 1991 when then-head of the church Abuna Merkorios went into exile.
He and his devotees accuse the ruling party that came to power around the same time of forcefully abdicating him and interfering with the elections held to replace him.