Eritrean Orthodox Church (Oriental Orthodox)

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When Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia on May 24, 1993 after a long struggle, negotiations took place between the Eritrean bishops of the ethiopian orthodox church (oriental orthodox) and the coptic orthodox church (oriental orthodox) for the creation of an autocephalous church independent of the Ethiopian Church. This request was approved by the Holy Synod of the Coptic Church on Sept. 28, 1993. In the same month, the Ethiopian Church gave its blessings to the separation. A formal agreement was signed in February 1994 between the primates of the Ethiopian Church and the newly established Eritrean Orthodox Church, recognizing and affirming the autocephaly of both churches. The primate of the Eritrean Orthodox Church is the patriarch of Eritrea, who resides in Asmara, Eritrea. This church is in communion with the Ethiopian and the Egyptian Coptic Churches, and accords a primacy of honor to the Coptic Church.

Bibliography: r. roberson, The Eastern Christian Churches: A Brief Survey, 6th ed. (Rome 1999).