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The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church (EriOTC)

Nov 04, 2019

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, One God.

“We call our church as The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church (EriOTC) because:
- “Eritrean” because it is centered in the State of Eritrea.
- And we call her “Orthodox” because the church follows the right and correct faith and doctrine.
- Tewahdo is a Ge'ez word meaning "being made one"; meaning the Church believes that the Lord is perfect in His divinity, and He is perfect in His humanity, but His divinity and His humanity were united in one nature called "the nature of the incarnate word".

Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church, thus, believes in "human" and "divine" that are united in one "without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration". These two natures "did not separate for a moment or the twinkling of an eye".

The Church believes in the Oneness and Trinity of God, and God is Three in Name, Act and Body, and God is one in Divinity, Authority and Essence. And the Name of the Trinity is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Church has these four distinct marks: One, Holy, Universal and Apostolic — indicating four major distinctive marks or distinguishing characteristics of it. The belief that the Church is characterized by these four particular "marks" was first expressed by the First Council of Constantinople in the year 381 in its revision of the Nicene Creed, in which it included the statement: "[I believe] in one, holy, universal and apostolic Church." (The Creed).

Prior to the advent of Christianity, , md re agiazi (Eritrea & Ethiopia) accepted the Law of Moses and has since been called the Land of God. Accordingly, she has been observing, the Sabbath, fasting two days a week, having a male circumcised on the eighth day of his birth, bringing children to the temple on the fortieth and eightieth days after their birth and dedicating them to God along with the offerings of young pigeons and turtledoves.

Observing Sunday with the Sabbath, fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays just as in Esther’s and Judith’s fasts and circumcising male children on the eighth day of their birth are still practiced in accordance with the Order of Worship of our Church. But now instead of taking young pigeons and turtledoves to the temple, male children are taken to the church on the fortieth day and female children on the eightieth day of their birth for baptism.

God said to Abraham, “This is my covenant which you shall keep between me and you and your descendants after you; every male among you shall be circumcised… and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.” (Gen.17:9-11; Rom. 4:9).
In accordance with this covenant the uncircumcised cannot be counted as a member of Abraham’s family, neither inherit the Promised Land nor partake in the fulfillment of the covenant, nor is he considered a member of the people of God. (Gen. 17:7).

But in the New Testament, circumcision has been replaced by baptism. Unless one is baptized, one cannot inherit the kingdom of God. (Jn. 3:5, Col. 2:11).
Based on this the faith of Church of Eritrea is derived from the apostolic heritage and borne witness to in the New Testament against the background of the Old Testament. It has been expounded by the fathers of the Church both in the ancient councils and in their teaching. It continues as a living reality in the church in its life of worship, preaching and discipline. In a word, then the Church is a community which has inherited and which holds to the historic Christian faith as it has been handed down through the centuries.

The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church is an Oriental Orthodox church with its headquarters in Asmara, Eritrea. A member of the Oriental Orthodox family of Churches (Egypt, Ethiopia, Syria, Armenia and India), the Church shares with them in essence a common faith in regard to divine nature and other sacraments.

These series of articles briefly describe: the doctrine, faith and order of the Church, spiritual teachings, history, ecumenical relations, development efforts and its contribution to peace and prosperity of the Eritrean Nation.

May God Guard the Church against all perils and challenges. Amen.