The head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Abune Paulos, Patriarch of Ethiopia passed away on August 16, 2012 at the age of 76, the government has announced. The foreign ministry said he had been receiving treatment over the past week for an undisclosed illness.
The patriarch's office is due to hold an emergency meeting on Friday to finalize arrangements for what is expected to be a state funeral. Abune Paulos led Ethiopia's 40 million Orthodox Christians - half the population - since 1992.
His Holiness Abune Paulos was chosen to lead the church in 1992 - a year after the overthrow of the communist government of Mengistu Haile Mariam.
On behalf of the Diocesan Council and the entire faithful of the Western Diocese, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian offers his deepest condolences to the mourners of the Sister Church and ensures them that the Armenian people are with them in prayer.