The Ethiopian Tewahdo Orthodox Church has elected Abune Matthias as its new Patriarch, replacing Abune Paulos who passed away in August last year.
Under the title "His Holiness, Abuna Mathias, Sixth Patriarch and Catholicos of Ethiopia" the new Patriarch was elected by 500 votes out of 806 cast by members of the church synod living in Ethiopia and elsewhere.
His enthronement as Patriarch is expected to be on Sunday (March 3rd) at an official ceremony in Addis Ababa which tens of thousands of people will attend. Abune Matthias, 71, has lived abroad for over 30 years.
He initially left from Ethiopia following the military coup in 1974 and has travelled widely in Europe and America. He was serving as the Archbishop of the Church in Jerusalem before his election as Patriarch on Thursday (February 28th).
The office of the Patriarch has been vacant since August last year after Abune Paulos, who was elected Patriarch in 1992 died after a short illness.