The Ethiopian Evangelical [Lutheran] Church Mekane Yesus is severing its relationship with the ELCA, the Church of Sweden and "those churches who have openly accepted same-sex marriage." The action to implement the decisions at all levels of the Ethiopian church was ratified at the denomination's general assembly Jan. 27-Feb. 2 in Addis Ababa. "The ELCA is very saddened by this decision," said Rafael Malpica Padilla, executive director for ELCA Global Mission. "The ELCA and its predecessor church bodies have been walking with the people of Ethiopia for more than 50 years, and our sister church, the Church of Sweden, for more than 150 years ...." Malpica Padilla said the ELCA isn't "locking the doors from our side" and both he and Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson, who called the decision "deeply troubling," said the ELCA stands ready to open the door of conversation for reconciliation.
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