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World's Fastest-Growing Lutheran Group Severs Ties with U.S., Swedish Partners

Ethiopian Lutherans end 50 years with ELCA (and 150 years with Church of Sweden) over homosexuality.

The fastest-growing branch of the Lutheran World Federation has officially severed ties with its longtime American and Swedish partners.

The February decision by the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Makane Yesus (EECMY) to terminate its 150-year partnership with the Church of Sweden (CoS) and its 50-year partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) comes after the EECMY tried–and failed–to persuade the other two bodies to reverse recent decisions to ordain gay clergy and bless same-sex unions.

"The EECMY was compelled to engage with an intentional theological reflection and deeper search of Scripture as well as legal and cultural perspectives of the Ethiopian Context," wrote the EECMY in a Feb. 11 statement. "[This] resulted in the writing of Pastoral Call to the two Churches to reverse their decisions, lest the EECMY would be forced to terminate her relationship.... Sadly, the repeated endeavors of the EECMY on this line failed to obtain the expected positive response ...

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