Abune Mathias is an Ethiopian patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church since 2013. His full title is “His Holiness Abune Mathias I”, “Sixth Patriarch and Catholicos of Ethiopia”, “Archbishop of Axum” and “Ich
Born Teklemariam in 1942, Abune Mathias started as a young deacon in 1954 and served the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church (EOTC) in different top leadership positions before getting elected the 6th Patriarch of Ethiopia in 2013. He now presides over the oldest and most influential Christian Church in the country with 48 million followers. Since 1978, he served as Bishop and Archbishop of EOTC at home and abroad, including in Jerusalem and the Holy Land and in the USA.
In early 1980, Archbishop Abune Mathias became the first leader of the church to issue a denunciation of the rule of the communist regime and was forced to live abroad for more than thirty years.