Joint theological institute in Lalibela, Ethiopia
As part of the ongoing collaboration for the preservation of the vulnerable cultural heritage of the Ethiopian Church (in particular the endangered medieval churches in the Lasta region, around Lalibela), a delegation of the Ethiopian Orthodox church visited Sweden in late August and early September on the invitation of the Society for the Conservation of the Ethiopian Cultural Heritage, the Department for Conservation of Gothenburg University and the Church of Sweden. Lalibela is one of the most sacred sites of the Tewahedo Orthodox tradition, designated a world heritage site and an important center of Ethiopian spirituality, pilgrimage and archaeology. Sankt Ignatios received the delegation in Södertälje, headed by Abba Tsigeselassie Mezgebu, Dean of the Lalibela churches, and Dr. Alebachew Belay representing the Lalibela Institute of Heritage and Tourism studies. The delegation approached Sankt Ignatios with a proposal to establish a theological training and research center in Lalibela together with Sankt Ignatios. An agreement was reached to draft a memorandum of understanding. A delegation from Sankt Ignatios will travel to Lalibela in early 2023 to jointly explore avenues for collaboration, and to further elaborate the terms of a formal agreement.