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Abuna Atnatewos II

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Abuna Atnatewos II was the Abuna or head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (1869–1876). He was brought to Ethiopia by Emperor Yohannes IV, who raised the $20,000 to pay the Patriarch of Alexandria Cyril V.[1]

Abuna Atnatewos actively worked against the influence of Catholic missionaries; Asseggahen wrote to Antoine d'Abbadie that Atnatewos anathematized the Catholic bishop Massaia, and threatened to excommunicate the inhabitants of Shewa were they to associate with him.[2]

The Abuna supported Emperor Yohannes' campaign against the Egyptian attempt to annex Hamasien.[3] It is reported that Abuna Atnatewos was wounded at the Battle of Gura, later dying on 29 June.[4]


  1. Paul B. Henze, Layers of Time: A History of Ethiopia (New York: Palgrave, 2000), p. 146
  2. Letter dated March 1873, Internal Rivalries and Foreign Threats: 1869-1879, edited by Sven Rubenson (Addis Ababa: University Press, 2000), pp. 144ff
  3. Sven Rubenson, The Survival of Ethiopian Independence (Hollywood: Tsehai, 2003), p. 321
  4. Internal Rivalries, p. 253

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