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Developmental Bible Manual Launched

The manual of the Developmental Bible - which aims at integrating HIV prevention, reproductive health information, issues of young people and gender in the daily spiritual teachings of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) - was launched today. The manual was launched in the presence of His Holiness Abuna Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and President of the World Council of Churches.

The Developmental Bible is believed to be a means of challenging and condemning harmful age old traditions like early marriage, female genital cutting, and transferring new knowledge that promotes safe motherhood, HIV prevention, holy-water and ART and educating girls.  The Developmental Bible Manual - with two volumes - covers messages for 365 days and 52 Sunday readings was developed by six prominent church scholars and peer reviewed by three prominent scholars and reviewed at a stakeholder's workshop.

The Developmental Bible Project was initiated by UNFPA and developed by the Development Inter-Church Aid Commission of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (DICAC/EOC) in consultation with the Population Council. The programme will be implemented in 8 dioceses in three regions - Amhara, Addis Ababa, and Tigray - in the first phase.

 

This innovative initiative is based on the Cannon Law of the Church- the "Fetha Negest'' and the "glossary of the day-to-day teachings of the Church", or the "Lexicon" of the Orthodox Church (or "Metshafe Gitsawe' in Amharic). It is also in line with the Five Year Program (2005-2009) of the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Strategy of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

UNFPA signed a two-year agreement with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Population Council in April 2008 on the implementation of the Developmental Bible Programme. The Development Inter-Church Aid Commission of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the owner and principal implementing partner of the programme and Population Council is providing technical support. UNFPA has allocated a total budget of USD 400,000 for the two years of execution of the programme from the fund secured from the Royal Norwegian Embassy as part of the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme.

Archbishops of various dioceses of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and other invited guests attended the launching ceremony of the Developmental Bible Manual.