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Abuna , also Abune in German , is the European rendering of an important Ethiopian and Eritrean spiritual title (actually Abun, in combination with the following name Abunä).

It means our father in ancient Ethiopian and is the address of venerable monks , especially the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Church . The Syriac Aramaic word ܐܒܘܢܐ Abuna , literally "our father", is used in the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and other Syrian churches to denote a priest or a bishop.

Until the 20th century, the head of the Ethiopian Church was always a Coptic monk from Egypt . He held the rank of Metropolitan in the Alexandrian Patriarchate of the Copts . That can be equated with the archbishop of the Catholic Church . The actual name for the head of the Ethiopian Church is actually Liqe Papasat (about head of the bishops ). Traditionally, the "Abun" was appointed and consecrated by the Patriarch ("Pope") of Alexandria (Egypt), head of the Coptic Orthodox Church . This could lead to delays in the appointment of a successor. Until the middle of the 20th century, the metropolitan ("Abun") of Ethiopia was never of Ethiopian origin. Because of his ignorance of the national languages, he had only limited influence on the Ethiopian religion and politics .

The main tasks of the "Abun" were the ordination of deacons and priests and the consecration of altar panels ( tabot ). Visitors to Ethiopia at this time, such as Francisco Álvares in the 16th century and Remedius Prutky in the 18th century, were amazed at the type of ordination, which was (supposedly) limited to simple crucifixion and a short prayer .

After many centuries, the Coptic and Ethiopian Churches reached an agreement that led to the rise of the Ethiopian Church into an autocephalous patriarchy. Five bishops were immediately ordained and empowered by the Patriarch of Alexandria to elect the new Patriarch of their church and to make him the successor of Abuna Qerellos IV , the last Metropolitan of Coptic origin. The new patriarch was given authority to ordain new bishops. The first Ethiopian Christian to become patriarch was Abuna Basilios, who was ordained on January 4, 1951.

Sometimes the title Abun was also used for other high church dignitaries (mostly in the Tigre province ). Sometimes the title was also used for European princes and European clergy.