Gudina Tumsa

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Gudina Tumsa (Boji, Oromia, 1929 – 28 July, 1979) was an Ethiopian theologian and General Secretary of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus.

He helped form the Council for Cooperation of Churches in Ethiopia, an ecumenical council, and was elected its first chairman.[1] Tumsa “gave his church a decisive push towards independence in theological thought and church practice”,[2] criticizing many aspects of Western Christianity. Much of his theology is contained in the letters he wrote to church leaders and the general public, as well as in the addresses he gave at various conferences around the world in the 1960s and 1970s. Tumsa was abducted and killed by Derg soldiers on 28 July, 1979,[3] and has been called the “Dietrich Bonhoeffer of Africa” in the years following.[2]

Inspired by Tumsa's life, the Gudina Tumsa Foundation was founded in 1992 to help people who are "suffering physically as well as those longing for justice and freedom."[4] In 2008, a group of youth Ethiopian theologians formed the Gudina Tumsa Theological Forum to "provide a platform for sound theological reflection on developments within the church and society at large."[5]


  1. ^ Jodock, Darrell. Gudina Tumsa Awarded the Christus Lux Mundi, Luther Seminary Story Magazine, Third Quarter, 2004. Retrieved on 13 February, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Eide, Øyvind. Revolution and Religion in Ethiopia: Growth and Persecution of the Mekane Yesus Church, 1974-85. 2nd ed. Oxford: James Currey, 2000. Print.
  3. ^ Eide, Øyvind M. "Gudina Tumsa", Dictionary of African Christian Biography. Retrieved on 13 February, 2013.
  4. ^ Gudima Tumsa Foundation, The Vision, retrieved on 13 February, 2013.
  5. ^ Luther Seminary, Gudina Tumsa Theological Forum, retrieved on 13 February, 2013.

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