→Recent History: Patriarch Abune P'awlos left our vanishing world on 15 August 2012, aged 76 years
[[Image:AnastasiosAndPaulos.JPG|350px|thumb|Archbishop Anastasios of Albania visits with Abune P'awlos at the 2008 Central Committee meeting of the World Council of Churches]]
Patriarch Abune Tekle Haimanot proved to be much less accommodating to the Derg regime than it had expected, and so when the patriarch died in 1988 a new patriarch with closer ties to the regime was sought. Archbishop Abune Merqoriyos of Gonder, a member of the Derg-era Ethiopian Parliament, was therefore elected and enthroned as patriarch. Following the fall of the Derg regime in 1991 and the coming to power of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), Patriarch Abune Merqoriyos abdicated under governmental pressure and was replaced by the new government's candidate, Abune P'awlos.
Following the enthronement of Abune P'awlos, Abune Merqoriyos fled abroad, first to Kenya and later to the United States, and announced that his abdication had been forced and that he was therefore the legitimate Patriarch of Ethiopia. Several other archbishops also went into exile in 1992 and together with Abune Merqoriyos and an Ethiopian Orthodox archbishop in the Caribbean formed the Holy Synod in Exile of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. This Synod in Exile is recognized by a number of Ethiopian Orthodox churches in Kenya, North America, Western Europe, and Australia that do not recognize the legitimacy of Abune P'awlos' election as patriarch.
As with Orthodox [[synagogue]]s, men and women are seated separately in Ethiopian Orthodox churches, with men on the left and women on the right (when facing the altar). However, women covering their heads and separation of the sexes in church is common to many [[Oriental Orthodox]], [[Eastern Orthodox]] and [[Roman Catholic Church|Catholic]] Christians and not unique to Judaism. Ethiopian Orthodox worshipers remove their shoes when entering a church, in accordance with [[Exodus]] 3:5 (in which [[Moses]], while viewing the [[burning bush]], is commanded to remove his shoes while standing on holy ground). Furthermore, both the [[Sabbath]] (Saturday), and the [[Lord's Day]] (Sunday) are observed as holy, although more emphasis, because of the [[Resurrection]], is laid upon the Sunday.