Ethiopia is an extraordinary symbol of continuity amid a restive and crisis-ridden world. In a few decades, Africa has passed from colonialism, to modernity, to a congress of now largely independent black powers, whose views and votes are at long last heeded on the floor of the global parliament of nations. The capital of Ethiopia is also the headquarters of both the United Nations mission to the continent and of the indigenous continental African union.
Ethiopia is unique, not only in the antiquity of her continuous religious and political history, but also in the ever accelerating involvement of the nation in the problems and the promises of continent where religious belief is nevertheless more radically diversified. The sanctions of peace, hospitality, and wisdom in the line of biblical King Solomon is a symbol of continuity, order, and resoluteness alike for the community of nations, for the continent of Africa, and for the church and citizenry of Ethiopia itself.
This book sketches the history of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahido Church and also that of Christianity as a whole in Ethiopia. As the reader will discover, not only are there strong Biblical Hebraic elements in the theology, political theory, and liturgical calendar of the Ethiopian Church but there is also a strong influence from Beta Israel and Ethiopian Jews. Besides these Ethiopian Jews and of course, the Orthodox Ethiopians and a few Protestant and roman Catholic Ethiopian Christians, there are in Ethiopia also very large numbers of Moslems and various native beliefs. We hope other volumes will follow on these equally important Ethiopian religious traditions.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church