Orthodox Union church, an autonomous Christian Church headed by a
patriarch and closely related to the Coptic Church of Egypt, was
the state church of Ethiopia until 1974. About
(Orthodox 43.5%, Protestant 18.6%
and Catholic 0.7 %)
of the people of Ethiopia are Christians, and Christianity is
predominant in the north. All the southern regions have Muslim
majorities, who represent about 33.9 percent of the country's
population. The south also contains considerable numbers of
Most of the Christian, belonging to the Ethiopian
Orthodox Church, whose 4th Century beginnings came long before Europe
accepted Christianity. A further small percentage about
of the population adheres to traditional and 0.6% other
beliefs, including Judaism.
A sect known
as Beta Israel or Falashas, who practice a type of Judaism that probably
dates back to contact with early Arabian Jews, were airlifted to Israel
in 1991 during Ethiopia's civil war.
The kingdom of Aksum officially
adopted Christianity in the 4th century. But it wasn't before the 12th
century (and up until the 15th) that Christianity spread, along with the
Christian state, to the highlands of central Ethiopia. A remarkable
collection of rock-hewn churches dates from this era. They were
associated with monks, who were considered on a level with saints and
whose lives were often recorded in writing. These monuments and
manuscripts are still very important today as the living memory of
Ethiopia has a rich history that predates the Old Testament.According to the Old Testament,
The Queen of Sheba was born in Axum, but travelled to Israel to meet
King Solomon. They had a son named Menelik, who later became the first
emperor of Ethiopia and adopted Christianity in Ethiopia about the
Century long before Europe accepted Christianity.
Menelik brought the original Ark
of the Covenant back to Ethiopia from Israel. Today, the Arc, which
once housed the Ten Commandments, remains well hidden in Axum. It is
guarded by a select group of monks, whose sole commitment is to protect
the sacred vessel.
Ethiopia's religious tradition is reflected in the
day-to-day lifestyle of the people, and nowhere does this spiritual
energy echo more than in the
Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
In Islamic history
and tradition, Ethiopia (Abyssinia or Al-Habasha) is known as the "Haven
of the First Migration or Hijra." For Muslims, Ethiopia is
synonymous with freedom from persecution and emancipation from fear.
Ethiopia was a land
where its king, Negus or Al-Najashi, was a person renowned for justice
and in whose land human rights were cherished.
The meaning and the
significance of "Hijra" is embodied in the Islamic calendar. Since its
inception, the Islamic calendar represents a history of perpetual
struggle between truth and falsehood, faith and blasphemy, freedom and
oppression, light and darkness, and between peace and war.
The first migration
[Hijra] of the Companions and relatives of the Prophet Muhammad (peace
and blessings be upon him) to Ethiopia celebrates the birth of freedom
of expression and beliefs, whereas, the Second Migration of the Prophet
Muhammad to the Madinah celebrates the end of oppression.
Good News Literature is a Gospel outreach ministry that mainly focuses
on literature evangelism. Our goal is to reach as many people as
possible with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the power of
God unto salvation to everyone that believes.
(Mark 16:15, Romans 1:16)