Stay with Dinknesh at the
south of Ethiopia in our own
Visit 1 of the
spa resorts in Ethiopia at Lake Langano or Lake
Awash National Park
Bale Mountains National Park
Simien mountains national Park
Guest Album South Ethiopia
Guest Album North Ethiopia
here for tour information
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church was established at the beginning of the
fourth century, making it one of the oldest established churches in the
Even now in the 21st Century, religion lives
in Ethiopia more then any other country in the world
See this video of Children learning the ancient religious
Christianity and Islam, the two main religions in Ethiopia, have coexisted
since Mohammed,s time. The first believers in Islam were converted while the
prophet Mohammed was alive and the first mosque was built in the eighth
century. However, culturally the Orthodox church has dominated the
political, social, and cultural life in the highlands, as it has been
official religion of the imperial court and hence also of the feudal
establishment until Haile Selassie was deposed in 1974. Since the religion
and state have been separated
| They served the king well, and
Frumentius became regent for the infant prince Ezana when Ella Amida died.
Frumentius and Aedesius were also permitted to prosyletize the new religion in AXUM
(as modern Ethiopia was then known). After some time, Frumentius and Aedesius
returned to the Mediterranean, traveling down the Nile through Egypt to do so.
When they reached Egypt, Frumentius contacted bishop
Euthanasias of Alexandria and begged him to send missionaries back to AXUM,
since the people there had proved so ready to receive the gospel.
|Athanasius agreed that the
need was urgent, and immediately appointed Frumentius to the task, which needed
someone fluent in the language and sensitive to the customs of AXUM. He ordained
Frumentius the first Abuna or bishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Frumentius has since come to be known as the Abuna Salama or bishop of peace.
His mission was successful and, with the support of king Ezana, Ethiopia became
a Christian nation.
|The link between the
Ethiopian church and the Patriarch of Alexandria was not broken until the 20th
century, since the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria has sent Ethiopia each of its succeeding
| The coming of Islam
into the Middle East and North Africa only three centuries later isolated it
from the rest of Christendom. The Ethiopian highlands at that time were
primarily Christian in the North-East, Judaic in the North-West and mostly
animist in the South.
The Church also believes
the Christian parts of the country had been Judaic before they were converted.
This combination of facts perhaps explains the strong Judaic elements in the
Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Most notable among these are the food restrictions,
including the way animals are killed, consistent with the rules set out in the
old Testament-but not the prohibition of mixing milk and meat. Another
similarity is the strict observance of naming (baptizing), 80 days after birth
for girls and 40 days for boys.
The most striking feature
of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church with its root in Judaism is the presence of a
replica of The Ark of the Covenant Holy of hollies of each Church, called
the Tabot which only priests are allowed to see and handle.
here and watch the video
|With religion playing such
an important role in the Ethiopian society, festivals and ceremonies provide
many high points in the calendar, only the Ethiopian Orthodox Church celebrates
no less then 150 festivities per year
The following are the most
is the most colorful event in
the year when Churches parade their Tabots to a nearby body of water. This is
the commemoration of Christ's baptism, which falls one the
19th of January. The Tabot is taken out in the afternoon on the eve of epiphany
and stays overnight with the priests and faithful congregation. The following
morning the water is blessed and splashed on everyone in a ceremony where the faithful
renew their vows to the Church. If the body of water is large enough, some
people will immerse themselves. Woman who have been unable to have children
participate in the ritual for fertility. After the ceremony, the Tabot is
paraded back to its Church accompanied by much singing and dancing.
is a festival that follows a fasting period of 55 days. During this time, no
animal product is eaten. The faithful do not eat anything at all until the daily
service is finished at around 3 in the afternoon. From Thursday evening before
Good Friday, nothing is eaten until the Easter-service ends on 3 in the morning
on Easter Sunday.
|Kidus Yohannes or
Ethiopias New Years day is celebrated on the 11th of September. It is primarily
secular and a time for People to put on new clothes and visit friends and
Said to be in memory of the finding of the true Cross by the Empress Eleni. This
is as colorful as Timkat, however instead of water the focus of the celebration
is a bonfire topped with an image of a Cross, to which flowers are tied. Priests
in full regalia bless the bonfire before it is lit. This festival coincides with
the mass blooming of the golden Yellow Maskal Daisies, called Adey Ababa in
|Lidet or Gena,
the Ethiopian Christmas is not the primary religious and secular festival
that it has become in Western countries. Falling on the 7th of January, it
is celebrated seriously by a Church service that goes on throughout the
night, with people moving from one Church to another. Traditionally, young
man play a game similar to hockey called Gena on this day, and now
Christmas has also come to be known by this name.
indication of the influence of the Church in everyday life is the fact that the
thirteen major Saints-Days in each month are named by their Saint, while others
are referred to by date. Each Church is dedicated to one Saint, and on that
Saints-Day once or twice a year the Tabot is paraded in front of the
congregation by taking it around the Church three times.
who are joining these festivals contribute to their Church by giving several
religious items, the amount to be spent on these contributions depends of course
on the income of the individual. The most popular items to be contributed are
candles and umbrellas in al kind of size and decorations. the church collects
these items and sells them back to the merchants to gain money to help the pour.
|Ethiopia has long
enjoyed the most intimate relations with Islam. Some of the earliest disciples
of the prophet Mohammed, when persecuted in Arabia, found refuge at Axum, which
was then ruled by King Armah. When one of the refugees, Umm Habibah, was to
marry Mohammed, Armah sent her a golden dowry. The prophet later prayed for the
Axumite Kings soul and instructed his followers to leave the Abyssinians
in peace, thus exempting them from a holy war. Many words in
Ge ez, the classical language of the Ethiopians, are to be found in the
Holly Quran. The first muezzin calling the faithful to prayer in the
prophets time was an Ethiopian named Bilal, as his compatriots
recall with pride to this day.
Ethiopia has an
extensive and very active Muslim population , who have played an important role
in Ethiopia life, particularly in the field of commerce, for over a
millennium. The majority of Muslims inhabit the eastern , southern and
western low lands, but there are also many followers of Islam in Addis Ababa and
in all Ethiopian towns-- even in the so - called Christian highlands. Mosques ,
however, were for the most part constructed only with in the last century or so;
they are now found throughout the length and breadth of the country.
and most holy Muslim center, according to tradition, is at Nagash, north of
Wukro in Tigray, where there is a fine mosque of considerable antiquity.
perhaps the most
important Islamic center since medieval times, however, has been the famous
walled city of Harar. One of the principal holy cities of Islam, it has long
been renowned for its religious learning, as well as for its mosques, many
Muslim shrines, and tombs of several holy Muslim leaders of the past.
| An important center
of Muslim pilgrimage today is the town of Shek Husen in Bale region. The
faithful flock there twice a year from all over Ethiopia, as well as from neighboring
Dinknesh Ethiopia Tour is a proud
member of the following
Dinknesh Ethiopia Tour
In front of Teklehaimanot
Garad Building 7TH Floor
Room No. 1294-7-1
Ethiopia, East Africa
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