Thursday, August 30, 2012

A history of Ethiopia's Church (by AL-AHRAM)

(Aug 30, 2012, AL-AHRAM)--Nader Habib examines the historical development of Christianity in Ethiopia and its relationship with Egypt's Coptic Church.  Axum, Abyssinia and Ethiopia are all names associated with the mighty kingdom that arose in the Horn of Africa more than three millennia ago, and which has had a far-reaching influence outside its borders.

King Solomon and Makeda, famous as the Queen of Sheba; and their descendant Haile Selassie with the late Pope Kirolos VI; Pope Athanasius
References to the fabulously rich kingdom, and perhaps its satellite states, can be found in temple hieroglyphics in Egypt as well as in Biblical and Quranic references. In one of the earliest encounters with Ethiopia, Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt sent a commercial mission to the Land of Punt, a part of ancient Ethiopia, believed to be today's Somalia.

The king of Punt sent the emissaries back to Egypt with exotic animals, incense, ebony, ivory and precious stones, all duly noted on the walls of Deir Al-Bahari in Luxor. History becomes less clear when the Queen of Sheba comes into the picture. The woman who has travelled to Jerusalem and consorted with King Solomon may have originated from Yemen, but Ethiopian traditions lay a strong claim upon her, and also upon the famed Ark of the Covenant.

In Islamic tradition, the Queen of Sheba is Belqais, and her home is Yemen or its vicinity. In Ethiopian tradition, the queen's name is Makeda, or Mageda, and she hails from Axum. Read more the original article from AL-AHRAM »

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