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Travel topics > Cultural attractions > Historical travel > Churches in Ethiopia

Churches in Ethiopia

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Churches in Ethiopia is a travel topic about the history of the Ethiopian churches.

Understand[edit]

Ethiopia has some of the world's oldest Christian roots, with a Christian history as long as that of Rome and Greece. According to the Book of Acts in the New Testament, the disciple Philip introduced Christianity to an Ethiopian eunuch, who apparently brought the religion back to Ethiopia, where people were converted and many churches were established. The Ethiopian Orthodox Bible is notable for having the most books among all the versions of the Bible currently in use, and several books that are considered apocryphal in other denominations are regarded as canonical in Ethiopia.

Destinations[edit]

  • 1 Addis Ababa — The capital city's churches include the important Holy Trinity Cathedral (burial place of dignitaries from Emperor Haile Selassie to Sylvia Pankhurst), the octagonal St George's Cathedral, and the large Medhane Alem cathedral in the Bole suburb.
  • 2 Adwa and nearby Yeha — Adwa and Yeha have several churches, and Yeha also has the Great Temple, a pre-Christian and pre-Aksumite temple dating back at least 2500 years.
  • 3 Axum — Formerly the capital of the Axumite Kingdom (1st-10th century AD), and now home to the Church of Our Lady Mary in Zion (Tsion Maryam) complex, which is believed by Ethiopian Christians to house the original Ark of the Covenant.
  • 4 Bahir Dar — Kidus Giorgis church is in town, but the bigger attraction is the churches and monasteries, some of the world's oldest, on islands in Lake Tana, to which there are boat tours.
  • 5 Gondar — Home to rulers from the 12th-20th centuries, also hosts the fortress-like Debre Birhan Selassie Church and its richly frescoed interior, and King Fasilides Bath, where Timkat (Epiphany) is celebrated.
  • 6 Hawzien — A base for exploring some of the over 100 rock-hewn churches in the area, including mountain-top churches and monasteries.
  • 7 Lalibela — Has a complex of remarkable rock-cut churches that were built in the 13th-14th centuries, and among the most enduring symbols of Christianity in Africa.

Respect[edit]

Though many of the churches and monasteries are very old, most are still actively used for worship, and sometimes habitation, so be mindful of the Ethiopian Orthodox worshipers, pilgrims, priests, nuns and monks present.

See also[edit]

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