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Posts Tagged ‘Christiantiy’

Oromo Soldiers of the Nobel Laureate PM Burning down an Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 18, 2020

👉 Nobel Peace Prize = License for Genocide

The current genocidal PM of Ethiopia is proudly sponsored by the Luciferian Occident & Orient, so the Ethiopia blood sacrifice assures Satan will keep him in power.

Since the Crypto-Muslim and an Oromo ethno-nationalist Abiy Ahmed Ali came in 2018 to power, there was a large scale attack in which 1000 orthodox Christians and their priests and bishops were murdered and around 50 churches burned down. This is another level of coordinated Oromo Muslim attack on Ethiopian Christians, and this kind of large scale attack has never happened in Ethiopia since the 16th century.

The massacred Orthodox priests didn’t deserve this! In this day and age It is always very dangerous to set up churches in Islamic regions even in countries where Muslims are a minority. Uncolonized, in its long history, Ethiopia has always been staunchly Orthodox Christian since Biblical times and defeated many Islamic armies and others who tried to conquer it. However, lately many Ethiopians are worried the direction their country is moving under their new, pro-Western and pro-Arab prime minister. Many Ethiopians think that Saudi Arabia and a US-backed coup has taken place in their country in 2018.

Orthodox Faithful, Prelates call to ‘Prepare for Martyrdom’ in Response to the Unending Jihad in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church, with its long history and colorful traditions, has become almost synonymous with the identity of Ethiopia itself. Now, a spate of church burnings has raised the religious and political temperature.

What or Who is Behind this?

Ethiopia is one of the world’s most religious countries, in which about 98% of the population claim a religious affiliation. Hence the shock over churches belonging to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) – an organization and faith that is integral to the idea of Ethiopian-ness – being burned to the ground, sometimes with their priests inside them.

It comes at a time when ethnic tensions are already sky high and have already resulted in much blood spilled. Ethnic-related strife has always been present in Ethiopia, but it has been bedevilling the country even more so, it appears, following the initially much-lauded reforms by Abiy Ahmed, after he became Prime Minister in early 2018.

During the first half of 2018, Ethiopia’s rate of 1.4m new internally displaced persons (IDPs) exceeded Syria’s. By the end of last year, after further ethnic-related clashes, the IDP population had mushroomed to nearly 2.4m – and remains close to that figure.

There is a feeling of siege among many followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The continued burning of churches is already leading to a wider distrust within society and could be a time-bomb.

Also, in eastern and southern Ethiopia, many people associate the Orthodox Church with northern Ethiopia, so it has already deepen political polarization.

Since July 2018, about 50 churches have been attacked, with more than half of them burned to the ground like this one. Some of the attacks have also been corroborated by US-based Christian groups. But the wider world, including the Orthodox one, remains silent.

Unique Role of EOTC

About 60% to 70% of Ethiopia’s 110m population follow the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC), the largest of the Oriental Orthodox Christian churches. Muslims make up around 25% of the population – with Protestants, Catholics and adherents to indigenous tribal religions making up the rest.

But it is the EOTC that rules supreme in terms of cultural and psychological impact in the country. It is impossible to talk about Ethiopian history without the history of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

The church had an invaluable role in protecting the territorial integrity of Ethiopia from foreign aggression. The church was also a target of foreign invaders because they knew that it is impossible to conquer Ethiopians without destroying the church. That is why the church means so much to Ethiopians. There is no aspect of Ethiopians’ lives where religion in one way or another doesn’t have a role.

As a result, Ethiopian identify has become inextricably bound up in the EOTC, with the Ethiopian Orthodox faith evolving over the centuries into a religion that embraces culture, politics, flag, identity and nationalism, all put in one package.

Historically, Ethiopia is a state where diverse groups have excelled in relatively living together in harmony. Ethiopia is one of the few countries where Christians and Muslims live together peacefully with mutual respect and proximity.

They are a people who give precedence to their peaceful co-existence as human beings and as Ethiopians; they don’t harp on their religious differences. Sadly, religious differences are causing havoc around the world these days.

But that doesn’t mean Ethiopia is immune to pressures and competition on a larger scale –attacks on Christians have occurred since the 1990s, according to members of the EOTC – hence rising concerns that the increase in church burnings since Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018 indicates Muslim extremism is gaining a foothold in Ethiopia.

If the Church burnings continue and Christians retaliate, this will be a huge setback to the peace that has co-existed between the faiths and could potentially result in a new conflict leading to millions more Ethiopians being displaced. Ethiopia cannot afford a religious conflict at a time when its very survival is in question.

Money from the Gulf region has been pouring into the country to build mosques, Islamic schools,banks and pushing the Wahhabi form of Islam to Ethiopian Muslims since the early 2000s. Wahhabism is a more strict and conservative Islamic doctrine and religious movement, which is backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Both countries have shown an increased interest in Ethiopia and the wider Horn of Africa region in the past few years.

The burning of Churches in Ethiopia is foreign, and we can only think this extreme view has been exported to the country.

It is horrific and unbelievable to think monks and priests were burnt alive in such a holy place as a church. We believe, ultimately, that Saudi Arabia’s and UAE’s interest in Ethiopia is both political and religious, and there’s no doubt external extreme views of Islam are having an impact in the country.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his administration have not addressed the targeting of church burnings, nor presented a plan to safeguard churches and Christians in the areas where they are being attacked.

There is even a growing movement among his Oromo people, who were at the center of sustained protests leading to the emergence of Abiy and his so-called reforms, for an entirely separate administrative body of the EOTC dedicated to the Oromo.

Over a year after the ascent of a new prime minister in Ethiopia bred hope for reform, bursting ethnic tensions are sending the country into a spiral of violence that is leaving churches and worshipers subject to property damage and murder.

Aggressive protesters across Ethiopia’s Oromia Federal State launched several violent attacks against non-Oromos and Orthodox Christians residing in the state, displacing millions, killing at least 1000 people, leaving thousands seriously wounded, and burned numerous homes and business ventures of non-Oromos.

Orthodox Churches and Orthodox believers were singled out (in many areas Orthodox Oromos were also targeted). In the towns of Dire Dawa, Nazret,Debre Zeit, Arsi Negele, Shashemene, Ambo, Jimma, Bale Robé, the areas surrounding Harrar, and the outskirts of Addis Ababa, ethnic riots and the violent attacks took on an ugly Islamic aspect.

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ቅዱስ ምካኤል ወዳጅ ነህ ለሁሉ፤ ዛሬም ቆመሃል በኪዳንህ ላሉ

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on November 21, 2017

እርጉም የዲያብሎስ ልጆች በሴቶቻችን፣ በህፃናቶቻችንና በመላው ሕዝባችን ላይ ዘምተዋል፤ ማን ያየናል፣ ማን ያውቅብናል በማለት ሌት ተቀን ይፈታተኗቸዋል፤ ዲያብሎስን ድል የነሣህ የመላእክት አለቃ ቅዱስ ሚካኤል ሆይ! የምስጋናን መሥዋዕት የምታዘጋጅ አንተ ነህና ጠላት ዲያብሎስ ተረማምዶ በእደ ፃዕረ ሞት ወገኖቻችንን እንዳያፍን በአፋቸው ላይ ጥበቃህን አጠንክር።

የቅዱስ ሚካኤል አምላክ ሆይ! በአርአያህ በአምሣልህ የፈጠርከን ሕዝቦችህን ሁሉ ከመከራ ሥጋ ከመከራ ነፍስ ሠውረን ለዘላለሙ አሜን።

ኅዳር ፲፪ የሊቀ መላእክት ቅዱስ ሚካኤል ታላቅ በዓል

ሚካኤል ማለት በዕብራይስጥ ቋንቋ ሚመኑከመኤልአምላክ ማለት ሲሆን በአንድነት ሲነበብ መኑ ከመ አምላክ (እንደ እግዚአብሔር ያለ ማን ነው) ማለት ነው፡፡ ይህ ታላቅ መልአክ ዮሐንስ ወንጌላዊ በራዕዩ ‹‹በእግዚአብሔር ፊት የሚቆሙትን ሰባቱን መላእክት አየሁ›› ብሎ ከተናገረላቸው መላእክት ውስጥ የሚመደብ ሲሆን የሰባቱም ሊቃነ መላእክት አለቃ እንዲሆን እግዚአብሔር መርጦ ሹሞታል፡፡ ይህ ታላቅ መልአክ ያደረጋቸው የሠራቸው እጅግ ብዙ የሆኑ ተአምራት አሉት፡፡

ስለዚህ ስለ ታላቁ መልአክ ቅዱስ ሚካኤል ክብር፤ ጠባቂነትና አማላጅነት ከአባቶቻቸው የተማሩትን በኑሮአቸው ያዩትን አባቶቻችን ጽፈዋል፡፡ ስለ ቅዱስ ሚካኤል ከጻፉት አባቶች መካከል የተወሰኑትን ለመጥቀስ ያክል፡

  • + ዮሐንስ አፈወርቅ
  • + ኤዎስጣቴዎስ ዘአንፆኪያ
  • + ቅዱስ መቃርዮስ
  • + ቅዱስ ያሬድ
  • + አባ ጊዮርጊስ ዘጋስጫ
  • + የእስክንድርያው ሊቀ ጳጳስ አባዲማቴዎስ ናቸው፡፡

እኛም የአባቶቻችንን አንደበት አንደበታችን አድርገን በኅዳር 12 ክቡር ገናና የሆነ ቅዱስ ሚካኤል ካደረጋቸውና ከሠራቸው ብዙ ተአምራት ውስጥ የተወሰኑትን በመልአኩ ተረዳኢነት እንዲህ ብለን እንናገራለን አንጽፋለን፡፡

ንግስት ክሌዎፓትራ ‹‹ሳተርን›› ለሚባለው ጣዖት የሠራችው ቤተ ጣዖት በእስክንድርያ ነበር፡፡ ይህ ቤተ ጣዖት እስከ እስክንድርያው ፓትርያርክ እለ እስክንድሮስ /312 – 326/ ዘመን ድረስ ነበር፡፡ እለ እስክንድሮስ ሊያጠፋው ሲነሣ ሕዝቡ ከልቡ ገና የአምልኮ ጣዖት ስላልጣፋ 18 ፓትርያርኮች ያልነኩትን አንተ ለምን ታፈርስብናለህ ብለው ተቃወሙት፡፡ እለ እስክንድሮስም ሕዝቡን መክሮና አስተምሮ የሳተርን በዓል ይውልበት በነበረው ዕለት የቅዱስ ሚካኤልን በዓል እንዲያከብሩ አውጆ ቤተ ጣዖቱንም በቅዱስ ሚካኤል ስም ሰይሞ ቤተክርስቲያን አደረገው፡፡ ከዚህ በኋላ በቅዱስ ሚካኤልም ስም አብያተ ክርስቲያናት መታነጽ ጀመሩ በዓሉ በዚህ ቀን እንዲከበር ተወስኗል፡፡

እንዲህም ሆነ የእግዚአብሔር ወዳጅ የሆነ ስሙ ዱራታዎስ የሚባል አንድ ሰው ነበረ፡፡ የሚስቱም ስም ቴዋብለት ነው፡፡ እነርሱም ሁልጊዜ ያለ ማቋረጥ የዚህን የከበረ መልአክ የሚካኤልን የበዓሉን መታሰቢያ ያረጉ ነበር፡፡ ከዚህም በኋላ በሀገር ውስጥ ችግር በሆነ ጊዜ ገንዘባቸው አለቀ፡፡ በዚህም የተነሳ ለመላእክት አለቃ ለቅዱስ ሚካኤል ለበዓሉ መታሰቢያ የሚያደርጉትን አጡ፡፡ ዱራታዎስም ሽጦ ለበዓሉ መታሰቢያ ያደርገው ዘንድ የእርሱን ልብስና የሚስቱን ልብስ ይዞ ወጥቶ ሄደ፡፡ የመላእክት አለቃ ቅዱስ ሚካኤል በታላቅ መኮንን አምሳል ለዱራታዎስ ተገለጠለት፤ ቅዱስ ሚካኤልም ዱራታዎስን ወደ በጎች እንዲሔድና በእርሱ ዋስትና በአንድ ዲናር አንድ በግ እንዲወስድ አዘዘው፤ ሁለተኛም ወደ ዓሣ አጥማጅ ሔዶ አንድ ዓሣ እንዲወስድ አዘዘው፡፡ መልአኩም ወደ ቤት ሳይደርስ የዓሣውን ሆድ እንዳይቀድ አስጠነቀቀው፡፡ ወደ ባለ ስንዴም እንዲሔድና የሚሻውን እንዲሁ በእርሱ ዋስትና እንዲወስድ አዘዘው ዱራታዎስም ቅዱስ ሚካኤል እንዳዘዘው አደረገ፡፡

ወደ ቤቱም በተመለሰ ጊዜ በረከትን ሁሉ ቤቱ ተመልቶ አገኘው፤ እጅግም አደነቀ፤ የዚህንም የከበረ መልአክ የበዓሉን መታሰቢያ እንዳስለመደው አደረገ፡፡ የተራቡ ድሆችን ሁሉንም ጠርቶ መገባቸውና ወደ ቤታቸው አሰናበታቸው፡፡

ከዚህም በኋላ ለዱራታዎስና ለሚስቱ ቅዱስ ሚካኤል ለሁለተኛ ጊዜ ተገለጠላቸው ዱራታዎስንም የዓሳውን ሆድ እንዲሰነጥቅ አዘዘው፤ በሰነጠቀውም ጊዜ ሦስት መቶ የወርቅ ዲናር በዓሳው ሆድ ተገኘ፡፡ ቅዱስ ሚካኤልም ዱራታዎስንና ቴዋብስታን እንዲህ አላቸው፡፡ ‹‹ከዚህ ዲናር ወስዳችሁ ለባለ በጉ ለባለ ዓሳውና ለባለ ስንዴው ዕዳችሁን ክፈሉ የቀረውም ለፍላጎታችሁ ይሁናችሁ፤ እግዚአብሔር አስባችኋልና በጎ ሥራችሁን መስዋዕታችሁን ምጽዋዕታችሁን በዚህ ዓለም አሳመረላችሁ፡፡ በኋላኛውም መንግስት ሰማያትን አዘጋጅቶላችኋል፡፡››

በአንድ ዘመን ብዙ ሰዎች ከግብፅ አውራጃ መጥተው ወደ ባሕር ማዶ ሄዱ፡፡ ከባሕሩም በደረሱ ጊዜ በመርከብ ላይ ተሳፍረው ከየብሱ ጥቂት በራቁና ወደ ባሕሩ መካከል በደረሱ ጊዜ ጽኑ ነፋስ ተነሳባቸው ለመስጠም እስኪ ደርሱ ድረስ፡፡

የማዕበሉ ሞገድ እየጨመረ እየጸና ከፍ አለ፡፡ ታላቅም ማዕበል መጥቶ ሊገለብጣቸው ደረሰ፡፡ ፍጹም ጥፋትና ክፉ ሞት እንደ መጣባቸው ባዩ ጊዜ ጽኑ ሐዘን ያዛቸው፡፡ የሚያድናቸው የሚያጽናናቸው አጥተው ተስፋ ቆረጡ፡፡ ያን ጊዜ እንዲህ ብለው ጮኹ፡፡

‹‹የመላእክት አለቃቸው ግሩም ገናና የምትሆን ሚካኤል ሆይ የተአምራትና የይቅርታ መልአክ ነህና፡፡ ልዑል ቸርነቱን የሚገልጥብህ መልአክ ሆይ! እግዚአብሔር ፍቅሩን የሚያስታውቅብህ መልአክ ሆይ ወደኛ ተመልከት እርዳን፡፡ የተጨነቅን እኛን አድነን፡፡ ከመጣብን ሞትና ጥፋት እንድን ዘንድ ስለኛ ወደ ፈጣሪህ ወደ ፈጣሪያችን ወደ እግዚአብሔር ለምንልን፡፡ አሁን የሞት መጋረጃ ዓይናችንን ሸፍኖታልና፡፡ ፍጹም የጥፋት ጥላንም አይተናታልና›› ብለው በፍጹም ልቦናቸው ወደ እግዚአብሔር ጮኹ፡፡ በመርከብ ውስጥ ያሉት ሁሉ ጽኑ ለቅሶ እያለቀሱ መራራ እንባ እያፈሰሱ ጮኹ፡፡

ከባሕር ጽኑ ማዕበል ከሞት ያድናቸው ዘንድ ያን ጊዜ በዚያች ሰዓት እግዚአብሔር የልቦናቸውን ሐዘንና ልመናቸውን ሰማቸው፡፡ ያን ጊዜም ይገዳቸው ዘንድ ቸር መልአኩን ሚካኤልን ላከላቸው የመላእክት አለቃ ቅዱስ ሚካኤልም ከሰማይ ወረደ መርከቡን በእጁ ይዞ ሳበው፡፡ በመርከቡ ውስጥ ያሉትንም ወደ የብስ አወጣቸው፡፡ በደኅናቸው ተሻገሩ፤ ክፉ ነገር ጥቂትስ ስንኳ ፈጽሞ አላገኛቸውም፡፡

ለእግዚአብሔር ምስጋና ይሁን እኛንም ገናና የሆነ የመላእክት አለቃ ቅዱስ ሚካኤል ልመናውና አማላጅነቱ ፈጽሞ ይጠብቀን፡፡ ከጽኑ ጠላት እጅ በክንፎቹ ጋርዶ ይሰውረን፡፡ ለዘለዓለሙ አሜን፡፡

ምንጮች

-ድርሳነ ሚካኤል ዘኅዳር

-መጽሐፈ ስንክሳር ዘኅዳር

-የሐመር መጽሔት 1993 ዓም መጋቢትና ሚያዚያ

ቅዱስ ምካኤል ወዳጅ ነህ ለሁሉ፤ ዛሬም ቆመሃል በኪዳንህ ላሉ። አሜን የመላእክት አለቃ ቅዱስ ካኤል ሆይ ስለእኛ ስለሰው ልጆች በጌታ ፊት ቁምልን ምልጃና ጸሎትህ ተራዳእነትህ ጥበቃህ ለዘወትር አይለየን!! አሜን።

አስደናቂ አይደለም!? ላይ ያቀረብኩትን መልዕክት ከላኩ በኋላ፡ ቅዱስ ሚካኤልን ስጠራና ይህን ድህረገጽ ስከፍት፤ ያው የአምላኬ መልአክ በላዬ በራ፦

One Of The Biggest Alternative Media Networks In Italy Is Spreading Anti-Immigrant News And Misinformation On Facebook

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Antivenom vs Venom | ሊቀ መላእክት ሚካኤል (Michael)በእነዚህ ገዳዮች ላይ ስይፉን ዘርግቶባቸዋል፤ ይገርማል ሁሉም ስማቸው በ “Mይጀምራል

  • ሜርከል (Merkel) ወደ ሞት እየሄደች ነው
  • ሙጋቤ (Mugabe) ወደ ሞት እየሄደ ነው
  • መንግስቱ (Mengistu) ወደ ሞት እየሄደ ነው
  • ሜይ (May) ወደ ሞት እየሄደች ነው
  • ማክሮን (Macron) ወደ ሞት እየሄደ ነው
  • ማንሰን (Manson) ሞተ
  • መሀመድ (Mohammad) ሞቷል
  • ሙስሊም (Muslim) እየሞቱ ነው

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Posted in Ethiopia, Faith | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

White Supremacy Angers Jesus, Says Russell Moore, Calls It ‘terrorism, Satanism And Devil Worship’

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on September 18, 2017

Leading US evangelical and Southern Baptist Russell Moore has offered blistering critique of white supremacy following the events at Charlottesville, calling the ideology ‘terrorism, Satanism and devil worship.’

‘White supremacy angers Jesus of Nazareth. The question is: Does it anger his church?’ Moore asked yesterday, writing for the Washington Post, after incendiary white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia saw one person killed at the weekend.

Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, noted that the New Testament sees Christ often calm in times of crisis, except for very particular occasions – such as his famous clearing of the money lenders from the Jewish Temple.

The Temple story, Moore said, illustrates Jesus’ ultimate desire for ‘a house of prayer for all nations’, radically challenging a racial ideology that limits the blessings of God to only one ethnicity.

Christ reserved his strongest criticism for those who claimed to represent God, Moore said. He wrote: ‘The Scriptures show us two things that make Jesus visibly angry: religious hypocrisy and racial supremacist ideology.’

Moore said this was crucial because ‘many of those advocating for white supremacy claim to do so in the name of Jesus Christ. Some of them speak of “Christendom” — by which they mean white European cultural domination — and not of Christianity. But many others are members of churches bearing the name of Jesus Christ. Nothing could be further from the gospel.’

Moore, who has been unafraid to condemn the racist rhetoric of the Charlottesville demonstrations, concluded: ‘The church should call white supremacy what it is: terrorism, but more than terrorism. White supremacy is Satanism. Even worse, white supremacy is a devil-worship that often pretends that it is speaking for God.

‘This sort of ethnic nationalism and racial superiority ought to matter to every Christian, regardless of national, ethnic or racial background. After all, we are not our own but are part of a church — a church made up of all nations, all ethnicities, united not by blood and soil but by the shed blood and broken body of Jesus Christ.’

Source

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Posted in Conspiracies, Ethnicity, Genetics & Anthropology, Faith | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Christian Converts In German Refugee Camps Growing In Number Despite Attacks By Muslim Refugees

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 11, 2017

Christian converts living in German refugee camps are reporting more cases of violent physical and verbal attacks from Muslim asylum seekers living among them.

But despite the huge personal risks involved, thousands more are converting from Islam to Christianity, Deutsche Welle reported, citing church leaders.

At the same time, the attacks on Christian converts have increased since 2015 even with fewer refugees entering Germany, according to the same German news outlet in a separate report.

Gottfried Martens, a pastor at the Protestant Trinity independent church in Berlin, revealed that with the increasing attacks on Christian converts, refugees who come to his congregation can no longer live in their shelters without being bothered by others.

“Right now we have five people with us who have been assaulted. One has lost some of his teeth and one of the others has a wound that had to be sewn up,” Martens said.

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He said German authorities are not doing anything to stop the attacks and harassments in the refugee camps. Most of the time, he said the security personnel even side with the attackers.

Martens said Christian converts are forced to secretly sneak out of the refugee camps to attend church services. They also hide the cross necklaces they receive after baptism, he added.

At the refugee camps, Muslim residents reportedly harass Christian converts with insults and accusations. There have been reported cases of Christians being threatened with death and openly attacked with knives by Muslims.

The Muslims openly conduct their intimidation and persecution campaign on their fellow Christian refugees, even scrawling messages like “It’s time to kill the non-believers” on the walls of the camps, reports said.

Christian converts are also discriminated against in the use of facilities like showers and bathrooms. For instance, the entrances to the facilities would have words like “The impure cannot enter,” according to Deutsche Welle.

In some cases, the death threats have actually been carried out. A 38-year-old Afghan mother, for instance, was recently stabbed to death by a “very religious” Afghan man, the report said.

Last year, Open Doors provided numbers to show the extent of persecution among Christian converts in German asylum centers.

In its report, the nonprofit Christian persecution watchdog said 617 of the 743 respondents included in its survey were assaulted multiple times, with 416 of them subjected to violent attacks, 314 received death threats, and 44 sexually assaulted.

Moreover, 674 respondents said the attacks were carried out against them by Muslims who were also refugees in the asylum center. Other respondents said the Muslim guards assaulted them.

Open Doors said the interviews it conducted among the Christian converts showed that the attacks were religiously motivated.

Source

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Posted in Faith, Infos, Life | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ethiopia’s Monastic Highs

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 21, 2013

DebreDamo

My note: Great story, amazing pictures (excluding ‘Manchester’! Perhaps, the European Union could take some notice of the place, in case it needs some assistance from Prester John in the near future.

Alastair Sooke finds inspiration in the extraordinary churches of Ethiopia and scales a cliff to visit one of the oldest buildings in the world still in use – which his grandfather restored in the Forties.

“Are you going to climb barefoot or wearing boots?”

In front of me was a wall of creamy-brown rock, mottled with footholds worn through centuries of use. My destination was situated nearly 60ft above my head: the threshold to the ancient monastery of Debra Damo, which occupies the summit of a rocky outcrop, entirely surrounded by cliffs, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, a few miles south of the border with Eritrea. The only way to enter it is to haul yourself up a plaited-leather rope that hangs from a ledge adjoining the monastery’s gatehouse.

Thankfully, for outsiders like me, there is an additional strap that functions as a rudimentary safety harness, held taut by one or two monks above. After considering the question of my gung-ho guide, I unlaced my boots, in the hope that unshod feet would yield better grip, and began to heave. A few minutes later, my biceps burning, I clambered into the arms of the middle-aged monk who had been helping to pull me up. The hard part was behind me: the rest of the climb could be undertaken using steps.

Although this was my first visit to Debra Damo, I already felt some acquaintance with the monastery. This is because my maternal grandfather, Derek Matthews, who was an architect, lived among the monks here for several months while he restored the larger of the religious community’s two churches in the late 1940s. This crumbling structure has been used continuously for Christian worship since it was built, probably during the sixth century AD. My grandfather, who died in 2009, described it as “one of the oldest buildings in the world still in use”. As a child, I often heard about his time there, and imagined him as a nimble 28 year-old, hurtling up and down the leather rope with the sure-footed alacrity of a vervet monkey. At the end of last year, I decided to visit it for myself.

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Posted in Ethiopia, Faith | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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