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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The government and rebels in South Sudan have agreed to end fighting and form a transitional government within 60 days, Ethiopia says.
The regional Igad bloc, mediating the conflict, has threatened sanctions if they fail to abide by the agreement.
It follows a rare meeting between President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Previous deals to end the violence have been broken by both sides, compounding the worsening humanitarian crisis.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Poverty Violence * Economics, Politics Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Ethiopia Sudan --South Sudan * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Recently I came upon...[a] photo of worshippers gathered for Mass in Ethiopia...“WHAT?” I thought. “Where is this?!”
And so began my research into the fantastic rock-cut underground churches in Lalibela.
In the twelfth century, King Lalibela, a member of the Zagwe dynasty which had seized the throne of Ethiopia around 1000 A.D., sought support from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. To garner support, he commissioned a series of twelve extraordinary churches in the small town of Roha (now renamed Lalibela). He hoped to create a New Jerusalem, a pilgrimage site for Christians who could not make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Read it all.
Ethiopia was cut off for centuries from the wider Christian world by the Islamic conquests to its north. During that time, its church flourished in isolation, untouched by and ignorant of the theological disputes dividing Europe. That means its traditions provide insight into an older, perhaps purer and certainly more mystical form of Christianity – one that dates back 1,600 years and therefore, in its unaltered forms, bears witness to a liturgy practised only a relatively brief period after the time of Jesus Christ.
To better understand this, I had come to Lalibela, Ethiopia's self-proclaimed "New Jerusalem". Here, I thought, I could engage with the religion and its beliefs. What I had not expected was that I would also get to see one of the world's most impressive – and most affecting – architectural marvels.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry * International News & Commentary Africa Ethiopia * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Orthodox Church
The Anglican Church in Gambella was begun by refugees who planted church communities in refugee camps. Since then, the church has grown at an astonishing rate and there are now church communities in local villages among several tribes.
Although there are 70 church communities, there are only 20 church buildings. These building are traditional structures made of mud walls, and thatch roofs. A few have only plastic tarpaulins as a roof, a few have upgraded to having tin roofs and stone and cement foundations. Those without a church building meet under a tree, braving the scorching sun in the dry season, and heavy rain during the wet season.
In 2012 most of the church buildings were destroyed by floods in an especially devastating rainy season. Many of the destroyed buildings have been re-built or partially re-built, but this work has depleted the available funds.
The need for buildings for church communities is acute ...
Read it all
The growing Church in Gambella, Ethiopia, "overwhelmed by poverty, natural disasters, and tribal conflicts", is in need of support, according to Bishop Mouneer Anis.
The Most Revd Mouneer Anis is Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, as well as Primate of The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & The Middle East.
Read it all and also read and enjoy the pictures there.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * International News & Commentary Africa Ethiopia
When Bishop Grant LeMarquand arrives in his new diocese this summer, he won't live in a mansion, receive a regular salary or have steady access to electricity.
The longtime professor of missions at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge will be the Anglican bishop based in Ethiopia with responsibility for that country as well as Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti. That is among the most desperate and dangerous regions of the world.
"Some of those places are very dangerous. All of them are places of great need," said Bishop LeMarquand, 57, a priest of the Anglican Church of Canada until his consecration for the Episcopal/Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa last month in Egypt.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East * Christian Life / Church Life Missions * International News & Commentary Africa Ethiopia
Thirty-five Ethiopian Christians, 29 of them women, face deportation from Saudi Arabia for "illicit mingling" after police raided a private prayer gathering, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.
The New York-based watchdog said the women were subjected to "unwarranted strip search," while the men were beaten and insulted as "unbelievers".
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Ethiopia Middle East Saudi Arabia
Podo is grotesque. In severe cases, the victim's feet appear to be turning into cauliflower—horrible, rotting cauliflower—or something that grows under a rock in 20 feet of water. These are nightmare feet, seeming to bubble and melt, producing unbearable odors.
An estimated one million Ethiopians suffer from podo, as do perhaps three million more, mostly Africans. In affected areas—typically mountains with red volcanic soil—1 out of every 20 people have it. A village of 2,000 will have 100 victims, permanently disabled. In certain areas of Ethiopia, the podo infection rate surpasses that of HIV/AIDS.
Though prevalent and severe, the disease was not identified until 35 years ago. Doctors had been diagnosing the symptoms as infectious elephantiasis until a Christian doctor named Ewart Price realized that the diagnosis didn't fit.
Read it all.
Widely celebrated for its coffee and long-distance runners, but notorious for its extreme poverty, Ethiopia is the only sub-Saharan nation with a Christian culture dating to the earliest days of the church – a little known fact that it shares with Eritrea, its former province and northern neighbor. About 50 percent of Ethiopia’s estimated 77 million people belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, a dominant force that, with Ethiopia’s monarchy, had defined this ancient land and its people for more than 16 centuries.
But the entrenched church is losing ground to a burgeoning Sunni Muslim population in the country’s south and southwest – who now account for almost half of the nation’s people – and to successful proselytizing efforts among the Orthodox by evangelical Christians from the West.
Some 500 years ago Ethiopia’s distinctive Orthodox Christian community faced the Counter Reformation zeal of the Jesuits, who worked to restore full communion between the Roman Catholic and Ethiopian Orthodox churches. The Jesuits failed and Ethiopia slipped into civil war. Once the dust settled, hundreds of Catholic missionaries were expelled or put to death. Europeans were forbidden to enter this “African Zion,” which, more than any other factor, preserved Ethiopia’s independence during Europe’s empire-building land grab centuries later.
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