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Ethiopian Orthodox church


Subject Religion » Christianity

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631232032.2001.x


The largest Oriental Orthodox church. Its official name is Yä-Ityo ya Ortodoks (awit) Täwa ḥ əya Betä Krəstiyan : ‘Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo (i.e. professing the unification of natures in Christ by birth) Church’. Official membership figures are not available: in 1978 they numbered perhaps 20 million, but any such figure is now out of date because of the separation of the eritrean orthodox church . The legendary origin of Christianity in Ethiopia is connected with the story of the eunuch of the Ethiopian Queen Candace in Acts 8: 26–30. The name Ethiopia, however, in antiquity generally designated nubia . Only after the fall of the Nubian kingdom of Meroe did the kings of Axum call their own country Aithiopia, and never exclusively, the name Ḥ abaša (Abyssinia) also being used. The connection of Queen Candace with Ethiopia was promoted by the identification of the Queen of Sheba (cf. 1 Kings [3 Kingdoms] 10: 1–3: 2 Chronicles [Paralipomena] 9: 1–12: Matthew 16: 42; Luke 16: 31) with the Ethiopian Queen Makeda in an indigenous legend which found its final form in the national epic kebra nagast . The historical origin of Christianity in Ethiopia, though handed down in semilegendary form, goes back to the first half of the fourth century, to the period after the investiture of athanasius as patriarch of Alexandria and Emperor Constantius' letter to Aizana (Ezana) and Saizana, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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