pope of alexandria

Ethiopian Orthodox priest celebrates mass

Christianity in Ethiopia dates to the 1st century AD, arguably the first nation in the world to accept Christianity (the other nation to debate this being Armenia) and this long tradition makes Ethiopia unique amongst sub-Saharan African countries. Christianity in this country is divided into several groups. The largest and oldest is the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (in Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተክርስትያን Yäityop'ya ortodoks täwahedo bétäkrestyan) is an Oriental Orthodox church in Ethiopia that was part of the Coptic Orthodox Church until 1959, when it was granted its own Patriarch by Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa Cyril VI. 

The largest pre-colonial Christian church of Africa, the Ethiopian Church has a membership of between 40 and 46 million, the majority of whom live in Ethiopia, and is thus the largest of all Oriental Orthodox churches. Next in size are the various Protestant congregations, who include 13.7 million Ethiopians. The largest Protestant group is the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, with about 5 million members. Roman Catholicism has been present in Ethiopia since the century, and numbers 536,827 believers. In total, Christians make up about 60% of the total population of the country.

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

“We encounter the Word, that is Christ, in those who reflect Him, who show us the Face of God and who reflect His meekness, His humility of heart, His simplicity, His kindness, His sincerity.”

~Pope Benedict XVI

(Image via Stinnocentchurch.com Redford, MI)

If you sin, do not flee from God, but stand before Him and tell Him frankly of your embarrassment and shame, and tell Him that you are afraid. Be like the tax collector who was disturbed by his sins, yet did not flee, but came with all his sins to God and stood before Him in fear and embarrassment, unable to lift up his eyes, he stood afar beating his breast and cried out to God saying, ‘God have
mercy on me, a sinner!’
—  HH Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria