Save Waldba Worldwide Protest June 04, 2012. Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Save Waldba Monastery International Coalition Washington, DC
Ethiopia is an ancient country. Christianity is part of Ethiopia’s ancient history. The earliest reference to the introduction of Christianity to Ethiopia is in the New Testament (Acts 8:26:38) when Philip the Evangelist converted an Ethiopian court official in the 1st. Century AD. The Axumite Kingdom, the forerunner to modern day Ethiopia accepted Christianity around 328 AD. Ever since then Christianity has played a major role in shaping the culture, tradition and history of Ethiopia.
The contribution of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo church in history and socio-cultural development in Ethiopia is huge. The church rich in tradition is one of the first churches that embraced monastic life, these monasteries were not only spiritual communities offering prayers but also these monasteries and churches are the sources of literature, arts, music and culture. The church is the source of attraction for tourism where many pilgrimage to visit its age less monasteries as well as witness grand celebrations such as Holy Cross (Demera), Epiphany (Timiket) and many more. The alphabet Ethiopia is proud of today, the calendar Ethiopia uses, the music which is unique to the world and all have been contributed by the Orthodox Tewahedo Churches. We are convinced that the Ethiopian government understands very well the role of the church played in the development of culture, literature and socio-economic progress of the country in the past, as well as in this day and age. Particularly now where the government is assessing strategies to better utilize culture and tourism commission for economic gains safe guarding the well-being of church monasteries and its sacred site is of crucial importance.
What is Waldba Monastry?
Waldba monastery is one of the oldest and holiest religious enclaves in Ethiopia. It was founded around 490 AD and is located in one of the most remote regions of north Ethiopia. Government decree in the 15th century officially expanded the land of the monastery and marked its boundary to be within the four rivers and streams that surround the monastery. Waldba has produced many scholars and still continues to do so. Successive governments throughout Ethiopia’s history, including the self-professed anti-religion Derg, have honored the sanctity of the monastery. They understood that the monastery is a treasure not only to followers of Orthodox Christians, but for all Ethiopians and even the world. Read more…