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Ethiomonarchist

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An article on the Orthodox Cognate Page Media Network by their new Editor for Ethiopian Affairs (some of you might know him), on the last Christian Emperor, Haile Selassie I.


http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/the-last-christian-emperor-haile-selassie-i-and-orthodox-christianity/

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The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Zeus

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Yes i Personally Count at least 9 times that i have been dead
AaronTraas

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Solomon,

Thanks for writing this. It was a great read.

You mentioned in the article that he received communion twice a month, yet he attended the liturgy daily. Is there any Orthodox practice that made receiving daily at divine liturgy not a common practice?
Ethiomonarchist

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Hi Aaron!

In Ethiopia, the Eucharist is treated with a reverence that I honestly haven't seen any other culture.  The tradition has been that one must be clean in order to receive it both spiritually and physically.  Spiritual cleanliness can be achieved through confession of one's sins, but apparently this was not enough in the minds of many.  In the old days, there were dire admonitions about receiving Holy Communion.  One of the big issues was the irregular marriages people entered into.  Divorce and re-marriage were very common in Ethiopia, and indeed particularly among aristocratic women it was a method of building wealth.  Women were at an advantage because in cases of divorce, a man was expected to give his departing wife a settlement in money or land, but a woman would not be expected to split any of her money or lands from her father or previous marriages.  Hence multiple marriages happened frequently.  If one received Holy Communion, then remarriage was grounds for excommunication.  Very few people married in church for that reason, and only took communion once they were quite a bit older and had "calmed down".  Unmarried people who take Holy Communion are expected to be celibate until marriage.  People take these guidelines very seriously  You will see that in Ethiopian churches today, children take communion, and the elderly, but those in-between will abstain.  The church hierarchy frowned on this and insisted that monarchs must take communion with their wives in order to be crowned.  A good portion of our sermons thse days are about the need to take Holy Communion for salvation, but it has become a tradition and the church is trying hard to break it.

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The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
AaronTraas

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Huh... that's fascinating. How powerful a culture is in the practice of one's faith. 

On the books, we Catholics are in agreement with you guys most of the way. Confession is enough, but sins like divorce and remarriage are seen as being in a perpetual state of sin until the second marriage is dissolved and the divorced return to chastity. How it's practiced, on the other hand, is another matter entirely. Especially today. 
Ethiomonarchist

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Ethiopian Orthodox Christians have become more conservative as time goes by, unlike the case in many other churches.  It was fueled as a reaction to the Ethiopian Revolution and the adoption of official atheism under the Marxist Derg regime.  Church attendance skyrocketed under Derg repression, the exact opposite of what happened in most of the rest of the Communist world.  The "Mehabere Kidusan" (Society of the Saints) is a youth society that started during the Derg regime as a movement to restore faith among the young.  This society, made up largely of people in their twenties and thirties, and upholds traditionalism, faithfulness to church teachings, and obedience to dogma and canon law.  This society has become among the wealthiest institutions in Ethiopia thanks to donations by members and sympathizers, and has carried out very successful missions spreading the faith in areas of southern Ethiopia that were largely animist in the past.  They require their members to marry in church and to receive Holy Communion.

During the Patriarchate of the late Abune Paulos, the Holy Synod forbade the practice that had emerged of people being married in church during hours when there was no Divine Liturgy.  They would receive the crowning but no communion, and would then argue that they had not received communion and could re-marry if divorced.  This created a technical hierarchy of insoluble "Communion Marriage" and soluble "Crowned Marriage".  The Synod decreed that this created two tiers of marriage which did not exist in Christianity and they banned the practice.  All people marrying in the church were henceforth to receive communion.

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The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Windemere

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If only Henry VIII had known about this...........
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Dis Aliter Visum "Beware of martyrs and those who would die for their beliefs; for they frequently make many others die with them, often before them, sometimes instead of them."
Ethiomonarchist

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If only Henry VIII had known about this........... 


Had Henry VIII followed the Ethiopian succession rules then he would never have rid himself of Katherine of Aragon.  You see in Ethiopia before the last century, illegitimacy was no barrier to succession.  Indeed several Emperors were born out of wedlock.  One particular case was that of Emperor Sartsa Dingel  who had only daughters by his wife Empress Mariam Senna.  He was inclined to name one of two young cousins, Za Dingel and Susneyous as his heir.  However, his formidable consort prefered to have a minor on the throne for whom she could act as regent, and so she successfully pushed for Sartsa Dingel to name his illegitimate son Yacob as his heir.  

So had Henry VIII been subject to those rules, his son the Duke of Richmond or some other hypothetical son born out of wedlock could have succeeded him without him getting rid of Queen Katherine who really hadn't done anything to irk him (unlike most of her successors).  Indeed he is said to have told his unfortunate second wife who was complaining of his infidelities, to simply bear it in the same manner as her "betters had", referring of course to his first Queen who had been born to two reigning sovereigns.

__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
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