Church established in Ethiopia in the fourth century.
of the Covenant
The Orthodox Church
of Ethiopia is sometimes thought of as a Coptic Church
originating from missionary advances from Egypt, but it is rather an Orthodox
Church brought to Ethiopia from Syria by two travelling Christian merchants
in the fourth century. Ethiopian orthodoxy nourished a strong sense of
identity with the Jewish heritage of the church. Replicas of the Ark of
the Covenant are placed in all churches, which are typically styled after
the Temple in Jerusalem. The church in Ethiopia survived the Islamic
conquests. It was disturbed by theological controversy after the introduction
of Roman Catholic missions and theology in the seventeenth century. To
the present the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is an example of an ancient
Christian communion that developed independently of either Byzantine or
Roman patterns and expressed markedly African patterns of life and thought.