The establishment and growth of the church was not limited to Ethiopia. It was expanded to South Yemen and Nagran. Part of south-western Arabia near the Straits of Babal, Mandab and Himyar in Yemen were known as territories of Ethiopia.
Tradition asserts that the arrival of the nine monks was during the reign of Ala-Amida IV in the fifth Century. The monks fled to Ethiopia for refuge from the decision of the two natures of Christ imposed by Pope Leo I at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D. According to Ethiopian sources, they did not come as refugees but through invitation by King Ala-Amida to help organize monastic orders and schools.
They made a large contribution to the church in translating books from Greek, Hebrew, Syrian, and other languages into Geez and in propagating the Gospel as well as setting up monastic orders and schools.
They came from different regions of the Middle East, mostly from Constantinople (Second Rome). Some writers call them Romans for the simple reason that the Middle East was under the influence of the Roman Empire at that time. (Yesehaq, 19)
All these monasteries are very active up to this date and are performing their monastic duties with the exception of the monastery of Abba Gubba, which was burned to the ground by the Muslim Ahmed Gran in the sixteenth century A.D.
These nine monks have been canonized as saints.
Founded church on the high mountains near Axum
Founded Debra Quanasel Monastery, near Axum
Founded Madara Adua Monastery
Chelsea or Cilicia
Founded Endabaguba Monastery, near Adua
Founded Debre Damo Monastery, between
Adua and Addi Grate
As statistics compiled by expatriates and our own people showed, by the end of the war in Ethiopia, on our side alone, 750,000 people had been killed, 500,000 houses and other properties burned down, 2,000 churches ransacked or ruined, about 14 million cattle devoured and 75% of the educated young men killed in cold blood. The war damage could not be less than th estatistics revealed. It is probable that it was far more than alleged.` (His Imperial Majesty)
We continued the march the next day, Miazia 23 [May 1], and entered Fiche. From there, We went to the church at Debre Libanos and expressed to Our Creator Our heartfelt gratitude and immediately recieved Our soldiers and a few clergy. The monastery of Debre Libanos had been burned down by the facists, the clergy exterminated at the hands of the enemy, it's treasures looted, and the entire vicinity abandoned and neglected. When we saw all this, we were extremely saddened and deeply moved. (His Imperial Majesty)
"...We would like to express to Your Majesty that our agony was reduced and hope uplifted when we learned about Your Majesty's appearance before the League of Nations holding the scepter of Solomon in your hands, to reveal that your defenceless people had been exposed to an unprecedented repression and wanton brutality unleashed by the Italians, and also, to seek justice as well as assistance for your people so as to extinguish the fire that has engulfed us. Woe unto those countries who do not give just judgement to the Emperor of Ethiopia, who in honour of and in loyalty to his duty, stood before them in quest of Justice, because they are the ones who take on themselves the responsibility of invoking the wrath of God...."
Meskerem 21, 1931 [Oct 1, 1938] - Dejazmatch Mengesha Wossenie: Ras Abebe Aregai: Fitawrari Zewde Aba Koran
Most of the time we hear criticisms from several goverments and individuals on the involvement of the Church in community affairs. In fact; the Church is the link between God and Man and as such it is the duty of the church to identify itself with the poor and oppressed.
If the Church, which is to be an instrument of the word of God and the mouth of the oppressed, is to keep silent and be afraid to witness the truth, it means that she has forgotten that Christ was a revolutionary and compassionate, and that he established the Church as a revolutionary God, contradicting himself with the old system, which was contrary to the freedom and welfare of all men.
The Ethiopian Tewahedo* Church is an indigenous and integral church of Africa.It is one of the oldest churches in the world, if not the oldest, and is one of the founders of the World Council of Churches.
"...His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I is the defender of the faith. He attends Church services regularly and strictly observes the frequent Fast days and Holy days. He never misses Sunday morning services. He brought a strong Unity among the Eastern Orthodox Churches with their central office being organized in Addis Ababa Ethiopia and the central committee of the world council of churches had it’s meeting in January 1971 in Addis Ababa through His Majesty."