Author Topic: Why Christians Are Fleeing One of Africa's Oldest and Largest Christian Homeland  (Read 4484 times)

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Offline Adela

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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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This article is a not-so-subtle piece of Protestant propaganda with a lot of dog-whistle language trying to blur the lines between Ethiopian Orthodoxy and the invasive Protestant cancer that is the Mekane Yesus church.

Quote
Veteran SIM missionary Howard Brant celebrates that “the two groups are coming closer and closer together” in Ethiopia, which he calls “one of the great success stories of evangelical Christianity.”

What does he mean "the two groups are coming closer and closer together"?  In terms of what?  Theology?  Cooperation in a practical sense?  Ecumenical dialogue?  And then there's this bit...

Quote
The martyred migrants in Libya, he said, likely belonged to the Orthodox church. “But if they were strong enough believers to refuse to deny Jesus on pain of death,” he said, “then God knows their hearts.”

Gee, thanks.  So while the Martyrs - being Orthodox - might've lacked the saving faith of Evangelical Lutheranism, since they were strong enough to die for Christ, we'll cut them some slack.  The subtext is clear: we still need to keep working to convert the Ethiopian Orthodox to "Christianity" though.

Quote
The pioneering collaboration led to Lee and other foreigners being invited into Orthodox seminaries, where they have taught for several years. But residual distrust among the non-academic wing of the church has at least temporarily restricted further cooperation.

So, the enlightened, academic wing of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is cool with letting Protestants teach at their seminaries, and only the unenlightened, traditionalist-for-traditions-sake peasants are distrustful of the gleaming white knights of the West, and this has unfortunately - but temporarily - curtailed further indoctrination cooperation.

Quote
“Some evangelicals believe the Orthodox are not fully Christian,” said Lee, “and some in the Orthodox church have resisted—rooted in a deep-seated suspicion of foreigners.”

So the distrust is not based on the fact that the Ethiopians recognize that the Evangelicals hold to a different gospel and are preaching heterodoxy, but they're simply superstitious natives distrustful of foreigners.

At least they get this right:

Quote
After the Marxist revolution of 1974 and expulsion of the foreign missionaries, Ethiopian churches witnessed explosive growth. Today, per the most recent census, nearly a fifth of the population is evangelical (19%, compared to 44% Orthodox).

It's the godless Derg who opened the door to these wolves.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Balthasar

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@Antonious Nikolas

Wonderful assessment!

It's amazing, in their 'native' countries these folks have 'successfully' replaced Christianity with Sodomism and Islam, and now they are hunting for fresher souls in other countries. "Wolves", indeed!

Offline NicholasMyra

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This article is a not-so-subtle piece of Protestant propaganda with a lot of dog-whistle language trying to blur the lines between Ethiopian Orthodoxy and the invasive Protestant cancer that is the Mekane Yesus church.

I was curious if any commenters would mention concerns like yours, but it appears that this part of ChristianityToday has no comment section.
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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@Antonious Nikolas

Wonderful assessment!

It's amazing, in their 'native' countries these folks have 'successfully' replaced Christianity with Sodomism and Islam, and now they are hunting for fresher souls in other countries. "Wolves", indeed!

Thanks, Balthasar.  I guess we finally agree on something!  :)

I was curious if any commenters would mention concerns like yours, but it appears that this part of ChristianityToday has no comment section.

They probably don't want anyone rocking the boat.  A decade or so ago, these Pentay groups were more straightforward and just came out and said that we were Mary worshipping heretics and witch doctors who needed to be converted and covered in Da Blud auwf Jay-Zus.  Now, they have to be a little more subtle since the Church is undergoing persecution and they have to appear to stand by us while simultaneously shiving us in the ribs.  It's a delicate balance to maintain, and politically incorrect commentators - like people being honest about what they think of us from their side, or people complaining from our side - could easily upset it.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 03:57:29 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Alpo

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@Antonious Nikolas

Wonderful assessment!

It's amazing, in their 'native' countries these folks have 'successfully' replaced Christianity with Sodomism and Islam, and now they are hunting for fresher souls in other countries. "Wolves", indeed!

Thanks, Balthasar.  I guess we finally agree on something!  :)

Except that "Sodomism" smells like hating the sin(ner) but forgettingt the part about love.
I just need to find out how to say it in Slavonic!

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@Antonious Nikolas

Wonderful assessment!

It's amazing, in their 'native' countries these folks have 'successfully' replaced Christianity with Sodomism and Islam, and now they are hunting for fresher souls in other countries. "Wolves", indeed!

Thanks, Balthasar.  I guess we finally agree on something!  :)

Except that "Sodomism" smells like hating the sin(ner) but forgettingt the part about love.

Would you prefer "Gomorranity"? 
Mor Ephrem is a nice guy.  Just say sorry and it will all be ok. Say I had things that were inside troubling me but I didn't know how to express appropriately. I will not behave that way again but I am seeking help.

thank you so much Mor ephrem you are a hero!

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Except that "Sodomism" smells like...

Just stop right there.  No one here wants to think about what "Sodomism" smells like.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Alpo

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Except that "Sodomism" smells like...

Just stop right there.  No one here wants to think about what "Sodomism" smells like.

Flowers and perfumes assumingly. I think Cyrillic has an excuisite collection of fancy perfumes so he can give you few idea.
I just need to find out how to say it in Slavonic!

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Except that "Sodomism" smells like...

Just stop right there.  No one here wants to think about what "Sodomism" smells like.

Flowers and perfumes assumingly. I think Cyrillic has an excuisite collection of fancy perfumes so he can give you few idea.

I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline seekeroftruth777

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This article is a not-so-subtle piece of Protestant propaganda with a lot of dog-whistle language trying to blur the lines between Ethiopian Orthodoxy and the invasive Protestant cancer that is the Mekane Yesus church.

Quote
Veteran SIM missionary Howard Brant celebrates that “the two groups are coming closer and closer together” in Ethiopia, which he calls “one of the great success stories of evangelical Christianity.”

What does he mean "the two groups are coming closer and closer together"?  In terms of what?  Theology?  Cooperation in a practical sense?  Ecumenical dialogue?  And then there's this bit...

Quote
The martyred migrants in Libya, he said, likely belonged to the Orthodox church. “But if they were strong enough believers to refuse to deny Jesus on pain of death,” he said, “then God knows their hearts.”

Gee, thanks.  So while the Martyrs - being Orthodox - might've lacked the saving faith of Evangelical Lutheranism, since they were strong enough to die for Christ, we'll cut them some slack.  The subtext is clear: we still need to keep working to convert the Ethiopian Orthodox to "Christianity" though.

Quote
The pioneering collaboration led to Lee and other foreigners being invited into Orthodox seminaries, where they have taught for several years. But residual distrust among the non-academic wing of the church has at least temporarily restricted further cooperation.

So, the enlightened, academic wing of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is cool with letting Protestants teach at their seminaries, and only the unenlightened, traditionalist-for-traditions-sake peasants are distrustful of the gleaming white knights of the West, and this has unfortunately - but temporarily - curtailed further indoctrination cooperation.

Quote
“Some evangelicals believe the Orthodox are not fully Christian,” said Lee, “and some in the Orthodox church have resisted—rooted in a deep-seated suspicion of foreigners.”

So the distrust is not based on the fact that the Ethiopians recognize that the Evangelicals hold to a different gospel and are preaching heterodoxy, but they're simply superstitious natives distrustful of foreigners.

At least they get this right:

Quote
After the Marxist revolution of 1974 and expulsion of the foreign missionaries, Ethiopian churches witnessed explosive growth. Today, per the most recent census, nearly a fifth of the population is evangelical (19%, compared to 44% Orthodox).

I wonder why the Orthodox in these lands are allowing these NGO'S and foreign missionaries to operate in their nations. Where are the peasents and faithful with pitchforks chasing the poachers out of town.

It's the godless Derg who opened the door to these wolves.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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I wonder why the Orthodox in these lands are allowing these NGO'S and foreign missionaries to operate in their nations. Where are the peasents and faithful with pitchforks chasing the poachers out of town.

Long story short and painting with very broad strokes, Ethiopia had an Orthodox Christian monarchy and Orthodoxy was the religion of state for hundreds of years.  Foreign "missionaries" were forbidden to proselytize among the Orthodox.  They were permitted to open medical clinics or schools, but they were only allowed to convert people in the pagan lands of the south (and even that should have been forbidden, because its come back to bite the Orthodox in the backside.  The Church should have been doing its job converting those people to Orthodoxy).  Then came the Derg, the military junta that overthrew the Monarchy, disestablished the Church and took all of its lands and property, executed thousands of clergymen and nobles, including the Patriarch Abune Theophilos (who in my opinion was a saint), and opened the gates to the hyenas.  The Derg was ostensibly atheist and therefore against all religion, but what they really meant was they hated the Orthodox Church because it was so closely associated with the Monarchy and the establishment they were defining themselves against.  This being the case, the "atheist" Derg deliberately fostered the growth of Islam and Protestantism in order to erode the influence of the Church among the people, and Ethiopia has been paying the price ever since.  Lord, have mercy.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline seekeroftruth777

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I wonder why the Orthodox in these lands are allowing these NGO'S and foreign missionaries to operate in their nations. Where are the peasents and faithful with pitchforks chasing the poachers out of town.

Long story short and painting with very broad strokes, Ethiopia had an Orthodox Christian monarchy and Orthodoxy was the religion of state for hundreds of years.  Foreign "missionaries" were forbidden to proselytize among the Orthodox.  They were permitted to open medical clinics or schools, but they were only allowed to convert people in the pagan lands of the south (and even that should have been forbidden, because its come back to bite the Orthodox in the backside.  The Church should have been doing its job converting those people to Orthodoxy).  Then came the Derg, the military junta that overthrew the Monarchy, disestablished the Church and took all of its lands and property, executed thousands of clergymen and nobles, including the Patriarch Abune Theophilos (who in my opinion was a saint), and opened the gates to the hyenas.  The Derg was ostensibly atheist and therefore against all religion, but what they really meant was they hated the Orthodox Church because it was so closely associated with the Monarchy and the establishment they were defining themselves against.  This being the case, the "atheist" Derg deliberately fostered the growth of Islam and Protestantism in order to erode the influence of the Church among the people, and Ethiopia has been paying the price ever since.  Lord, have mercy.

Offline seekeroftruth777

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Ok there a glitch because it didnt copy my reply what I was saying was yup I remember the problems the Derg regime cause (I.E. - the purges of the clergy, puttin in a pupet patriarchate, the genocidal famine and the situation between Ethopia & Eritera that lead to war) however I will say this although it a little late to be reacting the Ethopian Orthodox been combating the heresies of Protestantism. I find a lot of youtube videos addressing the Protestants more these days. We can all learn a lot from the Ethopian Orthodox.

Offline ialmisry

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I know a vetrinarian going there with an eye for mission (in the Somali parts). He's a convert to Orthodoxy.
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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I know a vetrinarian going there with an eye for mission (in the Somali parts). He's a convert to Orthodoxy.

Lord have mercy your friend is brave do you mean samoli parts as in Samolia

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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I wonder why the Orthodox in these lands are allowing these NGO'S and foreign missionaries to operate in their nations. Where are the peasents and faithful with pitchforks chasing the poachers out of town.

Long story short and painting with very broad strokes, Ethiopia had an Orthodox Christian monarchy and Orthodoxy was the religion of state for hundreds of years.  Foreign "missionaries" were forbidden to proselytize among the Orthodox.  They were permitted to open medical clinics or schools, but they were only allowed to convert people in the pagan lands of the south (and even that should have been forbidden, because its come back to bite the Orthodox in the backside.  The Church should have been doing its job converting those people to Orthodoxy).  Then came the Derg, the military junta that overthrew the Monarchy, disestablished the Church and took all of its lands and property, executed thousands of clergymen and nobles, including the Patriarch Abune Theophilos (who in my opinion was a saint), and opened the gates to the hyenas.  The Derg was ostensibly atheist and therefore against all religion, but what they really meant was they hated the Orthodox Church because it was so closely associated with the Monarchy and the establishment they were defining themselves against.  This being the case, the "atheist" Derg deliberately fostered the growth of Islam and Protestantism in order to erode the influence of the Church among the people, and Ethiopia has been paying the price ever since.  Lord, have mercy.

Since the Lord wants us to follow him voluntarily and with love, I think it is misguided to force people to join a church or to stay in one. Perhaps the best lesson to be learned is to use persuasion instead of the authority of the state to win the hearts and minds of people. Besides, a little competition keeps us on our toes.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 02:41:52 PM by Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) »

Offline kijabeboy03

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I'm only aware of one Protestant who has been allowed to teach regular courses (on HIV/AIDS prevention and ethics) at the seminary in Addis Abeba, and from all I've heard he is a good friend of the Orthodox Church - a member of an Evangelical missions organization, but not someone trying to change or reform the Church of Ethiopia. (Unlike others engaged in similar efforts elsewhere, alas.) The other foreigners at Holy Trinity were/are Orthodox, both "cradles" and adult converts. They sacrificed (and sacrifice) a great deal to serve the Church of Ethiopia, but there are narrow-minded fundamentalists within the Church (as there are everywhere, alas) who reject any outside presence at the seminary. (The sorts of people who told me when I lived there that I wasn't really baptized because I wasn't baptized in the ETHIOPIAN Orthodox Church, just another Orthodox Church. The Ethiopian part being more important to them than the Orthodox part, sadly enough.)

But the Church should certainly be cautious, the Protestants do take advantage of the country's poverty and there is a widespread reverence for everything Western. A survey done in Addis about lay Orthodox Christological views revealed that many of those surveyed were heretics of one sort or another, only a few holding to actual Orthodox Christology. There is great work to be done to strengthen the laity's understanding of their faith, and to protect them from heresies old and new, native and foreign.

Offline LenInSebastopol

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I wonder why the Orthodox in these lands are allowing these NGO'S and foreign missionaries to operate in their nations. Where are the peasents and faithful with pitchforks chasing the poachers out of town.

Long story short and painting with very broad strokes, Ethiopia had an Orthodox Christian monarchy and Orthodoxy was the religion of state for hundreds of years.  Foreign "missionaries" were forbidden to proselytize among the Orthodox.  They were permitted to open medical clinics or schools, but they were only allowed to convert people in the pagan lands of the south (and even that should have been forbidden, because its come back to bite the Orthodox in the backside.  The Church should have been doing its job converting those people to Orthodoxy).  Then came the Derg, the military junta that overthrew the Monarchy, disestablished the Church and took all of its lands and property, executed thousands of clergymen and nobles, including the Patriarch Abune Theophilos (who in my opinion was a saint), and opened the gates to the hyenas.  The Derg was ostensibly atheist and therefore against all religion, but what they really meant was they hated the Orthodox Church because it was so closely associated with the Monarchy and the establishment they were defining themselves against.  This being the case, the "atheist" Derg deliberately fostered the growth of Islam and Protestantism in order to erode the influence of the Church among the people, and Ethiopia has been paying the price ever since.  Lord, have mercy.

Since the Lord wants us to follow him voluntarily and with love, I think it is misguided to force people to join a church or to stay in one. Perhaps the best lesson to be learned is to use persuasion instead of the authority of the state to win the hearts and minds of people. Besides, a little competition keeps us on our toes.

I could only wish to say it as lovingly as you. Thanks, as my response would have been more judgmental, to be sure.
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Online Stavro

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Quote
I'm only aware of one Protestant who has been allowed to teach regular courses (on HIV/AIDS prevention and ethics) at the seminary in Addis Abeba, and from all I've heard he is a good friend of the Orthodox Church - a member of an Evangelical missions organization, but not someone trying to change or reform the Church of Ethiopia.

A bit naive.

An Orthodox seminary is not supposed to be a purely academic academic or concerned mainly with the academic advancement of students. Traditionally, it was a way to strengthen the faith of the whole community by qualifying faithful Orthodox members of the community to learn and then maybe teach the faith. This should be the main objective of any Orthodox seminary. 

A Prot has no business teaching in the Orthodox seminary. Whoever allowed him / her to do so should be excommunicated as they are corrupting the potential Orthodox leaders.

It is totally acceptable for secular disciplines to invite faculty / researchers to collaborate on a certain project and exchange ideas. Great for engineering, science, medicine, history, economics and any secular disciplines that comes to mind. Not when it comes to seminaries.

Besides, what message are you conveying to the students when a Prot lectures them on Ethics in an Orthodox seminary? Are we really so poor and bankrupt, and have we become the joke of ecumenism?

Quote
But the Church should certainly be cautious, the Protestants do take advantage of the country's poverty and there is a widespread reverence for everything Western.
   

Take a scorpion on your back and be "cautious" as you cross the river.

Quote
The sorts of people who told me when I lived there that I wasn't really baptized because I wasn't baptized in the ETHIOPIAN Orthodox Church, just another Orthodox Church. The Ethiopian part being more important to them than the Orthodox part, sadly enough


Both identities are mingled and there is no way to separate them, and this is not something to be ashamed of or inspire to change. What non-Orthodox missions start with is to attack the culture, and then it is very easy to change the faith. Never the other way around.

Any Prot or Catholic mission in traditionally Orthodox countries, and the Prot being more notorious at it, have always started under colonial flags and supported by western occupation forces. The western occupation attacked the native church, at some times burning down their churches, while aiding the foreigners to establish themselves in the country. They never targeted the muslim or non-Orthodox population for conversion. Only traitors collaborated with them, and to this day, the Protestant churches in Egypt get their money from the US or England and act as their agents in Egypt and Ethiopia.

Trust those traitors of country and faith with teaching future clergy?   

 
« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 10:37:18 AM by Stavro »
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Offline Minnesotan

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Ethiopia's economy and population are both growing relatively rapidly (around 9% and 5% respectively, if I remember correctly). But it's still very poor compared to most non-African countries. One thing I'm worried about is Ethiopia suffering from "brain drain"; if this happens, that would negatively impact the country's future economic development.

I wonder if there's anything we affluent Westerners can do to help out? Microlending, perhaps?
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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IDK if Ethopia will suffer Brain Drain but what we could we do, It's really up up the Ethopians to offer incentives, preserve the instutions, and provide the atmosphere for the best and brightest of Ethiopians to remain there.

Offline WPM

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Does anyone know why these Christians are always "fleeing" and transmigratory? ...
Learn meditation.

Offline LenInSebastopol

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A Prot has no business teaching in the Orthodox seminary. Whoever allowed him / her to do so should be excommunicated as they are corrupting the potential Orthodox leaders.

I know of high standard Protestant universities that have Orthodox professors teaching. Should that be allowed? Or is it just seminaries?
If seminarians are swayed by a Protestant teacher, then maybe they should have never considered becoming an Orthodox Priest?
One could think of it as a prophylactic measure, no?
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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I wonder why the Orthodox in these lands are allowing these NGO'S and foreign missionaries to operate in their nations. Where are the peasents and faithful with pitchforks chasing the poachers out of town.

Long story short and painting with very broad strokes, Ethiopia had an Orthodox Christian monarchy and Orthodoxy was the religion of state for hundreds of years.  Foreign "missionaries" were forbidden to proselytize among the Orthodox.  They were permitted to open medical clinics or schools, but they were only allowed to convert people in the pagan lands of the south (and even that should have been forbidden, because its come back to bite the Orthodox in the backside.  The Church should have been doing its job converting those people to Orthodoxy).  Then came the Derg, the military junta that overthrew the Monarchy, disestablished the Church and took all of its lands and property, executed thousands of clergymen and nobles, including the Patriarch Abune Theophilos (who in my opinion was a saint), and opened the gates to the hyenas.  The Derg was ostensibly atheist and therefore against all religion, but what they really meant was they hated the Orthodox Church because it was so closely associated with the Monarchy and the establishment they were defining themselves against.  This being the case, the "atheist" Derg deliberately fostered the growth of Islam and Protestantism in order to erode the influence of the Church among the people, and Ethiopia has been paying the price ever since.  Lord, have mercy.

Since the Lord wants us to follow him voluntarily and with love, I think it is misguided to force people to join a church or to stay in one. Perhaps the best lesson to be learned is to use persuasion instead of the authority of the state to win the hearts and minds of people. Besides, a little competition keeps us on our toes.

Well Carl first let me say I respect you so don't let me asking questions be taken the wrong way. First questio/ let me ask you would you be happy with a good large number of americans started converting to salafi Islam with freedom to choose and all that your pushing? second related to what me and nikolas were talking about don't you think The Ethiopian authorties have a right to preserve their heritage, culture, insitutions and Orthodox religion from outsiders like Muslims and Protestants who have their own agenda? and thirdly sir can you point to anywhere anyone said anything about forced conversions like you claim in your post?  thanks so much. Let's keep Ethopians in our prayers as the article shows they need it.

Offline Asteriktos

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Does anyone know why these Christians are always "fleeing" and transmigratory? ...

It's a tough kinda life that many people must try to forge there. But if you read the article some specifics are mentioned.

Offline IreneOlinyk

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I wonder why the Orthodox in these lands are allowing these NGO'S and foreign missionaries to operate in their nations. Where are the peasents and faithful with pitchforks chasing the poachers out of town.

Long story short and painting with very broad strokes, Ethiopia had an Orthodox Christian monarchy and Orthodoxy was the religion of state for hundreds of years.  Foreign "missionaries" were forbidden to proselytize among the Orthodox.  They were permitted to open medical clinics or schools, but they were only allowed to convert people in the pagan lands of the south (and even that should have been forbidden, because its come back to bite the Orthodox in the backside.  The Church should have been doing its job converting those people to Orthodoxy).  Then came the Derg, the military junta that overthrew the Monarchy, disestablished the Church and took all of its lands and property, executed thousands of clergymen and nobles, including the Patriarch Abune Theophilos (who in my opinion was a saint), and opened the gates to the hyenas.  The Derg was ostensibly atheist and therefore against all religion, but what they really meant was they hated the Orthodox Church because it was so closely associated with the Monarchy and the establishment they were defining themselves against.  This being the case, the "atheist" Derg deliberately fostered the growth of Islam and Protestantism in order to erode the influence of the Church among the people, and Ethiopia has been paying the price ever since.  Lord, have mercy.

Since the Lord wants us to follow him voluntarily and with love, I think it is misguided to force people to join a church or to stay in one. Perhaps the best lesson to be learned is to use persuasion instead of the authority of the state to win the hearts and minds of people. Besides, a little competition keeps us on our toes.
Bravo Carl, you make a lot of sense.  I remember all the tales about Protestant missionaries invading historically Orthodox countries formerlly under Communisim.  More than 20 years later we can see that these missionaries have had little success.  It wil be the same in Eithiopia.  But it is a shame that none of the Epthipians Orthodox Christians can comment on this story.  Are "Letters to the Editor" allowed?  Ot how about re-posting the article on Ethiopian Orthodox Web sites every here so the church can refute this artilce there at least?

Offline Minnesotan

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I wonder why the Orthodox in these lands are allowing these NGO'S and foreign missionaries to operate in their nations. Where are the peasents and faithful with pitchforks chasing the poachers out of town.

Long story short and painting with very broad strokes, Ethiopia had an Orthodox Christian monarchy and Orthodoxy was the religion of state for hundreds of years.  Foreign "missionaries" were forbidden to proselytize among the Orthodox.  They were permitted to open medical clinics or schools, but they were only allowed to convert people in the pagan lands of the south (and even that should have been forbidden, because its come back to bite the Orthodox in the backside.  The Church should have been doing its job converting those people to Orthodoxy).  Then came the Derg, the military junta that overthrew the Monarchy, disestablished the Church and took all of its lands and property, executed thousands of clergymen and nobles, including the Patriarch Abune Theophilos (who in my opinion was a saint), and opened the gates to the hyenas.  The Derg was ostensibly atheist and therefore against all religion, but what they really meant was they hated the Orthodox Church because it was so closely associated with the Monarchy and the establishment they were defining themselves against.  This being the case, the "atheist" Derg deliberately fostered the growth of Islam and Protestantism in order to erode the influence of the Church among the people, and Ethiopia has been paying the price ever since.  Lord, have mercy.

Since the Lord wants us to follow him voluntarily and with love, I think it is misguided to force people to join a church or to stay in one. Perhaps the best lesson to be learned is to use persuasion instead of the authority of the state to win the hearts and minds of people. Besides, a little competition keeps us on our toes.
Bravo Carl, you make a lot of sense.  I remember all the tales about Protestant missionaries invading historically Orthodox countries formerlly under Communisim.  More than 20 years later we can see that these missionaries have had little success.  It wil be the same in Eithiopia.  But it is a shame that none of the Epthipians Orthodox Christians can comment on this story.  Are "Letters to the Editor" allowed?  Ot how about re-posting the article on Ethiopian Orthodox Web sites every here so the church can refute this artilce there at least?

I wonder if residual anti-Catholicism contributed to the reason why the Orthodox Monarchs allowed Protestant missionaries in. The Ethiopians would have had good historical reasons to be suspicious of Roman Catholicism, which might have been why, if they didn't have enough resources at the time to send Orthodox missions, they would have looked to Protestants rather than to Rome.

Although Protestantism and Rome wouldn't have been the only two alternatives. What were EO-OO relations like at the time? Why didn't the Ethiopians invite "White Russian" expats to do mission work in the southern part of the country? There were a lot of them (after the Russian Revolution) and many of them were wealthy. Also relations between Ethiopia and Russia were generally good; prior to the Revolution, Russia had provided aid and Menelik II was a Russophile.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2015, 01:36:23 PM by Minnesotan »
I'm not going to be posting as much on OC.Net as before. I might stop in once in a while though. But I've come to realize that real life is more important.

Offline IreneOlinyk

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I'm only aware of one Protestant who has been allowed to teach regular courses (on HIV/AIDS prevention and ethics) at the seminary in Addis Abeba, and from all I've heard he is a good friend of the Orthodox Church - a member of an Evangelical missions organization, but not someone trying to change or reform the Church of Ethiopia. (Unlike others engaged in similar efforts elsewhere, alas.) The other foreigners at Holy Trinity were/are Orthodox, both "cradles" and adult converts. They sacrificed (and sacrifice) a great deal to serve the Church of Ethiopia, but there are narrow-minded fundamentalists within the Church (as there are everywhere, alas) who reject any outside presence at the seminary. (The sorts of people who told me when I lived there that I wasn't really baptized because I wasn't baptized in the ETHIOPIAN Orthodox Church, just another Orthodox Church. The Ethiopian part being more important to them than the Orthodox part, sadly enough.)

But the Church should certainly be cautious, the Protestants do take advantage of the country's poverty and there is a widespread reverence for everything Western. A survey done in Addis about lay Orthodox Christological views revealed that many of those surveyed were heretics of one sort or another, only a few holding to actual Orthodox Christology. There is great work to be done to strengthen the laity's understanding of their faith, and to protect them from heresies old and new, native and foreign.

Thanks, you have provided a very serious and unemotional response.  The issue at the heart of the story in Christianity Today is not about sheep stealing from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church but about churches dealing with the issue of poverty.

Quote

“We may have some weakness in handling domestic issues,” said Girma Bekele, an Ethiopian adjunct professor of global missions and development studies at Wycliffe College in Toronto, Canada. “But to any foreign aggression the country is always strong and united, irrespective of ethnic or religious identities.”

Bekele was saved during the period of Marxist oppression and joined Kale Heywet. He hopes that improving religious relations will push all Ethiopian churches toward justice and concern for the poor.

And he has circulated a pastoral letter, acknowledged by Brant and Ethiopian leaders back home, hoping to contribute.

“The massive exodus from the country by any means and at any cost speaks strongly about the need to struggle against the crisis of poverty,” he wrote. “The plight of the poor, the great majority, is and must be at the heart of national discourse.”
And again you are right to say that the best tool against sheep stealing is better lay education
for the laity in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Offline Balthasar

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I wonder why the Orthodox in these lands are allowing these NGO'S and foreign missionaries to operate in their nations. Where are the peasents and faithful with pitchforks chasing the poachers out of town.

Long story short and painting with very broad strokes, Ethiopia had an Orthodox Christian monarchy and Orthodoxy was the religion of state for hundreds of years.  Foreign "missionaries" were forbidden to proselytize among the Orthodox.  They were permitted to open medical clinics or schools, but they were only allowed to convert people in the pagan lands of the south (and even that should have been forbidden, because its come back to bite the Orthodox in the backside.  The Church should have been doing its job converting those people to Orthodoxy).  Then came the Derg, the military junta that overthrew the Monarchy, disestablished the Church and took all of its lands and property, executed thousands of clergymen and nobles, including the Patriarch Abune Theophilos (who in my opinion was a saint), and opened the gates to the hyenas.  The Derg was ostensibly atheist and therefore against all religion, but what they really meant was they hated the Orthodox Church because it was so closely associated with the Monarchy and the establishment they were defining themselves against.  This being the case, the "atheist" Derg deliberately fostered the growth of Islam and Protestantism in order to erode the influence of the Church among the people, and Ethiopia has been paying the price ever since.  Lord, have mercy.

Since the Lord wants us to follow him voluntarily and with love, I think it is misguided to force people to join a church or to stay in one. Perhaps the best lesson to be learned is to use persuasion instead of the authority of the state to win the hearts and minds of people. Besides, a little competition keeps us on our toes.
Bravo Carl, you make a lot of sense.  I remember all the tales about Protestant missionaries invading historically Orthodox countries formerlly under Communisim.  More than 20 years later we can see that these missionaries have had little success.  It wil be the same in Eithiopia.  But it is a shame that none of the Epthipians Orthodox Christians can comment on this story.  Are "Letters to the Editor" allowed?  Ot how about re-posting the article on Ethiopian Orthodox Web sites every here so the church can refute this artilce there at least?

I wonder if residual anti-Catholicism contributed to the reason why the Orthodox Monarchs allowed Protestant missionaries in. The Ethiopians would have had good historical reasons to be suspicious of Roman Catholicism, which might have been why, if they didn't have enough resources at the time to send Orthodox missions, they would have looked to Protestants rather than to Rome.

Although Protestantism and Rome wouldn't have been the only two alternatives. What were EO-OO relations like at the time? Why didn't the Ethiopians invite "White Russian" expats to do mission work in the southern part of the country? There were a lot of them (after the Russian Revolution) and many of them were wealthy. Also relations between Ethiopia and Russia were generally good; prior to the Revolution, Russia had provided aid and Menelik II was a Russophile.

The catholic population is steady, there was/is no much catholic proselytization from the Vatican.

Russian missionaries? I don't want to sound arrogant, but I think it would be the Russians who would soon be needing Ethiopian missionaries.

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Those "White Russians" were not rich which is why so many of them ended up being taxi drivers and working in restaurants in Paris or Nice.  The YMCA was looking after them.  By the way no one had addressed the issue of poverty in Ethiopia mentioned in the original article.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 09:09:57 AM by Orest »

Offline LenInSebastopol

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By the way no one had addressed the issue of poverty in Ethiopia mentioned in the original article.

Yes, to other around here we get lost in our own stuff and agendas and display the "let them eat angel food cake".
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Since the Lord wants us to follow him voluntarily and with love, I think it is misguided to force people to join a church or to stay in one. Perhaps the best lesson to be learned is to use persuasion instead of the authority of the state to win the hearts and minds of people. Besides, a little competition keeps us on our toes.

You're completely misrepresenting what I said.  The Monarchy never forced anyone to join the Orthodox Church or to stay in it.  Where are you getting that from?  It was in no way obligated to facilitate the proselytism of foreign missionaries among the flock of Christ.

I wonder if residual anti-Catholicism contributed to the reason why the Orthodox Monarchs allowed Protestant missionaries in. The Ethiopians would have had good historical reasons to be suspicious of Roman Catholicism, which might have been why, if they didn't have enough resources at the time to send Orthodox missions, they would have looked to Protestants rather than to Rome.

The Ethiopian Monarchy was only interested in foreign missionaries so far as they brought educational, medial, technological, and infrastructural resources to the country to help with the modernization process.  Catholic missionaries were permitted in this capacity as well.  There was no prohibition on them.  In fact, one of His Majesty's teachers growing up was a Catholic priest.

Thanks, you have provided a very serious and unemotional response.  The issue at the heart of the story in Christianity Today is not about sheep stealing from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church but about churches dealing with the issue of poverty.

Just because you're missing certain aspects of what the article touches upon because you're unfamiliar with the history and the context doesn't mean they aren't there.  Kijabe did indeed give a thoughtful and valuable response, and I don't dispute anything he's posted at all, but "sheep stealing" - as you put it - is part of the fabric of this article and its subject matter, and it is not "emotional" to say so or to bring the dog-whistle stuff into everyone's range of hearing.  There is clearly a subtext regarding why Evangelicals should continue to convert the Orthodox, as has been demonstrated.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

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I know of high standard Protestant universities that have Orthodox professors teaching. Should that be allowed? Or is it just seminaries?

I think this is up to the employer to decide who he wants to hire, and up to each applicant to accept or reject the offer. This applies to any contract outside of the realm of faith.

But an Orthodox seminary should never provide a platform for Prots to teach. Never.
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Offline Orest

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I know of high standard Protestant universities that have Orthodox professors teaching. Should that be allowed? Or is it just seminaries?

I think this is up to the employer to decide who he wants to hire, and up to each applicant to accept or reject the offer. This applies to any contract outside of the realm of faith.

But an Orthodox seminary should never provide a platform for Prots to teach. Never.

I read the article and the quotes with an Ethiopian at Wycliffe College, at the university of Toronto talking about cooperation with the Orthodox to fight poverty. 

There was information about Protestants offering information to combat AIDS which is serious in Africa.  What is wrong with that? 

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I read the article and the quotes with an Ethiopian at Wycliffe College, at the university of Toronto talking about cooperation with the Orthodox to fight poverty. 

There was information by another poster here about Protestants offering information to combat AIDS which is serious in Africa at an Ethiopian Orthodox Seminary.  What is wrong with that Stavro?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 01:00:42 PM by Orest »

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I read the article and the quotes with an Ethiopian at Wycliffe College, at the university of Toronto talking about cooperation with the Orthodox to fight poverty. 

There was information by another poster here about Protestants offering information to combat AIDS which is serious in Africa at an Ethiopian Orthodox Seminary.  What is wrong with that Stavro?

Might save lives. Might have to forgive people. Can't have that.  ::)
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Quote
I know of high standard Protestant universities that have Orthodox professors teaching. Should that be allowed? Or is it just seminaries?

I think this is up to the employer to decide who he wants to hire, and up to each applicant to accept or reject the offer. This applies to any contract outside of the realm of faith.

But an Orthodox seminary should never provide a platform for Prots to teach. Never.

I read the article and the quotes with an Ethiopian at Wycliffe College, at the university of Toronto talking about cooperation with the Orthodox to fight poverty. 

There was information about Protestants offering information to combat AIDS which is serious in Africa.  What is wrong with that?

There's a difference between what you're describing and what Stavro is describing.  The purpose of an Orthodox seminary is to serve Christ, hHs Church, and the world through Orthodox Christian theological education, research, and scholarship, and the promotion of inter-Orthodox cooperation and to prepare students for ministry as bishops, priests, deacons, lay leaders, and scholars so that they may build up Orthodox communities, foster Church growth through mission and evangelism, teach the Orthodox faith, and care for those in need. (Shout out to Mor Ephrem.)  A Protestant professor - especially one from a denomination whose stated mission is to convert the Orthodox through whatever means, including, obviously subtle indoctrination, should have no part in the formation of the leadership - lay or clergy - of the Orthodox Church.  Contrary to what the Mekane Yesus, Mar Thomites, Tahidisso, and related "culturally contextualized" Protestant groups believe, we don't need a Reformation in the Orthodox Church.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Might save lives. Might have to forgive people. Can't have that.  ::)

Can't have them leading people into hell in the process, because if they're inducing Orthodox Christians to leave the Church for their diabolical mockery of it in the course of their charity, they're really not helping anyone at all.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline biro

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Might save lives. Might have to forgive people. Can't have that.  ::)

Can't have them leading people into hell in the process, because if they're inducing Orthodox Christians to leave the Church for their diabolical mockery of it in the course of their charity, they're really not helping anyone at all.

I was referring to them helping AIDS patients.

I guess some people can find anything to complain about.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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I was referring to them helping AIDS patients.

I guess some people can find anything to complain about.

Yeah, I'm talking to one of them.  At any rate, the activities of heterodox "missionaries" in Orthodox countries is not merely "something to complain about".  It's something to be guarded against.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

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Might save lives. Might have to forgive people. Can't have that.  ::)

Can't have them leading people into hell in the process, because if they're inducing Orthodox Christians to leave the Church for their diabolical mockery of it in the course of their charity, they're really not helping anyone at all.

I was referring to them helping AIDS patients.

I guess some people can find anything to complain about.

biro,

I don't claim expertise on the subject of this thread, but I don't think you can take your experience with Orthodoxy in America and apply it to the old world.  It may happen that there are Protestants who are involved in exclusively humanitarian work in the old world among Orthodox communities, but it also happens that there are Protestants (and, forgive me because I know this is incredible, Roman Catholics) who use that humanitarian work as a way of converting the Orthodox to their own religions.  I know such people personally on three continents.  While I am sympathetic to your more liberal "live and let live" attitude, it's just not the reality on the ground in many of those places, and we would be foolish to ignore it or, worse, welcome and encourage it.   
Mor Ephrem is a nice guy.  Just say sorry and it will all be ok. Say I had things that were inside troubling me but I didn't know how to express appropriately. I will not behave that way again but I am seeking help.

thank you so much Mor ephrem you are a hero!

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I read the article and the quotes with an Ethiopian at Wycliffe College, at the university of Toronto talking about cooperation with the Orthodox to fight poverty. 

There was information by another poster here about Protestants offering information to combat AIDS which is serious in Africa at an Ethiopian Orthodox Seminary.  What is wrong with that Stavro?

Might save lives. Might have to forgive people. Can't have that.  ::)
Please be careful, biro. You're pushing this discussion toward a level of debate and polemic not permitted on Christian News.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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By the way no one had addressed the issue of poverty in Ethiopia mentioned in the original article.

Because it doesn't require addressing here.  Do you think anyone here would dispute the fact that Ethiopia is struggling economically or that it's people need help?  Of course not.  But does that mean that we should be supportive of Protestant "missions" to Ethiopia which provide some material aid but also induce the faithful to leave God's Church for something diabolical per Mor's post.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.