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Church and State in Ethiopia. May 2012 Anne Marie Stoner-Eby, Ph.D. Scott Stoner-Eby, Ph.D. IDSC 260: Cross-Cultural Studies . What are you looking for?.

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church and state in ethiopia
Church and State in Ethiopia

May 2012

Anne Marie Stoner-Eby, Ph.D.

Scott Stoner-Eby, Ph.D.

IDSC 260: Cross-Cultural Studies

what are you looking for
What are you looking for?

This cross-cultural is designed for those students looking for a powerful experience that will nurture significant relationships and profound learning.

This cross-cultural offers the opportunity to develop close relationships with Ethiopian evangelical college students and connect in a personal way with our global church.

For the three weeks of the course, Messiah students will room with Ethiopian evangelical students and experience the entire course with them -- including lectures, visits to historic sites, and in-country travel.


The course will begin and

end at MesereteKristos

College in DebreZeyit,

which is ½ hour from the

capital of Addis Ababa.

Students will also spend a

week in Addis Ababa and a

week travelling to the

Historic North to visit

Aksum, Lalibela (near Dese),

and Gonder.

meserete kristos church
MesereteKristos Church

With over 200,000 members, the Meserete

Kristos Church (MKC) is one of the largest

Mennonite churches in the global Mennonite

fellowship (only the U.S. and the Congo have

more members). Mennonite missionaries

arrived from Pennsylvania in 1948 and quickly established medical and educational programs. A church also began to develop which was soon led by Ethiopians.

When the church was forced underground in the years after the Communist revolution in 1974, it had 5,000 members. After the Communist regime fell in 1991, the church had 34,000 members with 50,000 just three years later!

This vibrant evangelical church has

continued to grow with a current

growth rate of 37%.

meserete kristos college
MesereteKristos College

MesreteKristos College was founded in

1994 by the evangelical MesereteKristos

Church (MKC) to meet the needs of its rapidly growing

churches and their ministries. It began in the capital

city of Addis Ababa, moving to a new campus in the nearby

town of Debra Zeyit in 2007.

The campus is located between a seasonal lake and a volcanic crater lake

with majestic Mt. Yerer in the distance.

ancient history of christianity in ethiopia
Ancient History of Christianity in Ethiopia

King Azana of Aksum converted to Christianity in 330 AD – long before most of the kings of northern Europe!

This stone-carved text describes his

conversion, which like the Roman

Emperor Constantine who converted around

the same time, involved victory in battle.

Azana’s coins reflect his conversion:

pre-Christian symbols before, crosses


lalibela built to be a new jerusalem 13 monolithic rock hewn churches dating from 12 th century
Lalibela: Built to be a New Jerusalem 13 monolithic rock-hewn churches dating from 12th century
day trips from debre zeyit
Day Trips from DebreZeyit

Sodere: Its large pool contains warm water fed by a natural hot springs -- it’s also a favorite hang-out for monkeys!

Mount Zuquala: At its top are a monastery and a crater lake.

ethiopian cuisine
Ethiopian Cuisine

As one of the world’s most distinctive cuisines,

Ethiopian restaurants are now found in most

major cities, even Lancaster, PA!

Like Indian food, it uses a combination

of spices -- both mild and spicy – to

produce flavorful stews called wat.

It is eaten with a distinctive, spongy, flat bread

called injera, made from an extremely fine grain

called teft, historically grown only in Ethiopia.

All dishes are shared in a common round tray, traditionally eaten in a round basket table called a messab.

personal experiences
Personal Experiences

I was born in Ethiopia at the Mennonite Mission Hospital, and although my parents left when I was one-and-a-half, they later returned to Ethiopia, living in Addis Ababa for almost five years when I was 9-14 years old. Because of my family connections to Mennonites in Ethiopia, the President of MK College, NegashKebede is an old family friend. I have many fond memories of my childhood years in Ethiopia; although I was also aware that it was a time of great hardship for many Ethiopian people since they were living under the brutal regime of the Communist dictator, Col. Mengistu.

Professionally, my academic specialty is missions and Christianity in Africa, and I am beginning a new project on the history of Mennonite missions in Ethiopia and Tanzania. So, both personally and professionally, I am excited about helping students connect, in Ethiopia, with the global Christian church!

concluding thoughts ethiopia is an amazing country
Concluding Thoughts: Ethiopia is an Amazing Country!

Ancient Christian history still living in the Orthodox Church.

Christian kingdom that survived for 1600 years producing world famous architecture and art.

Vibrant Evangelical church history with churches growing underground during the Communist dictatorship.

Only one of two countries to remain independent during the European colonial period in Africa, now the headquarters of the African Union.

Addis Ababa, built amongst hills covered with eucalyptus trees, is currently experiencing a building-boom.

World-renowned, flavorful cuisine.

Diverse and unique geography of highlands and lowlands, with extinct volcanoes and hot springs.

any questions
Any Questions?

The current cost estimate for this cross-cultural is $3950.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any other questions!

Anne Marie Stoner-Eby

Department of History

Boyer 262, x2046