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Logo of the Mekane Yesus Church

Reformation in Ethiopia

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. It’s about an ancient church with a near monopoly of religious practice and a stunning tradition of artistic achievement. Ordinary people love the church as a symbol of holiness and cultural identity, but most have little idea of what it actually teaches. The church uses a language un­known beyond the clergy, so religious services are incomprehensible. Even so, lay believers enter enthusiastically into the church’s well-established traditions, its pilgrimages and devotions, its popular cults of saints, martyrs and angels. And then suddenly a few daring ac­tivists start putting the Bible into the familiar language of everyday speech. As the laity delve into the Bible’s pages, a revolution begins . . .


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