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By John G. Hall

Photos and textual content examine the previous, improvement, and current tradition of Ethiopia and its population.

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He proclaimed himself Emperor Yohannes IV (1872–1889). The Struggle for Independence Abyssinian Regiment, 1869 to his reign, he added “son of David and Solomon” to his title. In an effort to unify the country and begin the task of modernization, Tewodros brought the various provinces under his control, reorganized the army, and raised taxes for its maintenance. He also made it illegal for his soldiers to steal from peasants. To strengthen his army he used the technical skills of Protestant missionaries to cast cannons and mortars.

It seems that despite the fascination Ethiopia has held for many people over the centuries, knowledge about the realities of its political, social, and economic affairs has become limited and often fragmentary. It seems that knowledge of Egypt’s legendary and glorious past has slipped from the world’s memory. Modern Ethiopia traces its origins to the ancient kingdom of Aksum, one of Africa’s most important cultural and trading 34 Ethiopia Ethiopian Orthodox, Priest, Lekempti, c. 1900 The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is an independent Christian church headquartered in Addis Ababa.

Few African countries have had such a long, varied, and troubled past as Ethiopia, and yet in spite of turmoil and upheavals, the founding of the Ethiopian Orthodox church remains an event of supreme importance. It is one of the longest living institutions in the history of Ethiopia. Both spiritually and symbolically it represents the faith and hope, dreams and memories, thoughts, feelings, and actions of an entire nation. However, even though Christianity became the state religion it was not and is not the only religion practiced.

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