Ethiopian Ark (pre-day 10 – Dean in Ethiopia)


I leave for Ethiopia in 10 days. Therefore I will blog daily during the two week trip, as well as the 10 days leading up to it. Today we start with pre-day 10.

This is my third trip, and I am joined this time by understudy Levi Crawford, part of my Orthodox Church in Chattanooga and a lover of all things ancient and interesting, and, well, just an enthusiastic lover of all things.

Our flight leaves from Dulles airport in Washington D.C. late on the night of Monday, Jan. 15. That’s a 10 hour drive. We stop at Istanbul, Turkey (Constantinople) along the way. 

Today’s title is “The Ark.” The Ark is something I actually don’t talk a lot about when I chatter on and on these days about Ethiopia. And yet it is generally the one thing people might know about Ethiopian Christianity. And if you don’t know, Ethiopian Christians are absolutely convinced the actual Ark of the Covenant from the Old Testament exists today in a small armed chapel in their ancient city of Axum.

A woman prays outside the building (right) with the Ark

Does it really? I think it’s possible, but I don’t know for sure. The reason I don’t talk it about it that much is because I like to focus on the things we do know for sure about Ethiopia:

  • It has had a growing Christian church since the 1st Century (Acts 8)
  • Was one of the first, if not THE first, Christian empires, c. early 300s A.D.
  • There are 1,000+ monasteries of fervent God seeking people there.
  • Africa is the continent of the future, with a birth rate of 5 children per woman. The West will soon be obsolete with a  birthrate of 1.5 (2.1 is replacement).
  • Ethiopia is the cultural leader of Africa, with an ancient written script, the 2nd largest population, and the capital of Africa’s U.N.
Ancient Christian Ethiopian coin

So, while it’s definitely fun to talk about the Ark, I am more concerned to focus on the items that are irrefutable. And these are things almost no American knows about.

Don’t get me wrong: I will be visiting again the church Ethiopians adore as the safeguard of the Ark. Levi will get to see it too. I love the Ark phenomenon, as it was a National Geographic documentary on this subject that first piqued my interest in the historic Christian roots of the country.

Levi and his family

I plan to write a longer history of Ethiopia, but this year hope to finish a prologue intro—my “Hobbit” if you will. The working title is “Ethiopian Ark.” But the double meaning is more about the Ark Noah built.

Where is the secular West, moving more and more occultic, heading? Might the Bolshevism that destroyed Christian Russia be in our future? Where do Christians head when modernism’s disdain of traditional values becomes unbearable? In Ethiopia they still believe in strong families, traditional marriage, and men as men and women as women. That’s not likely to change anytime soon.

Africa is the future

They also continue to have large families, and that’s not currently the trend in any other traditional Christian country such as Russia, Greece, and Italy and certainly not in the West. None of them are near a 2.1 birthrate. Ethiopia’s “Ark” may become more important than we realize.

(Note: Levi and I have an $1100 outstanding need for this trip. Visit here for more information. Thanks!)

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