Revolution and Religion in Ethiopia
The Growth and Persecution of the Mekane Yesus Church, 1974-85
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: James Currey
Number of Pages: 320
Width: 13.8 cm
Height: 21.6 cm
Examines how the Mekane Yesus Church moved from supporting the 1974 Ethiopian revolution to coming under attack by the new government. As part of the Eastern African Studies series, this text explores the uneasy relationship between the Protestant evangelical church, Mekane Yesus, established by the Oromo of Western Ethiopia early in the 20th century, and the central authorities of the Ethiopian state. North America: Ohio U Press; Ethiopia: Addis Ababa University Press
Everyone who studies the relationship between Marxist revolutions and missionary-affiliated evangelical churches should read this challenging and intellectually ambitious book...(addresses] questions of how minority churches relate to the institutions and culture of the majority, and the interaction between churches and revolutionary politics... Eide's work is valuable for the lessons which can be drawn and applied to other post-communist societies in transition, as well as suggestions for overcoming the barriers and mistrust between different branches of the Christian family. -- Nikolas K. Gvosdev * JOURNAL OF CHURCH & STATE * Overall Eide's volume is engaging and well written with an interesting Foreword by Carl Hallencreutz, Emeritus Professor of Theology in the University of Uppsala, situating the work in a larger missionary studies context. It should be of great interest to scholars of Ethiopian studies and Africanists alike. -- Christine Mason * ARAS * ... a timely contribution to a field of research that is still in its infancy ... Eide has provided a very useful tool for further research into the relevancy of religion in social and anthropological issues in Ethiopia. -- Angel Miguel Garcia * THE HEYTHROP JOURNAL * In 1974 the Ethiopian Revolution broke out giving rise to a regime, which allied itself with the Soviet Union, and which attempted to transform Ethiopia into a soviet peoples' democracy. The regime lasted until 1991, when it was overthrown by a guerrilla insurgency. Eide shows how church leaders and local members initially supported the revolution and joined in promoting its goals of equity and development. However, within four years the Mekane Yesus church came under attack as a foreign religion, and, in 1978 entered a decade of active persecution from and direct conflict with the Ethiopian government. Eide has succeeded in his main goals. He has brought to a wider audience the story of a church in revolutionary times. In so doing he has contributed to the understanding of the revolution itself. -- Donald Crummey, Professor of History, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana