Tahadissu – Revival movement in the Coptic Orthodox Church Part 1

What is the Orthodox Church?

Ethiopia received the gospel not only from the treasurer, but in the 3rd century from two young believers, Abraha and Asbaha, who were attacked by pirates and saved by Ethiopian fishermen. They came to the royal court in Axum, and the pagan king was converted with his family. He died a little later. Because his son was too young to take over the government, Abraha and Asbaha ran the country for some time. During this time, the gospel spread in Ethiopia and a devout church emerged. Over the centuries, however, this lively community deteriorated into the dead state church, the Orthodox Church. The Bible replaced its own books, and heresies blinded the people. So people were e.g. made it clear that Jesus, since he is God, cannot stand up for man, but should contact Mary or one of the almost 600 saints. The mediator is the Orthodox priest. There is a separate book about the so-called “Miracles of Mary”. The Ethiopians are very religious and they blindly trusted the Orthodox Church. At the time of communism, however, the Orthodox Church showed its true face so unvarnished that many awoke. The church worked with the communists at a time when real believers were persecuted and killed. The disappointment of many followers of the Orthodox faith was great. But where should they go?

After the collapse of communism, the gospel was freely announced. Many Orthodox found this message like a source in the desert, and there was great revival. The converts left the church and joined the faithful congregations. However, the attitude of the converted Orthodox has been changing for several years. Converted priests do not see why they should leave the Church. However, the believers wanted “Tahadissu” which means “renewal”. So a small reformation in East Africa! Back to the beginning (Abraha and Asbaha) was the motto. As long as they go undetected, converted Christians could stay in the Orthodox Church and testify to Jesus. In some places, the renewal movement in the Orthodox Church has managed to renew entire churches from within. In Nazareth an entire community has grown up, only a few remained in Orthodoxy. In the end, the orthodox believers together left the church decorated with pictures of saints to gather in a simple house. But they still call themselves Orthodox.

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