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Beyond Our Prayers: Anabaptist Church Growth in Ethiopia, 1948-1998Iopia, 1948-1998 [Paperback]

By Nathan B. Hege (Author)
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Item Number 132995  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   277
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.93" Width: 5.86" Height: 0.62"
Weight:   0.98 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 31, 1998
Publisher   Herald Press
ISBN  0836190858  
EAN  9780836190854  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Beyond Our Prayers: Anabaptist Church Growth in Ethiopia, 1948-1998Iopia, 1948-1998 by Nathan B. Hege

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Africa > Ethiopia   [106  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Fascinating!  Apr 29, 2005
In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Emperor Haile Selassie (1892-1975) allowed in Western Christian organizations to modernize Ethiopia by opening hospitals and schools. But, the organizations were only allowed to proselytize among the non-Orthodox. One of the Christian organizations that came to Ethiopia was the Mennonites. During their stay, they planted an Anabaptist church, which took off beyond the missionaries dreams, and took on a life of its own. This is the story of the Meserete Kristos Church (MKC), an Anabaptist church with its own African flavor, wearing African garb, practicing faith healing and exorcism, and standing up under the ruthless oppression of Ethiopia's Communist government.

Did you know that one out of every four Anabaptists now live in Ethiopia? Well, it's true. This fascinating book tells the story of a truly Ethiopian church, with its own beliefs and worship. I found the story to be both enlightening and uplifting, especially the MKC member's steadfast faith in the face of oppression beyond what many Western Christians can even imagine.

[As an aside, the book The Next Christendom by Philip Jenkins tells of the growth of the Church in Africa and shows how it is markedly different from the churches in the West. The MKC is a shining example of what Mr. Jenkins wrote about. I would imagine that before long, we will be seeing MKC missionaries spreading their Gospel in the United States.]
Best recent church history book on Ethiopia  Sep 9, 2000
Hege's book is the best recent book available on the growth of an Ethiopian Christian denomination. It starts out with a strong focus on the early work of expatriate Mennonite missionaries, but in its coverage of later years, it shifts completely to a discussion of the Meserete Kristos Church and its Ethiopian members.

Hege's work is based on 1st hand knowledge, archives, and pesonal interviews, including many Ethiopians. This is a book written in a library from all 2nd hand sources.

Just as Gustav Aren's volume on the origins of the Mekane Yesus church is a widely cited work for the late 19th and early 20th century, Hege's book will be a primary source on certain aspects of Ethiopian church history in the second half of the 20th century.

Those who dislike Christian missionaries will dislike the book, but not because it is poorly written.

My problem is that it is such a good book that nobody will return my copy to me.

Mission to Ethiopia?  Jan 27, 2000
Ethiopian Orthodox Christians have held, confessed, and maintained the apostolic Christian faith since the first century, and kept a bastion of Orthodoxy free in a sea of Islam. How sad that western Christians, themselves divorced from the fullness of apostolic Orthodoxy, should seek to lead astray their spiritual elders. Rather they should go to Ethiopia to learn. This reminds me of western missionaries who travel to Eastern Europe to teach the martyred Church there the "true faith." ...
This is trash and self serving to the author.  Aug 24, 1999
I have read this book and stopped in the middle. I am always amazed as how white people always manage and find the means to come in, in these countries in the name of religion, only to despense their misgiuded type of religion with thier white christ, which by implication, they present themselves as direct decendents of christ. Naturally, in support of this mind colonisation of these African poeple in general and in this case Ethiopia in particular, the so called missionaries always distribute the image of a white christ. The saddest aspect of their missions in these countries is that here are their captive auduence, people who hardly know where these people came from. Beside mental colonisation these unfortunate people, they also introduced homosexuality, which ofcourse was unheard of in this country. My suggestion is that rather than cross the ocean to Africa, they should stay here in their own backyard and take care of their people, such as in ghettos, and the bareos. From very few pages I read, I find this book to be self serving, and a book that is not worth buying.
I went to Ethiopia and ask impressions from people quoted.  Jul 28, 1998
Fourteen years ago I heard a request for prayer from this Ethiopian Church which was declared illegal and persecuted by the communist government. "Do not pray that we will get out of prison. Pray that we will be faithful." Only just now in May, 1998 was I able to travel to Ethiopia to talk to the people who were quoted in the book.

Perhaps there is some comparison to the account of the Apostle Paul in the Bible, or to the Anabaptist experience in Europe in the 16th century. To North American christians interested in church growth, it is inconceivable that when the government fell and the church came out from underground, it had grown ten fold.

The book gives the story. The people themselves are modest to talk about it. They say it was not their planning, but a special moving in the spirit of the people. For me to be in their midst and to experience their joy in singing together after being denied this for years, is something that can not be expre! ssed in written word.

Perhaps Hege is a bit romantic in the reporting about the missionaries. But we will concede him this, for it must have been difficult for these expatriates to be ejected from Ethiopia. Considering the impossibility of conveying fully to a North American brain which is not formatted to handle these kinds of stories, Nathan Hege, I think, does a pretty good job.


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