Holy Land Ethiopia - Ethiopia is Mentioned 33 Times in the Bible and Many Times in Qura'an
By Yared Abebe
Religion has always been a major influence in Ethiopia. Certainly no country in Sub-Saharan Africa can trace its origins as far back. Ethiopia is mentioned thirty-three times in the Bible and many times in Qura'an. Perhaps this is the reason why so many visitors retrace the 'historic route', drawn by colorful stories and fantastic tales to the land once known as Abyssinia.
Religion in this fascinating country is unique as well. Many visitors know Ethiopia for its splendid rock-hewn churches and colorful ceremonies, symbolic of the Ethiopian Orthodox church. Perhaps best known are Lalibela's amazing assemblage of rock churches- often referred to as the 'eighth wonders of the world'- but equally wondrous are those carved into Cliff side crevices in the mountains of Tigray region; often reached only by the most determined and devout. Islam, too, has strong and centuries-old roots in the romantic walled city of Harer; the elegant minarets of mosques can be seen throughout most of the countryside.
But it is Ethiopia's people who join with the spectacular scenery, abundant fauna and fascinating religions to truly round out the character of this ancient land. Many of the country's large variety of ethnic groups have their own customs, crafts, homes, and unique languages. There are an astonishing eighty-five languages, with 200 dialects: just one of more surprising feature of Ethiopia.
The well-defined 'historic route' through northern Ethiopia forms the core of the country's tourist industry. It is probably no exaggeration to say that 98% of travelers to Ethiopia base the bulk of their itinerary around this circuit, and rightly so. There is nothing in Sub-Saharan Africa and in a sense nothing else in the world that prepares the visitor for the wealth of historical and cultural treasure, both ancient and living, contained in Northern Ethiopia. The Circuit pivots around four cities in the North and walled city of Harer in the east, all very different to others.
The Land of thousand miles', home of the Ark of Covenant, custodian of some of the world's oldest civilizations, a tourist Paradise, beautiful, secretive, mysterious. Above all things, it is a country of great antiquity, with a culture and traditions dating back more than 3,000 years- this is Ethiopia. The travelers in Ethiopia make a journey through time, transported by beautiful monuments and the ruins of edifices built long centuries ago.
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