Patriarchs from Egypt

Patriarchs from Egypt
Frumentius (later Abune Selama), one of the two Syrian boys rescued from a ship that capsized in the Red Sea, was instrumental in the conversion to Christianity of king Ezana of Aksum in the 4th century AD. Abune Selama (Father of Peace) was the first patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Up until the 20th century, Ethiopian bishops had been appointed by the patriarch of the Coptic Church of Egypt before they were ordained in Alexandria. It was only as recently as the 1950s that Ethiopia started to appoint its own patriarch.
It is ironic, if not bemusing, though, that Ethiopia – a country wherein sovereignty and territorial integrity is a much loftier value than diplomatic relations – maintained such an inferior position to a country that competed for domination in all aspects of their bilateral relations. This is indicative, nonetheless, of the close religious ties of the two countries. Unfortunately, Ethio-Egypt relation is overshadowed by the dispute over the rights of the use of the waters of the River Nile, whose source is Lake Tana to the far south west of Aksum.

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