• Stanislav Mezentsev Russian Academy of Sciences


The article intends to present some of the most interesting facts of the development of religious traditions in Ethiopia, and religion influence on the politics and vise verse in the process of the Ethiopian statehood formation. Course of development of the Ethiopian Statehood was inextricably linked to significant and contradictory influence of different religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism, but Christianity above all. However, it is not only religion influences different sides of the country’s political life. From the Empire, later the People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (1987 to 1991), and present-day Federal Democratic Republic, religion has been often exploited for the state’s benefits. Thus, this influence was mutual, but not always mutually beneficial. Realizing the scale and significance of the designated topic of this study, author limits his research ambitions only by highlighting the most general trends in the interrelations of politics and religion within the conditionally allocated three historical stages. Firstly, from 4th century until 1974, or from building and strengthening the Ethiopian Empire since Christianity until the overthrow of the last emperor Haile Selassie I. Secondly, through the attempts to build the socialist state (1974 to 1991). And finally, through the Federate State (1991 – present days).

Keywords: politics, religion, Ethiopian statehood, Orthodox church, Islam


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