THE FIRST RUSSIAN RELIGIOUS MISSIONS TO ETHIOPIA
The aim of the article is to analyze the first attempts to forge a relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The paper considers religious and political preconditions for the rapprochement of the two empires. It is noted that in Russia since the 14th century, the perception of Ethiopians as exemplary Christians had existed, but Russian-Ethiopian contacts for a long time had remained sporadic. However, by the middle of the 19th century, the Russian Empire had become a major power with enormous foreign policy ambitions: it had also developed its own interests in the Horn of Africa region. In the second half of the 19th century, the interest in Abyssinia, its history and religion on the part of the Russian public, including the academic circles, increased noticeably. In the 1880s, the first religious missions were sent to Ethiopia, and contacts between the two churches were established. The development of relations between the two countries in various spheres was also greatly facilitated by the opening of the Embassy of the Russian Empire in Addis Ababa in 1897.
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