Abyssinian Church

A body of Monophysite Christians in Abyssinia, governed by the Abuna, a vicar of the Coptic Patriarchate of Alexandria. Next in importance to the Abuna, who must be an Egyptian monk, is the Etsch’ege, a native Abyssinian who rules the monastic orders. Besides priests and monks, there is a class called Deftaras whose duty is to study the written ordinances. The liturgical language, Geez, shows a mixture of Greek and Arabic. They claim there is but one nature in Christ, reject all the aecumenical councils since Ephesus, have some minor heresies of their own, and practise probably the lowest type of Christianity in the world. Discarded Christian customs, such as immersion and infant communion, are observed, as well as many Judaistic rites, including circumcision and the dedication of children called “Nazarenes.” Their Canon of Scripture contains many apocryphal books. The clergy are poorly, the monks better, educated.