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Orthodox Christianity: A Rich Tapestry of History, Faith, and Cultural Intersections – Reno Omokri

This is my daughter, Ebele, at church today. Notice that she is covered from head to toe. What she has on her head is a Netela. What Muslims call a Hijab. This is how Orthodox Christian women have attended religious service for two thousand years. It is an abomination to them for a woman to enter the Temple without covering her hair. And it is supported by the early Christians in 1 Corinthians 11:5.

If you take the pure and undefiled practices of Orthodox Christianity and compare them to the Christendom that came from Europe, you will have little similarities. Orthodox Christianity has more in common with Islam than with European Christendom, whether it be Catholicism, Anglicanism, Methodism or any other isms.

As a matter of fact, Islam as a religion thrived because the Abyssinian Orthodox Christians gave the very first Muslims asylum when the Quraysh of Mecca wanted to kill them. Abyssinia, or Habesha, is the old name for Ethiopia.

It may surprise you that for centuries, Ethiopia or Abyssinia was the dominant world superpower. They militarily protected Israel. You see that in 2 Kings 19:9. Also, the kings of Israel customarily had a spiritual counsellor from Ethiopia. You see that in Jeremiah 38:7. It was the Ethiopian adviser to King Zedekiah, named Ebed Melech (an Ethiopian name used till today) that saved Jeremiah from death.

Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) nurse and nanny, Umm Ayman, was an Ethiopian. She was present on the day the prophet of Islam was born and on the day he died. She was one of the first converts to Islam.

Ruqayyah, the daughter of prophet Muhammad (SAW), lived in Ethiopia for ten years with her husband, Uthman, the third Caliph of Islam.

Some ask me why I use the honorific when referring to the prophet of Islam. To me, that question is moot. I am not a Muslim. However, it is not a sin in the sight of God or man to wish good for anybody, living or dead. As long as Muslims honour my faith, I will honour theirs. And we can agree to disagree without being disagreeable with each other.

My guide is Romans 12:18:

“As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

Men and women enter an Orthodox Church from different entrances and do not mingle within the building. They sit in separate places. And they do not set aside Sundays for worship services. Every day is a service day.

Before you argue, they have the world’s oldest complete and illustrated New Testament. If you take your King James Version or any other European version and look at the footnotes, when they have interpretation issues, they will resolve it by saying, ‘The Ethiopic Scriptures say…’ The oldest complete and illustrated Christian Scriptures on Earth are the Garima Gospels. Look it up. If this is false, I vow to pay the first person to disprove me $10,000.

There were likely books older than the Garima Gospels, but the Italians destroyed probably a million books and killed over ten thousand Orthodox priests when they invaded Ethiopia in 1935. So, we may never know.

Orthodox Christianity frowns on prosperity teachings and instead teaches contentment. If you want to use money to win an Orthodox Christian girl, you are wasting your time. They do not place the same value on materialistic things as you do. But if you are prepared to follow their faith genuinely, they can marry you, even if you are a pauper.

Their faith guides them in everything. How, when, and what to eat. How, when and where to do even quotidian things such as going to the toilet. They may not fight you for economic reasons, but they are willing to fight and die for religion. Their faith is the foundation and zenith of their lives. All other things are downhill.

And whereas Christendom came from Europe to Africa, Orthodox Christianity started from Ethiopia and Armenia and spread to Europe. A Russian and Greek Orthodox person is actually closer to Ethiopia than to their fellow Europeans. That is why Ethiopia is the only African country never to be colonised. Because when Christendom Europe invaded them, Orthodox Europe supported them with weapons, money and soldiers.

Reno Omokri

Gospeller. Deep Thinker. #TableShaker. Ruffler of the Feathers of Obidents. #1 Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years. Hodophile. Hollywood Magazine Humanitarian of the Year, 2019. Business Insider Influencer of the Year 2022.