Ethiopian movement

Ethiopian Movement

Ethiopian movement

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The Ethiopian Movement is a religious movement that began in southern Africa towards the end of the 19th century, when two groups broke away from the Anglican and Methodist churches. One of the main reasons for breaking away was that the parent denominations were perceived to be too much under white control, with not enough scope being given to African leadership.

The Ethiopian movement was based on their interpretation of a Biblical passage (Psalm 68:31): "Ethiopia shall soon stretch forth its hands unto God" (in the original Hebrew, actually כוש Cush).

The term was later given a much wider interpretation by Bengt Sundkler, whose book Bantu prophets in South Africa was the first comprehensive study of African Independent Churches .


In about 1888 an evangelist, Joseph Mathunye Kanyane Napo, seceded from the Anglican Church to form the Africa Church or African Church, which was composed mostly of black Anglicans who were dissatisfied with white control of the Anglican Church.

In 1892 a minister of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Mangena Maake Mokone, broke away from that denomination and formed the Ethiopian Church, mainly because of dissatisfaction with segregation in the church and the lack of fellowship between black and white ministers. His preachings included the theme of "Africa for the Africans", which was later a pillar of theUNIA-ACL.

A group of black former Anglican and Methodist leaders gathered around Mokone, including Kanyane Napo,...
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