Ethiopia Religion and Military
Religion. – The prevalent religion in Ethiopia is Christian, in the form of Monophysitism: it is the state religion (see below).
Islamism follows in importance. Initially introduced in coastal localities (Dahlac, Massawa, Zeila, Berbera, etc.), it spread inland, especially among non-Semitic-speaking populations, for whom its adoption was also a means of distinguishing and oppose the Abyssinians, who oppressed and fought them. Especially the coastal populations or those in contact with the coast (Begia, Saho, Danachili, Somali) have long been Muslim; as the Harar region and the Ifat have been for centuries. From there, Islam infiltrated the SW regions. of Abyssinia, finding followers among the Sidama (Sidāmā) of Hadià (Hadiyā), of Tambaro (Tambarō), etc. Even the Galla who migrated to those regions have largely adopted it, as have the other immigrants in the Amhara and east of it. It is remarkable how the Abyssinians have come to formally recognize the Islamic religion among the Galla statelets of the SO. Also in the N. and NW regions. of Abyssinia, and on its borders, Islam reigns, while it makes rapid progress also along the western borders. From the end of the century. XVIII and much more during the Egyptian dominion, the Eritrean tribes of Tigray language (Habab, Ad Temariàm, Ad Taclès, Maria, Mensa, most of the Bogos, etc.) renounced Christianity for Islam. It can be said that today Christian Abyssinia is shrinking, closed in a Muslim circle. Furthermore, Islam is professed by quite a few nuclei and families spread throughout Abyssinia, especially in the most economically important centers: traders, weavers, blacksmiths, etc. The Abyssinians often give Muslims the name of Giaberti: it seems that this in ancient times indicated a population of the Ifat; it is applied especially to the Muslims of the Abyssinian race, but, especially in the Scioa and in the southern districts, it has come to take on a very broad significance, sometimes even being applied to the Muslims of Arabia.
The Judaism is preserved between the Falashas, which rimangon0 relatively numerous in Dambià in Uogherà in Semien, in Quara, etc., Regions where once also had political power and independence; Falascià nuclei have also migrated elsewhere, in Tigrè, in Baghiemeder, in Scioa. A special sect, still poorly known, whose beliefs seem intermediate between Christianity and Judaism, perhaps with pagan influence, is that of the Chemant (qem ā nt), in Dambià and in the neighboring districts.
The paganism is maintained between the Semitic-speaking people no peripheral regions. The populations located along the western borders and the Sidama and Galla populations of the southern regions can still be said to be predominantly pagan, as they have not yet adopted Islam; the Cunama of Eritrea are also pagans. Generally, it can be said that the paganism of the Cushitic peoples admits a supreme god who is in heaven, and of whom the sun is often considered as the eye: then there is an infinity of genes and spirits, beneficial and evil, who it is necessary to propitiate oneself or avert oneself by means more or less openly inspired by magic.
The European Christian churches have numerous missions in Ethiopia: in general, however, the results so far appear to be rather limited. The major ones can be considered those achieved by the Catholic mission.
Abyssinia is in fact considered by the Catholic Church as a land of mission, although it partly depends on the Holy Congregation ” pro Ecclesia orientali “, instead of Propaganda. It is divided into five large circumscriptions, one of which constitutes the Apostolic Vicariate of Eritrea. There are also the two apostolic vicariates of Abyssinia, one founded by Mons. De Jacobis with residence in Ali Tienà and entrusted to the Lazarists; the other of the Galla, founded by Card. Massaia with residence in Harar, entrusted to the Capuchins. The apostolic prefecture of Djibouti is also entrusted to the same order, which, although named after a residence located outside the Ethiopian territory, administers the an ancient mission of British Somalia which for some years has been located in Abyssinian Somalia. Another ecclesiastical district is the Apostolic Prefecture of Caffa administered by the missionaries of the Consolata of Turin, who have Saio in Wolleggà as their main residence.It is established in western Abyssinia, in that part of the country that borders with Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and with the English colonies of Uganda and Kenya.
Military. – The army of the Ethiopian empire is composed of the armed forces of the sovereign (army of the Crown) and the corps of troops of the individual chiefs and feudatars. In case of mobilization, these corps of troops of the Ras, etc., must group themselves around the army of the Crown and thus form an army under the orders of the head of state, the bond of vassalage becoming concrete in the acceptance of the single military command. Of course, the speed and efficiency of mobilization depend on the sovereign’s prestige over his individual vassals. The sum of the armed forces of the sovereign and the leaders, in peacetime, is approximately estimated today at about 400,000 men. However, the Ethiopian army should not be evaluated with the same criteria as a European army. For Ethiopia military, please check militarynous.com.
The current armament is not homogeneous: it consists almost exclusively of rifles of various models; the artillery – also due to the roughness of the ground – is relatively scarce; quite numerous machine guns. Since 1929, Ethiopia has had an aviation squadron with French and Italian aircraft and mainly French personnel.
The military colonization system restored, after its conquests, by Menelik II (see above) has given back to some corps of the Crown army a political function towards the alien peoples subjected to Abyssinia, a function that the army had already had centuries ago in the territory of the Abyssinian kingdom north of the Blue Nile and Hawash. The army still remains the main unitary force of the Ethiopian Empire and the life of Ethiopia is linked to it, as the history of the attempts made, from ancient times to today, by foreign people or local leaders, to to assert its dominion over individual zones through territorial occupations that have always remained without any practical effect as long as the Crown army remained intact, even if pushed back into remote areas.
Today the emperor’s guard has had European uniforms and instructions and a Belgian military mission is located for this purpose in Addis Ababa. The corps of troops of the leaders, on the other hand, have traditional Abyssinian training and technique.