ሃምሳ ዓመት ሞላን እያሉ ነው፡፡

Issues and Articles of General Interests including topics related to religion

ሃምሳ ዓመት ሞላን እያሉ ነው፡፡

Postby ዘርዐይ ደረስ » Fri May 05, 2017 4:02 pm

በተለምዶ ጴንጤእየተባሉ ከሚጠሩት ማህበራት አንዱ የሆነው የሙሉ ወንጌል አባላት ሰሞኑን ድርጅታችን ከተመሠረተ ሃምሳ ዓመት ሞላው በማለት በተለይም በነገው ዕለት በአዲስ እበባው የእግር ኳስ ስታድየም በታላቅ ዝግጅት ለማክበር ሽር ጉድ እያሉ ነው፡፡የዚህ ድርጅት አባላት ካላችሁ ከሥሙ ጀምራችሁ ማብራርያ ብትሰጡን፡፡
''ፍምን እፍ ብትላት ትነዳለች ትፍም ብትልባት ትጠፋለች ሁለቱም ሁሉ ከአንድ አፍ ይወጣሉ ::''መጽሐፈ ሲራክ 28:12
ዘርዐይ ደረስ
ውሃ አጠጪ
ውሃ አጠጪ
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Re: ሃምሳ ዓመት ሞላን እያሉ ነው፡፡

Postby እሰፋ ማሩ » Fri May 05, 2017 8:28 pm

ዘርዐይ ደረስ
የሃገራችን ታሪክ መንፈሳዊ ሆነ ስጋዊ የውጭ ሰዎች ሲያቀናብሩ ጥያቄ ይኖረኛል፡፡ታሪኩ መዘገቡ ጥሩ ነገር ግን በራሳችን ቢሆን መርጣለሁ፡፡የጰንጠቆስጤ እምነት የተጀመረው በኮሌጅና ሁለተኛ ደረጃ ተማሪዎች ከሌሎቹ እምነቶች በማፍለስ ነው፡፡በዝማሬና በድፍረት በሚያደርጉት ምስክርነት ፈጣን እድገት ማሳየታቸው የሚታወቅ ሲሆን በእምነት አፈሳ በንጉሱ ዘመን የተጀመረው በእነሱ ላይ ነው፡፡ከስላሴ አስተምህሮ የወጡ እንደ ኢየሱስ ብቻ ያሉት የወጡት ከእነሱ ሲሆን እንቅስቃሴያቸው ሁሉን አብያተርክርስቲያናት ተዋህዶንም ጭምር ዘልቆ መግባቱ አይካድም፡፡ለማንኛውም ያገኘሁት ታሪካቸው እነሆ፡-

Mission, Pentecostalism, and Ethiopian Identity:
The Beginnings of the Mulu
Wongel Believers’ Church1
Two global facts of almost unforeseeable consequences are
now documented in several studies and statistics: Firstly, the
centre of gravity for world Christianity has moved from the
Global North to the Global South (Latin America, Africa and
Asia) so that the majority of Christians today live in the South.
Secondly, the dominant form of Christianity in the Global
South outside the Roman Catholic Church is the Pentecostal
and Charismatic movements both in terms of numbers2
and in
terms of mission, growth and spiritual dynamics. The Ghanaian
professor Asamoah-Gyadu claims that
«Pentecostal religion, the religion of the Holy Spirit …
represents the most concrete evidence of the phenomenal
expansion of Christianity in African countries like Ghana.
In Ghana today, as elsewhere around the African continent,
multitudinous independent indigenous Pentecostal and
autochthonous Charismatic movements that developed in
response to staid denominationalism of historic mission
Christianity have come to represent local manifestations of a
global phenomenon».
Most researchers of African Pentecostalism seem to have
been largely unaware of the developments in Ethiopia. Today
Ethiopia has several Pentecostal churches with high numbers
of members. Moreover, large Protestant churches such as the
Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) and the
Kale Heywet Church (KHC) with more than 12 million members
are heavily influenced by the Pentecostal and Charismatic
The first independent indigenous Pentecostal church in
Ethiopia was the Full Gospel Believers’ Church (hereafter caller
the Mulu Wongel Church) which was established in the mid
1960s as a result of a Pentecostal revival. Several Ethiopians
have written about this church in a historical perspective, and
this historiography has recently been the subject of a thorough
doctoral dissertation written by the German Jörg Haustein
based on extensive research in Ethiopian sources.4
In some ways the Mulu Wongel Church is unique in an
African setting, and it is also immensely important in that it
has given the impetus to the formation of other Pentecostal
churches as well as inspired the Charismatic movements in the
more traditional mainline churches.
In this essay we will therefore look at the initial phase of the
independent Ethiopian Pentecostal church Mulu Wongel (MW),
its beginnings with Western missionaries in the early 1960s and
the establishment as an independent Ethiopian church in the
mid-1960s. It will especially highlight the relationship between
the emerging Ethiopian church and the expatriate missionaries
in terms of leadership structure, theological profile and ecclesial
and missional practice, a relationship that was both cooperative
and characterized by conflict.
It will also take into account the influence of other African
Pentecostal movements in the initial phase and how this
influenced the development of the Mulu Wongel Church. An
overarching perspective will be the relationship between a
commitment to the Pentecostal doctrine and experience that
are largely common for so-called classical Pentecostal churches
everywhere and thus create a global Pentecostal identity, and
an emphasis on the truly Ethiopian character of the Pentecostal
church and its members. Finally the article wishes to draw some
lines to the present time offering some suggestions as to the
major factors behind this growth.
Personal Research History
In order for the reader to understand my own interest in and
perspective on research related to the Pentecostal movement
in Ethiopia, I would like to share some personal information.
As a member of the Church of Norway, which is a Lutheran
state church with about 80% of the Norwegian population as
baptized members, I am not a Pentecostal or a representative
of the Pentecostal movement. After graduating with a degree
in theology in Norway in 1969 and some further post-graduate
studies, I went in 1971 to the Mekane Yesus Seminary in Addis
Ababa as a teacher of systematic theology. I stayed in Ethiopia
until 1973. During this period I got into contact with the Mulu
Wongel church and due to my interest in this church and in
Pentecostalism in general, I was asked by the then general
secretary of the Mekane Yesus Church, Rev. Gudina Tumsa,
to investigate the Pentecostal movement in Ethiopia which
had become a challenge both doctrinally and practically to
the Mekane Yesus Church in many areas, and report back to
the church officers and later to the EECMY General Assembly
in Yirga Alem in 1973. This I did, and this formed my initial
encounter with and evaluation of the the Mulu Wongel church.5
With a scholarship from the Lutheran World Federation I
pursued my doctoral degree in the USA 1973-1976 on the
topic of the Lutheran charismatic movement then spreading
through many Lutheran churches worldwide, including the
Church of Norway.6
During these years in America I was able
to complete a first history of the Mulu Wongel church besides
my doctoral studies. The 225 p. manuscript that was finished in
1975 was titled Molo Wongel. A Documentary Report of the Life and
History of the Independent Pentecostal Movement in Etiopia 1960-
1975. The manuscript was never published, the reason being
that I thought it was not at that point suited for publication
as I felt some areas of research remained unexplored. It was
also not a strictly scholarly work since my intention was to call
attention to and create sympathy for this church that at the
time was under persecution. However, through this manuscript
I was able to document the first 15 years of the Pentecostal
movement in a way that had not been done before. The
manuscript was based on extensive personal interviews with
leaders of the Mulu Wongel church as well as other church
leaders in Ethiopia. Many of the interviews were conducted in
Ethiopia by a close colleague of mine, Rev. Knut Sigurd Aasebø,
who as a missionary working with students at the Haile Selassie
I University had unique contact with the student leaders of the
Mulu Wongel church. I owe a great debt to Rev. Aaasebø for
his work of collecting some of the material.
My unpublished manuscript was distributed to several
libraries in the US and Norway, and a copy was handed over
to the leadership of the Mulu Wongel church during a meeting
in the Wabe Shebelle Hotel in Addis Ababa in 1976. This
manuscript became the basis for or an important ingredient in
many later theses or other scholarly works on the Pentecostal
movement in Ethiopia. Haustein says about the document,
«The scope of the document, its availability in the relevant
institutional contexts, and its relative singularity due to the lack
of early historical writings made it the single-most referenced
source in all histories of Ethiopian Pentecostalism».
The main
strength of this manuscript was that it built on information from
informants who were very close to the events, both in terms of
time – most of the interviews were done in 1973 and 1974 – and
in proximity to the events themselves – most of the informants
were Pentecostal leaders and central actors in the history they
told about.
As I have continued my study8
on Ethiopian Pentecostalism
since finishing the first manuscript I find myself in the rather
peculiar situation that many of my sources actually build on
and are referring explicitly or implicitly to my early work from
1975. In critiquing their use of sources I find myself sometimes
critiquing my own initial work. Nevertheless, I am convinced
that main story as told in the 1975 manuscript stands and forms
a solid base on which to enter a discussion of other aspects of
Ethiopian Pentecostalism. In this paper I also build on this early
manuscript and draw some perspectives and conclusions from
it related to more recent discourses on Pentecostalism.
Experience and doctrine
There is an old debate going on in Pentecostal scholarship
about the relationship between doctrine and experience
in the Pentecostal movement.9
There is no doubt that a
defining characteristic of at least classical Pentecostalism is an
experience of the Holy Spirit that is commonly called «baptism
in the Spirit». This experience has been accompanied by a
doctrine primarily based on the Book of Acts that has included
two parts, the first being the doctrine of subsequence. According
to this doctrine the experience of Spirit baptism with the aim of
power for missionary witness is seen as subsequent to elements
of Christian initiation such as conversion/regeneration and
water baptism. It is a separate experience sought separately
subsequent to salvation as a second stage. The second doctrine
was that speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of Spirit baptism.
The pioneer of Pentecostal studies, Walter Hollenweger, has
included as Pentecostals
«all the groups who profess at least two religious crisis
experiences (1. baptism or new birth; 2. baptism of the
Spirit), the second being subsequent to and different from
the first, and the second usually, but not always, being
associated with speaking in tongues».
The experience of Spirit baptism and the doctrine of Spirit baptism
are closely related, but what exactly is the relationship? It has
been argued that experience has priority and that «experience
has preceded their hermeneutic» or that Pentecostals «first
experience something, then rush to the scripture after the fact
to reach for a rationale for what has happened to them». This is
a common complaint against Pentecostals, says the Pentecostal
writer William Menzies.11 However, it can be argued, in my
opinion convincingly, that there is a closer mutual relationship
in which the experience is a result of a faith expectation
and prayer based on a certain interpretation of biblical texts,
a doctrine, which then is confirmed or validated by the
experience itself. There is a mutual interdependence between
experience and doctrine in which one confirms the other as
valid.12 This relationship is documented by Pentecostal historian
Vinson Synan who shows that the beginning of Pentecostalism
as an identifiable movement with both experience and doctrine
can be traced to a Bible school in Topeka, Kansas, USA on
New Year’s eve 1900, where students and the leader of the
school, Charles F. Parham, experienced baptism in the Spirit
with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues after having
arrived at the abovementioned interpretation of the relevant
texts in the Acts of the Apostles dealing with Spirit baptism and
speaking in tongues.13 Later the experience of Spirit baptism
has not been exclusively tied to glossolalia but has been seen
as a more comprehensive experience of the Holy Spirit. This
understanding is expressed by Asamoah-Gyadu,
«Pentecostalism refers to Christian groups which emphasise
salvation in Christ as a transformative experience wrought
by the Holy Spirit and in which “pneumatic” phenomena
including “speaking in tongues”, prophecies, visions, healing
and miracles in general, perceived as standing in historic
continuity with the early church as found especially in the
Acts of the Apostles, are sought, accepted, valued, and
consciously encouraged among members as signifying the
presence of God and experiences of his Spirit ».14
This definition does not, however, fully bring to expression
the distinction between salvation and the experience of the
Spirit, and the subsequent aspect of the experience which was
so important for the early Pentecostals, and was part of their
appeal to people who were already converted to Christ, to
pursue the next stage, namely Spirit baptism.
Historical background
What is today called Classical Pentecostalism can, as we
have seen, trace its history as an identifiable historical entity
back to this early beginning of the 20th century. The seminal
Pentecostal movement did not, however, come to public
attention until 1906 when a series of meetings in Azusa Street,
Los Angeles, California, USA, under the leadership of the black
evangelist William C. Seymour (1870-1922) erupted into a
huge revival drawing crowds and catching the attention of the
national media. Both the message and the behaviour of the
early Pentecostals challenged the existing traditional churches,
and although the movement originally wanted to remain as a
renewal movement within the established churches, it was soon
forced out and had to establish itself as several new Pentecostal
denominations. Some of these denominations consisted mainly
of relatively poor people of Afro-American background while
the one that grew to be the largest was called Assemblies of God
and was predominantly white.
The missionary fervour of the Pentecostal believers showed
itself almost immediately and within a few years the movement
had spread beyond the North American continent to other
continents such as Europe, Latin America and Africa. It became
particularly important in South Africa under the name Apostolic
Faith Mission. The «apostle» of Pentecostalism to Europe was
the Norwegian Thomas B. Barratt (1862-1940) who originally
had been a Methodist pastor but converted to Pentecostalism
in 1906 and began Pentecostal work in Norway, a work that
through visits and missionaries spread to the rest of Scandinavia
and Germany.
My thesis is that the Mulu Wongel Church in Ethiopia at the
same time is a church deeply influenced by and belonging to
the larger international Pentecostal movement, and a uniquely
Ethiopian church. I want to place it in this larger international
context by looking at its early history and the relationship
between experience and doctrine. There are mainly three
sources of international influence on the early Ethiopian
Pentecostal movement; firstly Swedish and Finnish Pentecostal
missionaries, secondly the Bible and Pentecostal literature of
various kinds mostly originating in America, and thirdly African
Pentecostalism represented primarily by the Kenyan evangelist
Chacha Omahe.15
The missionary factor
The origin of Pentecostalism in Ethiopia can be traced back
to Finnish and Swedish Pentecostal mission.16 Many of the
Pentecostal/Charismatic churches or forms of Christianity in
the Global South do not have a link to American or European
Pentecostal mission or influence, but are rather the results of
indigenous developments where local worldviews with larger
affinities to biblical worldviews than the modern Western
worldviews have given much of southern Christianity a
Pentecostal or charismatic flavour, with emphasis on supernatural
healing, visions, prophecies, dreams, exorcism etc. Thus not all
Pentecostalism or Pentecostal-like phenomena can be traced
back to Western sources of influence.17 However, when we deal
with Pentecostalism in Ethiopia due emphasis must be placed
on the role of foreign missionaries. Haustein very interestingly
has pointed out how almost all historical narratives of the
beginning of Pentecostalism mention the missionaries, but that
their place and significance vary. He adds me to the Ethiopian
historians who primarily give them a preparatory role and put
most emphasis on the independent character of the Mulu Wongel
Church, while the Pentecostal missionaries themselves in
their historical and autobiographical accounts give the foreign
missionaries a much larger and continuing role.18
The Finnish and Swedish Pentecostal movements had come
into being in their home countries early in the 20th century.
In Sweden the Pentecostal revival arrived already in early
1907 through the Norwegian pioneer Thomas B. Barratt who
again was influenced by the Azusa Street revival in America.
It spread rapidly through Sweden and became the largest free
church movement in this predominantly Lutheran nation. The
revival was closely related to the influence of Anglo-American
forms of Christianity that had already been noticeable before
the arrival of the Pentecostal movement. Doctrinally Swedish
Pentecostalism belonged to the same tradition as the Assemblies
of God in America with emphasis on Spirit baptism and the
initial evidence of glossolalia.19 The structure of the Pentecostal
movement was congregationalist where each congregation was
independent. This also applied to the extensive mission work.
The missionaries were sent out and financed by individual
congregations, and also reported back to them about the
progress of the work.
The history of Pentecostalism in Finland also goes back to
Thomas Ball Barratt who visited Finland in 1908, but the first
Finnish Pentecostal congregation was not founded until 1915.
The Finnish Pentecostal movement also has a heavy emphasis
on international mission, organizing its work through the
organization Fida International (formerly Finnish Free Foreign
Mission) founded in 1927, today the largest mission and
development organization in Finland, and also the largest in
Europe with a Pentecostal background.20 Yet, as in Sweden due
to the congregationalist structure individual congregations were
responsible for the mission.
The first Finnish Pentecostal missionaries arrived in Ethiopia
in 1951 and eventually developed a work in the Merkato area
of Addis Ababa from 1956 primarily under the leadership of the
female missionary Helvi Halme. This centre became important
for the early independent Pentecostal movement as some of its
most prominent leaders had been active in this mission.21
The Swedish Pentecostals began their work in Ethiopia in 1959
and the pioneer missionary Karl Ramstrand set up a mission in
Awasa, the capital of Sidamo province in Southern Ethiopia.22
Several missions were already active in Sidamo, particularly
the Norwegian Lutheran Mission (NLM) and the Sudan Interior
Mission (SIM).
In terms of general theological profile the Pentecostal
missionaries could be characterized as Evangelical and as
such it did not differ much from other Evangelical Protestant
foreign missions in Ethiopia when it came to the most central
theological tenets. There would of course be different views
of the doctrine and practice of baptism, of church structure
etc., but these were divisions well known and accepted among
Evangelical missionaries. The new and unique doctrine that
set the Pentecostal missionaries apart was their view of the
Holy Spirit, and more particularly their view of Spirit baptism
as a subsequent experience with glossolalia as initial evidence.
Along with this message went also the promise of an experience
of the Spirit that would be tangible and life transforming and
would give the recipient a new power for ministry as well as
other spiritual gifts such as healing and prophecy. It was this
message that attracted large numbers of Ethiopian youth to
meetings and conferences in Addis Ababa and Awasa.
While the Pentecostal movement in many countries has
been a movement for and by the poor who then only slowly
have risen socially, economically and educationally to become
middle class («redemption and lift»), most of the people who
were initially attracted to and active in the Ethiopian Pentecostal
movement were young students who did not belong to the
poorest sections of society but were relatively privileged
as high school and university students. Their conversion to
Pentecostalism could therefore hardly be explained in terms of
social deprivation theories.
It is significant that most of the early adherents to the
Pentecostal church had been members of other Ethiopian
churches, such as e.g. the Mekane Yesus Church, the Baptist
Church or the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. They joined the
Pentecostal movement not with the intention of becoming
Christians but of becoming better, Spirit-baptized Christians.
So it was the uniquely Pentecostal message that attracted the
young people. Although the Swedish Pentecostal mission in
Awasa combined development and mission work, it was the
conferences or Bible schools held in Awasa each summer
beginning in 1962 that were to become the most important
means of recruitment, drawing hundreds of Ethiopian youth
from many parts of Ethiopia. The preachers most often belonged
to the mission staff, but also invited speakers from abroad
would preach the Pentecostal message at these conferences. We
shall return to one of them.
The Impact of Reading Pentecostal Literature
There was very little Christian literature of a Protestant
persuasion originally written in or translated into Amharic
or any other Ethiopian language, and next to nothing as far
as I have been able to ascertain – of a more Pentecostal or
charismatic kind in the 1960s and early 1970s. However, there
was Christian Pentecostal literature available for the young
people interested in Pentecostalism. It was all in English and
consisted for the most part of pamphlets, journals and books
that were distributed by the missionaries or later ordered free
of charge from publishers in America. In my opinion it is
difficult to overestimate the impact of literature on the minds
of young people who have just achieved literacy in a largely
illiterate society, and who were able to master a new language
that gave them almost unlimited access to the writings of major
international Pentecostal personalities. This may have opened
a new religious world to the young Christians far beyond
the borders of Ethiopia and the kind of Christianity that they
had encountered there. The theological quality and historical
reliability of some of this literature could be of a very doubtful
nature. It would contain claims that went far beyond reality,
yet the Ethiopian readers had very few resources to assess
critically what they read. They would eventually feel that they
were part of a world- wide movement of immense spiritual
significance. I would argue that it probably was this literature,
even more than the teaching of the missionaries that would
give them their identity and self-understanding as an Ethiopian
revival movement in the larger context of the global Pentecostal
In certain respects the written word would have an advantage
over missionaries’ words in conveying values, views and
attitudes. In Ethiopian Christian culture there has been a great
respect for the written word. This can be seen primarily in the
enormous demand for Bibles, and the undisputed authority of
the Biblical texts. It must have been a great discovery for many
to recognize some of the Pentecostal tenets in the Biblical
passages. It might be safe to assume that some of this respect
for the Bible also was transferred to the Pentecostal literature
that was read by the religiously inquisitive young people.
The information given by the Mulu Wongel leaders confirm
the significance of literature, especially in the preparation of
the revival. This is also evidenced by the remarkable similarity
between the emerging Ethiopian Pentecostal movement and the
international Pentecostal movement, primarily the Assemblies
of God kind of classical Pentecostalism. The way the Biblical
passages that were of particular importance to Pentecostalism
were understood must to a large extent have been informed by
reading of foreign literature. The Pentecostals’ interpretation
of their own expectations and subsequent experiences of what
their church and ministry might look like may have been
equally inspired by Pentecostal literature. Both the doctrinal
and ecclesial profile of the young Mulu Wongel Church can be
discerned in the literature that fed it during its formative years.
This observation may at least lead to two conclusions:
Firstly, the Mulu Wongel Church did not at the beginning
develop any local contextual theology or practice; neither
did it introduce anything that might be regarded as «heretic»
or aberrant in relation to traditional Pentecostal doctrine and
practice. It was doctrinally «orthodox» in the broad meaning of
the word.
Secondly, the foreign literature, combined with a certain
Biblical interpretation, provided the young believers both with
a doctrine that would give them expectations of what they
might experience when they were «baptized with the Spirit»,
and simultaneously an interpretive framework to deal with the
experiences when they eventually occurred. This combination
of a doctrinal framework understood to be biblically based
and a corresponding spiritual experience gave the Pentecostal
believers a deep assurance and conviction which again resulted
in power in their ministry as witnesses to Christ and later also
boldness in facing resistance and persecution.
The African factor
Strangely enough some of the early Ethiopian Pentecostal
leaders complained that the Scandinavian missionaries were too
cautious when it came to sharing their view of Spirit baptism
and trying to facilitate the experience of it to their Ethiopian
followers. This aroused the suspicion that the missionaries
wanted to keep the experience for themselves, or that it was
not for Ethiopians.23
There is a well-known pattern where the Pentecostal
experience of baptism in the Spirit follows periods of fervent
preaching of its reality and significance, intensive prayer for it
by its potential recipients and intercession with laying on of
hands by leaders who already have experienced this gift.
The seeming reluctance of the missionaries to pray for the
Ethiopian seekers was replaced by very bold preaching and
practice by the Kenyan evangelist Chacha Omahe who was
invited to Ethiopia in 1963 and later, and who participated
both in the Swedish Mission Bible conference in Awasa and in
meetings in the Finnish mission in Addis Ababa.24 He exhibited
an authority that would challenge that of the missionaries,
and a boldness in dealing with spiritual matters that deeply
impressed the Ethiopians. Through his ministry many came into
the experience of Sprit baptism with the accompanying gifts
of glossolalia. In their accounts of the significance of Chacha
Omahe, my Ethiopian sources emphasize that he was an African
and therefore in some respects closer to the Ethiopians than
the missionaries. The fact that he also had had the Pentecostal
experience confirmed for the Ethiopian believers that this
experience was also for Africans.
What emerged after Omahe’s visits was a more self-confident
and bold Ethiopian movement, both due to the Pentecostal
experiences many individuals had received and the confirmation
of the movement as an African or Ethiopian movement.
The Process of Independence
The Ethiopian identity of the emerging Pentecostal movement
was, as mentioned earlier, not due to any particularly
Ethiopian contextual features as far as Pentecostal theology
was concerned.25 It was more related to church practices
and church leadership. We could have discussed the role of
long and intensive prayer and the development of Ethiopian
indigenous music and song as two areas where particular
Ethiopian features came to expression, yet we will concentrate
on one area only: the question of leadership. One of the
reasons why the leadership question came to be important may
be the fact that among the early Ethiopian Pentecostals there
was a considerable number with relatively high education and
significant personal intellectual and spiritual resources. They
were not willing to take on a subservient role in relation to the
missionaries in the long term, but insisted that they be given
a leadership role in the emerging revival movement, especially
with regard to preaching and teaching during Sunday services.
Some resented especially what they saw as a monopolization
of the pulpit by Finnish, and particularly female missionaries,
in the Merkato mission.26
The process of achieving full independence from the Finnish
and Swedish missions was a complex one,27 but the outcome was
the emergence of a national Ethiopian Pentecostal church with
all the marks of an independent church. These marks include
the so-called «three self»: self-governing, self-propagating and
self-supporting.28 The Ethiopians were aware of this principle,
having learned about it from the Swedish mission that viewed
it as a goal for their work. This also means that the Swedish
mission had a basic positive attitude towards the efforts aiming
at independence. In my opinion it is primarily in this deliberate
attempt to be an Ethiopian church without dependence on
foreign mission in terms of finance, church governance and
evangelism that the Ethiopian identity of the church may be
found. After the break with the missions and the establishment
of the Mulu Wongel Church, the Ethiopian Pentecostal believers
might still have a good relationship with the missionaries but
on an equal basis and not on one of dependency. It was in
this establishment of an Ethiopian church independent of the
missions that the Ethiopian identity of the church came to most
vivid expression.
As a church the Mulu Wongel would also need to have an
ordained leadership. The reasons were both pragmatic and
theological. The growth of the church, and the workload caused
by its many activities made it impossible to base all the work on
informal voluntary leadership. One needed leaders that could
be identified and be responsible. Secondly, it was theologically
justified by reference to the Pauline practice in the New
Testament.29 Haustein discusses the role of the missionaries
in the ordination of the first elders.30 My sources suggest that
the reason for inviting missionaries to pray for those who had
been elected elders by the Ethiopians was to follow the Pauline
pattern. It gave legitimacy to the ordination but did not imply
dependence. Later ordinations of elders were to be performed
by the Ethiopians themselves without the assistance of foreign
missionaries. Thus the involvement of missionaries in the initial
ordination did not jeopardize the independence of the Mulu
Wongel church from the missions.
On this background of independence it came as a great
disappointment that the church’s application for registration in
1967 as an Ethiopian church was turned down and the activities
of the church deemed illegal.31 It would not be recognized as
an Ethiopian church such as the Ethiopian Orthodox Church,
nor would it be recognized on a par with churches associated
with foreign missions. The later history of persecution during
the final years of the Haile Selassie I’s regime, the even more
severe persecution under the Derg period are described
elsewhere, as is the history of the church during the last 25
years of freedom.32
Conclusion: Reasons for Pentecostal growth
There has been great scholarly attention paid to the reasons
for Pentecostal growth worldwide. Various social sciences such
as sociology, anthropology, and psychology have offered their
answers as have historians of religion and theologians of various
persuasions. It is not possible to discuss the various theories
here, but we agree with the African researcher Ogbu Kalu who
argues that the attractiveness of the Pentecostal movement is not
due to anything other than the central marks of Pentecostalism
itself. He warns against what he calls «monocausality», that is:
to emphasize only one reason for growth,
«We avoid the cardinal sin of monocausality and apply four
explanatory discourses: the historical, cultural, instrumentalist
and religious ».
Theories by historians, sociologists and anthropologists have
often been functionalist or instrumentalist where they explain
the growth of Pentecostalism by its ability to promise solutions
or actually solve problems or meet needs that are not in
themselves religious.34
This often implies a reductionistic approach where secondary
economic, social, political and psychological factors, often
connected to certain deprivation theories, are seen as the main
In our opinion it is the central characteristics of Pentecostalism,
both its doctrinal framework and its experiential character that
makes it appealing to people with a religious orientation to
life. Most of those attracted to Pentecostalism in its initial phase
did already belong to other churches and were Christians by
any definition. The search for an experience of a God who
intervenes in human affairs, changes people and situations and
provides deep and satisfactory answers to existential questions
led them to Pentecostalism.. From a Christian perspective, for
the moment leaving aside “methodological agnosticism”, one
may regard the growth of Pentecostal Christianity as a result
of the work of the Holy Spirit in the world. Differently said:
The growth of Pentecostalism and the charismatic movement
can only be understood and explained under the perspective
of religious faith. This does not mean that there might not also
be other perspectives and factors that may contribute as partial
explanations to the overall explanation of growth.
Among the religious factors that have been highlighted are
what has been called «progressive Pentecostalism» emphasizing
the expression of care and love, the diaconical aspect of
Pentecostalism.35 Others have pointed to the relationship to
African Traditional Religion and shown that Pentecostalism in
certain respects share the world view of ATR when it comes to
acknowledging the reality of the spiritual world. In the fight
against dark destructive spiritual forces, the proclamation that
Christ has power over all evil, that he is Christus Victor, and that
the Spirit-filled Christian can live a victorious life, has strong
appeal. Asamoah-Gyadu says about the Pentecostals,36
«Through their experiential spirituality they are successfully
mediating the sacred, bringing God to people and conveying
the self-transcending and life-changing nature of Pentecostal
religion in an African setting in a way that resonates with
African traditional spirituality».
William Kay argues the obvious that Pentecostal churches
grow because they are Pentecostal. He refers to research that
documents that churches
«in which an abundance of charismatic gifts is manifested tend
also to be evangelistic and attractive to newcomers…There
is a correlation between church growth and congregational
charismatic activity».
Interestingly, Kay draws the same conclusion that I have tried
to argue for many years,
«Our assumption is that ultimately it is the marriage between
theology and experience that makes Pentecostalism what it
is… If, as Pentecostals believe, the Holy Spirit continues to
be poured out in the twenty-first century, we will see yet
more innovations in the years to come».
There is no reason to believe that the study of Pentecostal
and Charismatic movements, whether in Ethiopia and in other
African countries, will be less urgent and relevant in the years
to come. I am satisfied that these movements have been placed
on the agenda of an increasing number of sciences, and look
forward to a fruitful dialogue between theology and other
sciences about this contemporary religious challenge. When
the story of Ethiopian religion and culture in the late 20th and
in the 21st century is written, the Pentecostal and Charismatic
movements have to occupy a prominent place.
1 This article was presented to a panel on Pentecostalism led by Jörg
Haustein at the International Conference on Ethiopian Studies (ICES) in
Dire Dawa 2012. Due to unforeseeable circumstances the author was not
able to be present at the conference. This version is a slightly revised
2 See e.g Paul Jenkins, The Next Christendom (Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2002). According to the most recent statistics 612 mill .Christians
are today included in the category «Pentecostals, Charismatics and NeoPentecostals»,
and the prognosis is that the number will rise to 828 mill.
by 2025, cf. International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol. 36, No. 1,
January 2012, p. 29.
3 See J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, African Charismatics. Current Developments
within Independent Indigenous Pentecostalism in Ghana (Leiden: Brill, 2005) p.
4 Jörg Haustein, Writing Religious History. The Historiography of Ethiopian
Pentecostalism (Wiesbaden: Hararassowitz Verlag, 2011). Unfortunately I
have only recently been able to read the book and I regret that I am not
able to make full references to all aspects of Haustein’s important work.
5 This story is also told in Jörg Haustein’s study Writing Religious History. The
Historiography of Ethiopian Pentecostalism. (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag
2011) pp. 23-24.
6 The study resulted in the dissertation Tormod Engelsviken: The Gift of the
Spirit. An Analysis and Evaluation of the Charismatic Movement from a Lutheran
Theological Perspective, Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Dubuque, Ia,
1981/Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, Miss, 1981.
7 Haustein, Writing Religious History, p. 24
8 After almost 40 years I have nearly completed a second, more scholarly
documented and argued manuscript which I hope will be published in
the relative near future. In it I have deliberately tried to fill some of the
lacunae and omissions that for reasons of limited time were unavoidable
in the first document.
9 A good overview over the debate about experience and doctrine with
references to significant literature can be found in e.g. Stephen E. Parker,
Led by the Spirit. Toward a Practical Theology of Pentecostal Discernment and
Decision Making (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996), pp. 20-31.
10 Walter J. Hollenweger, The Pentecostals. The Charismatic Movement in the
Churches (Minneapolis, Minn.: Augsburg Publishing House, 1972), p. xix.
11 Quoted in Parker, Led by the Spirit, p. 21
12 In my doctoral dissertation I have shown how this relationship applies to
both so-called classical Pentecostalism and the later charismatic movement
taking its beginning from the US in 1960. See Tormod Engelsviken, The
Gift of the Spirit, (Dubuque, Ia.:Aquinas Institute (unpublished doctoral
dissertation), 1981), pp. 1-32.
13 See Vinson Synan, The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition. Charismatic Movements
in the Twentieth Century (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Eerdmans, 1997), pp. 90-92.
14 Asamoah-Gyadu, African Charismatics, p. 8.
15 Haustein correctly points out that I in 1975 had called him Omahe
Chacha while his correct name is Chacha Omahe. My mistake was due
to varying information in my Ethiopian sources, cf. Haustein, Writing
Religious History, p. 69
16 There had been other Pentecostal missionaries in Ethiopia before the
Finnish missionaries arrived in 1951 but as far as the Mulu Wongel
Church is concerned only the Finnish and Swedish missionaries are
mentioned by Ethiopians as being of importance, cf. Haustein, Writing
Religious History, pp. 46-51.
17 In Ethiopia some of the charisms, or spiritual gifts, associated with
Pentecostalism or the Charismatic movement, were known and practiced
prior to and independent of the Pentecostal mission and churches. The
Ethiopian Orthodox Church had e.g a tradition of prophecy where monks
could bring prophetic messages even in large churches. In an article I
have discussed how exorcism and healing were practiced in the Mekane
Yesus Church prior to Pentecostal or charismatic influence. See Tormod
Engelsviken: «Exorcism and Healing in the Evangelical Churches in
Ethiopia», Journal of Mission Theology, Vol. 1, Fasc. 1, 1991, pp. 80-92.
18 Discussion and references are found in Haustein, Writing Religious
History, pp. 37-51. In a master thesis the Norwegian scholar Line
Onsrud demonstrates how local Kenyan leaders and foreign missionaries
had very different views of the history of the East Africa Pentecostal
Churches. She therefore argues for the right to “self-historizing” as part
of the «self-theologizing» of churches in a non-Western context. See Line
Onsrud, History and Contextualization. A Study of Church History and Cultural
Identity in East Africa Pentecostal Churches as Narrated by Former and Present
Leaders in the Church (Unpublished Master thesis at MF Norwegian School
of Theology, Oslo, 1998).
19 Regarding the early history of Pentecostalism in Sweden, see e.g.
Carl-Erik Sahlberg, Pingströrelsen och tidningen Dagen – från sekt til kristet
samhälle 1907-1963 (Uppsala: Uppsala Universitet 1977) pp. 7-20. Sahlberg
also documents how the new revival was exposed to heavy criticism both
from church and secular quarters.
20 Se e.g Sari Hokkanen, «The Pentecostal Movement in Finland», http://www.uta.
21 See also Haustein, Writing Religious History, p. 55.
22 To the history of the Swedish Pentecostal mission in Ethiopia, see Gunilla
Nyberg Oskarsson, Svensk Pingstmission in Ethiopien (1959-1980) (Huddinge:
MissionsInstitutet-PMU, 1997); Haustein, Writing Religious History, p. 63.
23 Haustein, Writing Religious History, p. 77.
24 For a discussion of the person and role of Chacha Omahe, see
Engelsviken, Molo Wongel , pp. 25-29, and Haustein, Writing Religious
History, pp. 69-79.
25 The confession of the Mulu Wongel Church from 1967 is almost identical
with that of the Assemblies of God, Engelsviken, Molo Wongel, p. 124-125.
26 There was also a gender issue in that both Ethiopian culture as well
as the teaching of Swedish missionaries did not allow for prominent
leadership roles for women, particularly as pastors.
27 See Haustein, Writing Religious History, pp. 79-89. Haustein’s conclusion
is interesting, «A number of theological positions regarding church
organization, mission, Pentecostal identity, contextuality, and even
gender roles are woven into these accounts as reasons for the separation»,
p. 89.
28 These marks were developed by missiologists in the 19th century and
have ever since been seen as a goal for church development in most
Protestant mission, cf. David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission. Paradigm
Shifts in Theology of Mission (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis) p. 331.
29 Texts that were referred to were Acts 14:23; Tit.1:5-9; 1 Tim. 3:1-13.
30 Haustein, Writing Religious History, pp. 132-136.
31 See Engelsviken, Molo Wongel, pp. 50-52, 61-65, Haustein, Writing Religious
History, pp.138ff.
32 See e.g Engelsviken, Molo Wongel, pp. 53-80, 142-213; Haustein, Writing
Religious History, pp. 137-247. The persecution under the Derg-regime
(1974-1991) was severe. Many Pentecostals survived spiritually in house
churches and in other churches that were allowed to be open during this
period, e.g, the Mekane Yesus Church. After the fall of the Communist
regime in 1991 the Mulu Wongel Church was granted full freedom and
continued to grow. Today it has several hundreds of thousand members
and is one of the leading evangelical churches in Ethiopia.
33 Ogbu Kalu, African Pentecostalism. An Introduction (Oxford: Oxford
University Press), p. ix-x.
34 Kalu, African Pentecostalism, p. xii.
35 See Donald E. Miller and Tetsunao Yamamori, Global Pentecostalism.
The New Face of Christian Social Engagement (Los Angeles: University of
California Press, 2007).
36 Asamoah-Gyadu, African Charismatics, p. 8.
37 William K. Kay, Pentecostalism (London: SCM Press, 2009), p. 308.
38 Kay, Pentecostalism, p. 309.
Tormod Engelsviken, professor emeritus in missiology, born
25.9.1943 in Norway, Cand. Theol. MF Norwegian School of
Theology, Oslo, Norway, 1969, Ph.D. Aquinas Institute of
Theology, Dubuque, Ia, 1981, teacher, Mekane Yesus Seminary,
Addis Ababa 1971-1973, associate professor of missiology 1984-
1998 and professor of missiology 1998-2013, MF Norwegian
School of Theology. He has written books and articles on
mission, biblical studies, Pentecostalism and religi
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Re: ሃምሳ ዓመት ሞላን እያሉ ነው፡፡

Postby ዘርዐይ ደረስ » Sat May 06, 2017 9:44 pm

ሰላም አሰፋ ማሩ:-
የኛ ሰዎች ላይ እኮ ነገ ጠቃሚ ሊሆኑ የሚችሉ መረጃዎችንና ማስረጃዎችን ለመጪው ትውልድ የማስተላለፍ ችግር አለ::የውጭዎቹ ግን በወቅቱ ባይኖሩም ያቀረብከው ጽሑፍ አዘጋጅ እንዳደረገው የተለያዩ ዘዴዎችን በመጠቀም የተሟላም ባይሆን የማይናቅ አስተዋጽዖ ሲያደርጉ ቆይተዋል::በተረፈ ጽሑፉን ካነበብኩ በኋላም ቢሆን ግን ብዙ ያልተመለሱልኝ ጥያቄዎች አሉ::
''ፍምን እፍ ብትላት ትነዳለች ትፍም ብትልባት ትጠፋለች ሁለቱም ሁሉ ከአንድ አፍ ይወጣሉ ::''መጽሐፈ ሲራክ 28:12
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