Deir Sultan


I had no idea:

Unknown by much of the world, monks and nuns of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, have for centuries quietly maintained the only presence by black people in one of Christianity’s holiest sites—the Church of the Holy Sepulcher of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. Through the vagaries and vicissitudes of millennial history and landlord changes in Jerusalem and the Middle East region, Ethiopian monks have retained their monastic convent in what has come to be known as Deir Sultan or the Monastery of the Sultan for more than a thousand years. Likewise, others that have their respective presences in the area at different periods, include Armenian, Russian, Syrian, Egyptian and Greek Orthodox/Coptic Churches as well as the Holy See. As one writer put it recently, “For more than 1500 years, the Church of Ethiopia survived in Jerusalem. Its survival has not, in the last resort, been dependent on politics, but on the faith of individual monks that we should look for the vindication of the Church’s presence in Jerusalem….They are attracted in Jerusalem not by a hope for material gain or comfort, but by faith.” It is hoped that public discussion on this all-important subject will be joined by individuals and groups from all over the world, particularly the African Diaspora.

The entire essay is a good read, with plenty of unknown information, the discovery of which would benefit the world during these trying times.


2 thoughts on “Deir Sultan

  1. Hawk Sr. says:

    One of the great things that I miss about Los Angeles is the presence of such people in significant numbers: Ethiopians, Eritreans – great historic folks from northern Africa. On world communion day in October, we had them all together with the additions of Nigerians, Cameroons, Sierra Leones and others. Fabulous expressions of cultural and historical depth, color and hope! And food! And friendship!

    I won’t comment on the USA’s lack of knowledge and empathy with the great cultures of the world.

  2. adreampuppet says:

    Living in Boulder, Hawk, I can report a definite lack of cultural diversity. What you share here reminds me of the meditation retreat that Karen and I attended in Riverside, CA a few years ago, hosted by the local Burmese community. White America needs to get a clue as to the cultural richness living right here, right now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s