Decadence of the church from the century. VII to XII. – Due to the Arab conquests, especially that of Egypt, Abyssinia was separated from the Christian East. To this was added that the Cushitic populations, no longer held in check by the reign of Aksum, in the east, and especially in the north, especially the great Begia population, advancing into the reign of Aksum, had the upper hand, contributing to the decline of the religion, and many Christians migrated to the south; relations with the Alexandrian Patriarchate became increasingly difficult and rare. For a time the kingdom, or a part of it, would have been in the hands of a queen: Terdā ‛Gabaz or Guedit, and this name, which erroneously seemed to mean” Jew “, led to believe that she had persecuted Christians, while the name Terdā ‛Gabaz is probably a Christian. Rare metropolitans came from Egypt, and one of them was found to be an impostor. Due to the advance of the Cushitic populations, the political center of Abyssinia was being transported towards the south; and precisely in the Lāstā it arose in the century. XII the small Christian kingdom of the Zāguē. The population of the region being Agau, converted easily to Christianity, and two of the Zāguē kings, Lālibalā and Na‛aqueto La‛āb, are revered as saints. Relations with the Alexandrian patriarchate began to become less rare; but they became more and more frequent afterwards, since in 1270 the so-called dynasty of the Zalomonids arose with Yekuno Amlāk, because, according to the tendentious legend and popular point, they descended from Menelik, believed to be the son of Solomon and the queen of Sheba (III, [ I ] Re, X, 1) believed in turn to be queen of Abyssinia. The monks and named Takla Hāymānot and his teacher Iyasus Mo’a contributed to all this. For Ethiopia 2002, please check commit4fitness.com.
Consequences that the revival of the Alexandrian patriarchate had for the Abyssinian church. – Meanwhile, the Alexandrian patriarchate had given new vigor and order a kind of reform due to the work of learned members of the Coptic-Arab clergy, which also promoted knowledge of ancient canonical and religious literature. The effects of this reform were felt in Abyssinia; Metropolitans came more regularly, and the increased zeal prompted the monks to go to Abyssinia, which was still a large province of the patriarchate. For their work, according to the Arabic text received in the patriarchate, the ancient versions of Sacred Scripture and by name of the Gospels were revised and corrected, and the most necessary books were translated or composed in a regular cult. Abbā Salāmā stood out among the metropolitans, who came to Abyssinia in 1351 and died there in 1390 or shortly before. A consequence of these new conditions was the foundation and the flourishing of two monastic orders: that of Takla Hāymānot or Dabra Libānos (13th century) in the south, and that of Ēwosṭātēwos (14th century) in the north. These monks are also responsible for a more intense propagation of Christianity, especially in the south, to which the victorious struggles against the Muslims of Adal also contributed later.
Schisms century. XIV and XV. – Even after the political center of Abyssinia had moved to the south, its religious and literary center always remained in northern Abyssinia, where the cathedral of Aksum was and new convents were added to the ancient ones; monks used to go there to educate themselves. Among the monks, especially in the region of present-day Eritrea, religious questions began to stir, after ancient canons, often apocryphal, but believed to be of apostolic origin, were known. So very soon it was argued that Saturday was a holiday like Sunday (cf. le Constitut. Apostolor., V, 20). But real ancient heresies were known, and not without consequence. Heresies were: the one attributed to Metropolitan Bartholomew (who however denied his authorship) who in the Trinity distinguished three “aspects” (ga ṣ), not three divine persons, the other of Za-Mikā’ēl and Aṣqā who, in addition to not admitting the three persons of the Trinity, he also denied that man was created in the image of God, who has no form. A strange schism was that of the disciples of Ma‛qaba Egz‛o Eustazio in Dabra Māryām, Dabra Bizan, others. But of special importance was the heresy of the stefanites who rejected the cult of the Virgin and the Cross, and professed other heretical views. The knowledge of ancient heresies found in the original work of Giyorgis di Saglā, afa Mes ṭ ir composed in the 10th year of King Isḥāq (1414-1429) was not extraneous, it seems, to all this movement. Zar’a Yā‛qob forbade this heresy and persecuted its authors.