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I did not get a chance this time to visit Lalibela, the world-famous UNESCO site north of Addis, with its elaborate ancient Churches of mysterious origins that locals still claim were carved out of the rock by angels. The roots of Christianity in Ethiopia actually predate Europe going back to the time of the Apostles – both Christian and Muslim tradition holds that Matthew and Andrew travelled to Ethiopia to spread the Gospel.On the very day I flew into the capital, Addis Ababa, we walked to the local park, where we witnessed the vibrant ceremony of a Christian man marrying a Muslim bride.Both families were singing and dancing together in a great and uplifting spectacle.While being in the country for a couple of weeks doesn’t make me an expert, I can say that I was blown away by the beauty of this land.Lush, almost tropical forests lined the hills, bejewelled with strings of vast freshwater lakes as we journeyed south from Addis Ababa along the Kings Highway towards Shashamane and Abraminch.
In Ethiopia 1/3 of the population are Muslim living amongst the Orthodox Christian majority and in light of all that is happening right now around the world it was startling to experience the joy and harmony of this beautiful event.