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Born Free!
Liberty? How Long?

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Until rather recent years the Coptic Church of Ethiopia observed the seventh-day Sabbath. the Ethiopians also kept Sunday, the first day of the week, throughout their history as a Christian people. These days were marked by special services in the churches. The observance of the seventh-day Sabbath has, however, virtually ceased in modern Ethiopia.

For eyewitness accounts of religious days in Ethiopia, see:

  • Pero Gomes de Teixeira, The Discovery of Abyssinia by the Portuguese in 1520 (translated in English in London: British Museum, 1938), p. 79;
  • Father Francisco Alverez, Narrative of the Portuguese Embassy to Abyssinia During the Years 1520-1527, in the Records of the Hakluyt Society (London, 1881), vol. 64, pp. 22-49;
  • Michael Russell, Nubia and Abyssinia (quoting Father Lobo, Catholic missionary in Ethiopia in 1622) (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1837), pp. 226-229;
  • S. Giacomo Baratti, Late Travels Into the Remote Countries of Abyssinia (London: Benjamin Billingsley, 1670), pp. 134-137;
  • Job Ludolphus, A New History for Ethiopia (London: S. Smith, 1682), pp. 234-357;
  • Samuel Gobat, Journal of Three Years' Residence in Abyssinia (New York: ed. of 1850), pp. 55-58, 83-98.

For other works touching upon the question, see:

  • Peter Heylyn, History of the Sabbath, 2d ed., 1636, vol. 2, pp. 198-200;
  • Arthur P. Stanley, Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1882), lecture 1, par. 1;
  • C. F. Rey, Romance of the Portuguese in Abyssinia (London: F. H. and G. Witherley, 1929), pp. 59, 253-297.

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Note: The "Born Free" magazine in printed form is 24 pages, approx. 7" x 9".
Created: 10/24/03 Updated: 10/30/03