Ethiopian Cross


Mural of Ethiopan Cross   Photo credit: Africa Access

Location: Arkansas & 14th Streets, NW Washington, DC

A mural of an Ethiopian cross is painted on the rear of Debre Selam Kidist Mariam Church- Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

“European missionaries brought Christianity to many parts of Africa, in parallel with colonialism. But this was not the case with Ethiopia. The kingdom was probably the second country (after Armenia) to embrace the Christian faith, when St. Frumentius of Tyre converted King Ezana in the 4th century. There is evidence that Christianity thrived in the country even in the 1st century and for most of the country’s history since, the state religion has been Orthodox Christianity. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that rather than the familiar European Latin Cross, the Ethiopian Cross has a distinctive ‘African’ appearance (see also the Coptic Cross). These are often named after the Northern Ethiopian regions and towns they are found in; for example LalibelaAxum and Gondar.” (