Cris in Ethiopia

Do You Prefer Justice or Revenge?

Posted by Cris on May 6, 2007

People in Ethiopia are really religious. I knew they were Christian coming here, but I wasnt prepared for the sheer amount of participation, love, thought, and commitment people show. One of the first questions people ask many times is “do you go to church?” We decided when we came that we’d say we were Protestant, which seemed non-commital enough while still putting us in the category of “believers”. In Senegal people didnt care if you worshipped carrots or green flying men, as long as you believed something. This is not the case here. “Oh- Protestant! Me too! Where do you go to church? Oooh- you dont go to church? Why not? You know you really should go.” Etc etc. People in my classes have labeled praying as one of their favorite past-times, and I still havent learned not to ask what people are doing Sundays. I made a joke the other day, saying I dont have to go to church because I pray when Im sleeping in on Sunday mornings. One of my students replied, “Once a week is not enough!”

With all this religious energy comes, as you would expect from any country who is developing quickly and in love with having “things”, vast marketing and accessorizing of faith. Tshirts, bracelets, bumper stickers: you name it, Jesus has his face and name plastered front and center. One of my favorites (until the other day, when I saw a better one) was the full windshield-width sticker reading “Justice is mine in Jesus’ name”. The better one? “Revenge is mine in Jesus’ name.” Im not sure I really understand, in the Bibical meaning, these stickers. If there is a Biblical meaning, of course. All I know is that prior to now I knew Jesus promised love (Jesus loves me this I know…), and everlasting life (For he so loved the world…), but justice and revenge? Rad.

Maybe Ill wake up early tomorrow to get a head start on the justice, and perhaps revenge, coming to the taximan who took my change the other day…

One Response to “Do You Prefer Justice or Revenge?”

  1. Rob said

    Wow! Almost scary fanaticism.

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