History of Ethiopia
The article covers the prehistory and history of Ethiopia from its emergence as an empire under the Aksumites to its current form as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia as well as the history of other areas in what is now Ethiopia such as the Afar Triangle. The Ethiopian Empire was first founded by Ethiopian people in the Ethiopian Highlands. Due to migration and imperial expansion, it grew to include many other Afro-Asiatic-speaking communities, including Oromos, Somalis, Afars, Gurage and Harari, among others. One of the earliest kingdoms to rise to power in the territory was the kingdom of D'mt in the 10th century BC, which established its capital at Yeha. In the first century AD the Aksumite Kingdom rose to power in the Tigray Region with its capital at Aksum and grew into a major power on the Red Sea, subjugating Yemen and Meroe and converting to Christianity in the early fourth century; the Aksumite empire fell into decline with the rise of Islam, forcing the Ethiopians to move south into the highlands for refuge.
The Aksumites gave way to the Zagwe Dynasty who established a new capital at Lalibela, before giving way to the Solomonic Dynasty in the 13th century. During the early Solomonic period Ethiopia went through military reforms and imperial expansion that made it dominate the Horn of Africa. Portuguese missionaries arrived at this time. In 1529, a conquest of Abyssinia by the Ottoman-allied Muslim Adal Sultanate devastated the highlands, was only deterred by a Portuguese intervention. With both Ethiopia and Adal weakened by the war, the Oromo people were able to invade into the highlands, conquering the remains of the Adal Sultanate and pushing deep into Ethiopia; the Portuguese presence increased, while the Ottomans began to push into what is now Eritrea, creating the Habesh Eyalet. The Portuguese brought modern weapons and baroque architecture to Ethiopia, in 1622 converted the emperor Susenyos I to Catholicism, sparking a civil war which ended in his abdication and an expulsion of all Catholics from Ethiopia.
A new capital was established at Gondar in 1632, a period of peace and prosperity ensued until the country was split apart by warlords in the 18th century during the Zemene Mesafint. Ethiopia was reunified in 1855 under Tewodros II, beginning Ethiopia's modern history and his reign was followed by Yohannes IV, killed in action in 1889. Under Menelik II Ethiopia started its transformation to well organized technological advancement and the structure that the country has now. Ethiopia expanded to the south and east, through the conquest of the western Oromo, Gurage and other groups, resulting in the borders of modern Ethiopia. Ethiopia defeated an Italian invasion in 1896 and came to be recognised as a legitimate state by European powers. A more rapid modernisation took place under Haile Selassie. Italy launched a second invasion in 1935. From 1935-1941, Ethiopia was under Italian occupation. A joint force of British and Ethiopian rebels managed to drive the Italians out of the country in 1941, Haile Selassie was returned to the throne.
Ethiopia and Eritrea united in a federation, but when Haile Selassie ended the federation in 1961 and made Eritrea a province of Ethiopia, the 30-year Eritrean War of Independence broke out. Eritrea regained its independence after a referendum in 1993. Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974 and the militaristic Derg Regime came to power. In 1977 Somalia invaded, trying to annex the Ogaden region, but were pushed back by Ethiopian and Cuban forces. In 1977 and 1978 the government tortured or killed hundreds of thousands of suspected enemies in the Red Terror. Ethiopia experienced famine in 1984 that killed one million people and civil war that resulted in the fall of the Derg in 1991; this resulted in the establishment of the Federal Democratic Republic under Meles Zenawi. Ethiopia remains impoverished, it was not until 1963 that evidence of the presence of ancient hominids was discovered in Ethiopia, many years after similar discoveries had been made in neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania. The discovery was made by Gerrard Dekker, a Dutch hydrologist, who found Acheulian stone tools that were over a million years old at Kella.
Since many important finds have propelled Ethiopia to the forefront of palaeontology. The oldest hominid discovered to date in Ethiopia is the 4.2 million year old Ardipithicus ramidus found by Tim D. White in 1994; the most well known hominid discovery is Lucy, found in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar region in 1974 by Donald Johanson, is one of the most complete and best preserved, adult Australopithecine fossils uncovered. Lucy's taxonomic name, Australopithecus afarensis, means'southern ape of Afar', refers to the Ethiopian region where the discovery was made. Lucy is estimated to have lived 3.2 million years ago. There have been many other notable fossil findings in the country. Near Gona stone tools were uncovered in 1992 that were 2.52 million years old, these are the oldest such tools discovered anywhere in the world. In 2010 fossilised animal bones, that were 3.4 million years old, were found with stone-tool-inflicted marks on them in the Lower Awash Valley by an international team, led by Shannon McPherron, the oldest evidence of stone tool use found anywhere in the world.
In 2004 fossils found near the Omo river at Kibbish by Richard Leakey in 1967 were redated to 195,000 years old, the oldest date in East Africa for modern Homo sapiens. Homo sapiens idaltu, found in the Middle Awash in Ethiopia in 1997, lived about 160,000 years ago; the earliest records of Ethiopia appear in Ancient Egypt, during the Old Kingdom period
Haile Selassie I was an Ethiopian regent from 1916 to 1930 and emperor from 1930 to 1974. He is a defining figure in contemporary Ethiopian history, he was a member of the Solomonic Dynasty who traced his lineage to Emperor Menelik I via his Shewan royal ancestors as a great-grandson of king Sahle Selassie daughter of Sahle Selase was mother of Woldemikael. Haile Selassie's father was Makonnen Wolde-Mikael Guddisa and his mother was Yeshimebet Mikael His internationalist views led to Ethiopia becoming a charter member of the United Nations, his political thought and experience in promoting multilateralism and collective security have proved seminal and enduring. At the League of Nations in 1936, the emperor condemned the use of chemical weapons by Italy against his people during the Second Italo–Ethiopian War, his suppression of rebellions among the landed aristocracy, which opposed his reforms, as well as what some critics perceived to be Ethiopia's failure to modernize enough, earned him criticism among some contemporaries and historians.
During his rule the Harari people were persecuted and many left the Harari Region. His regime was criticized by human rights groups, such as Human Rights Watch, as autocratic and illiberal. Among the Rastafari movement, whose followers are estimated to number between 700,000 and one million, Haile Selassie is revered as the returned messiah of the Bible, God incarnate. Beginning in Jamaica in the 1930s, the Rastafari movement perceives Haile Selassie as a messianic figure who will lead a future golden age of eternal peace and prosperity. Haile Selassie was an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian throughout his life; the 1973 famine in Ethiopia led to Haile Selassie's eventual removal from the throne. He died on 27 August 1975 at the age following a coup d'état. Haile Selassie was known as a child as Lij Tafari Makonnen. Lij is translated as "child", serves to indicate that a youth is of noble blood, his given name, means "one, respected or feared". Like most Ethiopians, his personal name "Tafari" is followed by that of his father Makonnen and that of his grandfather Woldemikael.
His Ge'ez name Haile Selassie was given to him at his infant baptism and adopted again as part of his regnal name in 1930. As Governor of Harar, he became known. Ras is a rank of nobility equivalent to Duke. In 1916, Empress Zewditu I appointed him to the position of Balemulu Silt'an Enderase. In 1928, she granted him the throne of Shewa, elevating his title to Negus or "King". On 2 November 1930, after the death of Empress Zewditu, Tafari was crowned Negusa Nagast King of Kings, rendered in English as "Emperor". Upon his ascension, he took as his regnal name Haile Selassie I. Haile means in Ge'ez "Power of" and Selassie means trinity—therefore Haile Selassie translates to "Power of the Trinity". Haile Selassie's full title in office was "By the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, King of Kings of Ethiopia, Elect of God"; this title reflects Ethiopian dynastic traditions, which hold that all monarchs must trace their lineage to Menelik I, the offspring of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
To Ethiopians, Haile Selassie has been known by many names, including Janhoy, Talaqu Meri, Abba Tekel. The Rastafari movement employs many of these appellations referring to him as Jah, Jah Jah, Jah Rastafari. Haile Selassie's royal line descended from Sahle Selassie, He was born on 23 July 1892, in the village of Ejersa Goro, in the Harar province of Ethiopia, his mother was Woizero Yeshimebet Ali Abba Jifar, daughter of the renowned Oromo ruler of Wollo province Dejazmach Ali Abba Jifar. His maternal grandmother was of Gurage heritage. Tafari's father was the governor of Harar. Ras Makonnen served as a general in the First Italo–Ethiopian War, playing a key role at the Battle of Adwa. Haile Selassie was thus able to ascend to the imperial throne through his paternal grandmother, Woizero Tenagnework Sahle Selassie, an aunt of Emperor Menelik II and daughter of Negus Sahle Selassie of Shewa; as such, Haile Selassie claimed direct descent from Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, King Solomon of ancient Israel.
Ras Makonnen arranged for Tafari as well as his first cousin, Imru Haile Selassie, to receive instruction in Harar from Abba Samuel Wolde Kahin, an Ethiopian capuchin monk, from Dr. Vitalien, a surgeon from Guadeloupe. Tafari was named Dejazmach at the age of 13, on 1 November 1905. Shortly thereafter, his father Ras Makonnen died at Kulibi, in 1906. Tafari assumed the titular governorship of Selale in 1906, a realm of marginal importance, but one that enabled him to continue his studies. In 1907, he was appointed governor over part of the province of Sidamo, it is alleged that during his late teens, Haile Selassie was married to Woizero Altayech, that from this union, his daughter Princess Romanework was born. Following the death of his brother Yelma in 1907, the governorate of Harar was left vacant, its administration was left to Menelik's loyal general, Dejazmach Balcha Safo. Balcha Safo's administration of Harar was ineffective, so during the last illne
Kingdom of Kaffa
The Kingdom of Kaffa was an early modern state located in what is now Ethiopia, with its first capital at Bonga. The Gojeb River formed its northern border, beyond; the native language known as Kaffa, is one of the Omotic group of languages. Kaffa was divided into four sub-groups, who spoke a common language Kefficho, one of the Gonga/Kefoid group of Omotic languages. There were a number of groups of people, "but with the status of submerged status", who lived in the kingdom; the Manjo had their own king, appointed by the King of Kaffa, were given the duties of guarding the royal compounds and the gates of the kingdom. The kingdom was overrun and conquered in 1897, was annexed by Ethiopia; the land where this former kingdom lay is in the southern parts of the Ethiopian Highlands with stretches of forest. The mountainous land is fertile, capable of three harvests a year; the Kingdom of Kaffa was founded c.1390 by Minjo, who according to oral tradition ousted the Mato dynasty of 32 kings. However, his informants told Amnon Orent, "no one remembers the name of a single one."
The first capital Bonga was either captured by Bon-noghe. During the 16th century, all of the territories north of the Gojeb River were lost to the Oromo migrations. In the 16th century, the Emperor of Ethiopia Sarsa Dengel convinced the kingdom to accept Christianity as its state religion; as a result, the church of St. George was dedicated at Baha. Over the following centuries the influence of the Ethiopian government grew weak, Christianity more or less disappeared, although the church of St. George was used as a "male house of ritual of George" until late in the 19th century when Christian practices were reintroduced. Beginning with Gali Ginocho, the kings of Kaffa began to expand the borders of their kingdom, annexing the neighboring small Gimira states of She and Majango; the neighboring state of the Welayta came under their control in the reign of Tato Shagi Sherocho, who extended the boundaries of his kingdom as far as the Omo to the southeast and to the confluence of the Omo and the Denchya to the south.
It was during the reign of King Hoti Gaocho, that the territory of the Kaffa kings reached its maximum. According to Orent, the traditions of the Kaffa people relate that he ruled far and wide, conquering wherever he went as far afield as Wolleta and Kambaata. "To this day," concludes Orent, "some people still talk about the time that their ancestors defeated all their enemies and sat at the foot of a famous tree in Wolliso and decided not to go farther into Shoa province." The last Kaffa king, Gaki Sherocho, resisted for months the combined armies of Wolde Giyorgis, Ras Damisse, King Abba Jifar II of Jimma, until he was captured 11 September 1897, was first sent to Ankober to Addis Ababa. Kaffa was held as a fief by Wolde Giyogis until 1914. During his visit to Kaffa in 1897, Alexander Bulatovich had the opportunity to study the culture of the inhabitants, describing them in his book With the Armies of Menelik II, emperor of Ethiopia, identifying a number of practices in common with the more familiar Amhara people.
The inhabitants suffered from slave-raiding during the de facto rule of Lij Iyasu, the region became uninhabited. During the reorganization of the provinces in 1942, the former kingdom was enlarged by the addition of a number of other kingdoms from the Gibe region to become Kaffa Province. In Kaffa, Maria Theresa Thalers and salt blocks called amoleh were used as currency as late as 1905, which circulated at a rate of four or five amolehs to 1 MT; the economy was based on exports of gold, civet oil, slaves. Crops raised included cotton. However, according to Richard Pankhurst, the amount of coffee exported was never large: he cites an estimate for its production in the 1880s at 50,000 to 60,000 kilograms a year. Livestock was raised, honeybees kept in barrels which were hung in trees. Jon Abbink,'Käfa ethnography', in S. Uhlig, ed. Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, vol. 3, 2007, pp. 327–329. Jon Abbink,'Käfa history', in S. Uhlig, ed. Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, vol. 3, 2007, pp. 322–324. Jon Abbink,'Gaki Sherocho, Käfa king'.
In: E. K. Akyeampong & H. L. Gates Jr. eds, Dictionary of African Biography, vol. 2, pp. 410–411. New York: Oxford University Press. Werner Lange, History of the Southern Gonga. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner, 1982. Monarchies of Ethiopia Getachew Abate
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "family" and "clan", among others; the longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc. depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members. Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties; as such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, to describe events and artifacts of that period. The word "dynasty" itself is dropped from such adjectival references; until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.
Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house; this has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant; the earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
Less a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession. Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties. Throughout history, there were monarchs. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; the word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team; the word "dynasty" derives from Latin dynastia, which comes from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to "power", "dominion", "rule" itself. It was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, "power" or "ability", from dýnamai, "to be able". A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne.
For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication. In historical and monarchist references to reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, their son Duke Maximilian was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Since the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position; the term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II through her sister Princess Margaret, is in the line of succession to the British crown.
On the other hand, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles. He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who
The Omo River in southern Ethiopia is the largest Ethiopian river outside the Nile Basin. Its course is contained within the boundaries of Ethiopia, it empties into Lake Turkana on the border with Kenya; the river is the principal stream of the Turkana Basin. The Omo River forms through the confluence of the Gibe River, by far the largest total tributary of the Omo River, the Wabe River, the largest left-bank tributary of the Omo at 8°19′N 37°28′E. Given their sizes and courses one might consider both the Omo and the Gibe rivers to be one and the same river but with different names; the whole river basin is sometimes called the Omo-Gibe River Basin. This river basin includes part of the western Oromia Region and the middle of the Southern Nations and People's Region, its course is to the south, however with a major bend to the west at about 7° N 37° 30' E to about 36° E where it turns south until 5° 30' N where it makes a large S- bend resumes its southerly course to Lake Turkana. According to materials published by the Ethiopian Central Statistical Agency, the Omo-Bottego River is 760 kilometers long.
In its course the Omo-Bottego has a total fall of about 700 m from the confluence of the Gibe and Wabe rivers at 1060 m to 360 m at lake-level, is a rapid stream in its upper reaches, being broken by the Kokobi and other falls, navigable only for a short distance above where it empties into Lake Turkana, one of the lakes of the Gregory Rift. The Spectrum Guide to Ethiopia describes it as a popular site for white-water rafting in September and October, when the river is still high from the rainy season, its most important tributary is the Gibe River. The Omo-Bottego River formed the eastern boundaries for the former kingdoms of Janjero, Garo; the Omo flows past the Mago and Omo National Parks, which are known for their wildlife. Many animals live near and on the river, including hippopotamuses and puff adders; the first archaeological discoveries in the area were by a French expedition. The most significant finds were made between 1967 and 1975, by an international archaeological team; this team located a number of different items, including the jawbone of an Australopithecus man, estimated at some 2.5 million years old.
Archeologists have found fossil fragments of Olduwan hominids from the early Pleistocene era and up to the Pliocene era. Quartz tools have been located with some of the homo sapiens remains found on the riverbanks; the lower valley of the Omo is believed by some to have been a crossroads for thousands of years as various cultures and ethnic groups migrated around the region. To this day, the people of the Lower Valley of the Omo, including the Mursi, Nyangatom, Dizi and Me'en, are studied for their diversity. Italian explorer Vittorio Bottego first reached the Omo river on 29 June 1896 during his second African expedition, dying during this expedition on 17 March 1897; the Omo river was renamed Omo-Bottego in his honour. Herbert Henry Austin and his men reached the Omo delta on 12 September 1898, found that an Ethiopian expedition, led by Ras Wolda Giyorgis, had planted Ethiopian flags on the northern shore of Lake Turkana on 7 April, as well as having plundered the locals and reduced them to poverty.
Lieutenant Alexander Bulatovich led a second Ethiopian expedition which reached the lake August 21, 1899, was destructive. Despite this, the Frenchmen in the party mapped for the first time many of the meanders of the Omo River delta; this rendition of the Omo River remained in use until the 1930s when Italian colonial cartographers made a new and more accurate rendition of the river and its delta. The entire Omo river basin is important geologically and archaeologically. Several hominid fossils and archaeological localities, dating to the Pliocene and Pleistocene, have been excavated by French and American teams. Fossils belonging to the genera Australopithecus and Homo have been found at several archaeological sites, as well as tools made from quartzite, the oldest of which date back to about 2.4 million years ago. Because of this, the site was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980; when they were discovered, it was thought that the tools might have been part of a so-called pre-Oldowan industry more primitive than what was found in the Olduvai Gorge.
Research has shown that the crude looks of the tools were in fact caused by poor raw materials, that the techniques used and the shapes permit their inclusion in the Oldowan. There are several power stations and dams in the Omo River basin which are named after the Gilgel Gibe River and Gibe River, which are tributaries of the Omo River. Despite the somewhat confusing naming they are native power stations and dams located on the Omo River; the Gilgel Gibe II Power Station is a hydroelectric power station on the Omo River with a power output of 420 Megawatt. The power station receives water from a tunnel entrance 7°55′27″N 37°23′16″E on the Gilgel Gibe River in a run-of-river scheme; the tunnel entrance is sitting downstream of the Gilgel Gibe I Dam on the Gilgel Gibe River with which it forms a hydroelectric cascade. The Gibe III Hydroelectric dam is a 243 m high roller-compacted concrete dam with an associated hydropower plant on the Omo River in Ethiopia, it is the largest hydropower plant in Africa with a power output of about 1870 Megawatt, thus more than doubling total installed capacity in Ethiopia from its 2007 level of 814 MW.
A controversy has ensued with several NGOs forming a campaign to oppose it. According to Terri Ha
Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, prayer, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations hold regular group worship services. Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism, it soon attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, to Ethiopia and some parts of Asia. Constantine the Great decriminalized it via the Edict of Milan; the First Council of Nicaea established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire.
By 380, the Roman Empire designated Christianity as the state religion. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united full communion of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon over differences in Christology; the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism over the authority of the Pope. In 1521, Protestants split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation over Papal primacy, the nature of salvation, other ecclesiological and theological disputes. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity was spread into the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, the rest of the world via missionary work and colonization. There are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, or 31.4% of the global population. Today, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy.
Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization around Europe during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers". Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. While Christians worldwide share basic convcitions, there are differences of interpretations and opinions of the Bible and sacred traditions on which Christianity is based. Concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds, they began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith.
The Apostles' Creed is the most accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical churches of Western Christian tradition, including the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism and Western Rite Orthodoxy, it is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists. This particular creed was developed between the 9th centuries, its central doctrines are those of God the Creator. Each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period; the creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Its main points include: Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Holy Spirit The death, descent into hell and ascension of Christ The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful; the Nicene Creed was formulated in response to Arianism, at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the First Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Chalcedonian Definition, or Creed of Chalcedon, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental Orthodox churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, unchangeably, inseparably": one divine and one human, that both natures, while perfect in themselves, are also united into one person. The Athanasian Creed, received in the Western Church as having the same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: "We worship one God in Trinity, Trinity in Unity. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. Most Baptists do not use creeds "in that they have not sought to establish binding