Friday, 27 June 2014

Christian Lessons In Ethiopia

One interesting room at the Ethnological museum in Addis is full of old religious paintings. Instead of a big painting of Jesus or Mary or some bucolic scene, most of the works are long, multi-scene narratives of religious lessons. James was told the paintings would be used for teaching the populace about Christianity and that pictures were used in order to get the message through to a largely illiterate society.

One message is loud and clear: Don't believe and you will pay the price. And precious little is left to the imagination about what wrath awaits you.

One consequence for not believing? You might get sawed in half.

Other options? Plenty. How about being stuck in a barrel or having your head sliced off? Maybe boiled in a pot?

An angel may look down upon a beheading, making sure the head lands in a basket OK.

More chopping. Why stop at the head? It gets grizzlier, someone strapped to a spiked wheel. Ouch.

How about a pot strapped to your head?

Spike through the center of your body, through the groin first. Does it really matter? Grilled to death.

Double scene: stoning and tongue being cut out. I believe now!


  1. No offense, but I'm pretty sure you're misinterpreting those paintings. Especially, since some of those being killed have halos painted over their heads and they all have peaceful looks on their faces.

  2. Perhaps, certainly the works are open to interpretations. Several church officials told me the above information, I did not come up with the theory on my own.