Islam & Christianity in Tigrai

Tigrai is known for its harmony among its people of different belief systems. Christianity helf its foot some six centuries before Islam. A Christian King welcomed Muslims refugee seekers. They started living in peace and harmony ever since.

Tigrai was the gateway through which Christianity and Islam were introduced to Africa. The people and their leaders were welcoming to all asylum-seeking humans. Tigrai, thus, received Christianity before the Middle East and Islam before the Arabs.

In the 4th Century, Christianity gained a foothold in Tigrai and the first baptized Christians were Axumite kings of Ezana and Sayzana (Abreha We Atsbeha). Religious centers were established, the first monasteries in Africa built and churches carved. These churches served as research centers, libraries, and museums for centuries. Christianity, later on, spread throughout present-day Eritrea Ethiopia, and other East African countries.

Islam, on the other hand, was welcomed by a Christian king in the 7th century CE when Mohammed told his followers to find a safe haven in Abyssinia, where they would “find a king there who does not wrong anyone.” That Abyssinia was Tigrai. The first hijra was made to Tigrai and the first mosque in Africa was built in Negash. From which Islam was preached to the rest of the Horn.

There are important historic muslim sites, that speak a lot.

Now, these welcoming people live in harmony regardless of their religious differences. Those sacred sites of religion, hubs of antiquity, treasures of long-time civilization are being visited by people of all walks from around the globe. People from far away, with totally different belief systems and cultural orientations spend days exploring the least promoted, but highly valuable sites.