Abuna Yemata Guh: Ethiopia’s Chapel in the Sky (Video)
Northern Ethiopia's Tigray Region is renowned for its collection of rock-hewn churches, the most incredible of which is Abuna Yemata Guh, carved out of sandstone and perched 650 feet above a steep cliff. Known as the world's most perilous church, it is reached only by a daring climb up the cliff face, making it a unique testament to human resilience and religious devotion. Established in the fifth century, the church is named after its founder, Father Yemata, and, depending on who you ask, was either situated so high to be nearer to heavenly spirits or as a strategic move to evade enemies.
Today, Abuna Yemata Guh in Ethiopia still attracts worshipers, captivated by the church's location, its ceiling frescoes, and precious goat skin bible. The church is run by a high-ranking priest, who has lived there for over 47 years and makes the challenging climb every day. Worshipers undeterred by fear undertake the two-hour trek, beginning by hiking from the valley below to the base of the rock, where they remove their shoes before climbing. The final test of faith comes at the entrance of the church: a narrow cliff ledge with a lethal drop to the left and no room for error.
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Top image: Towards the rock-hewn church of Abuna Yemata Guh in Tigray Ethiopia. Source: Reto Ammann / Adobe Stock.