In Ethiopia, some monks are using Facebook and YouTube to gain thousands of disciples, who see them as modern Messiahs.
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Yohannes Tesfamariam sits surrounded by followers.hroughout Ethiopian Christian history, monks and mystics known as Bahitawi sprang up. Nomadic and usually dreadlocked, some of them gathered large followings. Joachim Persoon, a scholar of the Bahitawi, has argued that they often appeared in times of social change and unrest. “When the government was weak and unstable, people were looking for guidance and leadership,” he told me. “They went looking for charismatic leaders.”