The Theological Interpretation of Tezkar and its Economic Impact in East Gojjam
East Gojjam is one of the densely populated zones of Ethiopia where surplus crop production is registered. However, it is also one of the zones where people live below poverty. Many economic and non-economic factors can be mentioned for its poverty and backwardness. In this paper religio-cultural practices that trigger extravagant expenses, especially tezkar is discussed in relation to human development. The paper is aimed to investigate the theological interpretation of tezkar under the EOTC and its economic impact on the people of East Gojjam. Adequate and reliable data were collected using qualitative methods (in-depth interview, Focused Group Discussion (FGD), observation and document analysis) and analyzed qualitatively. Therefore, the study has approved though tezkar is allowed as to the tradition of the Church, its actual practice is not supported by both the intellectuals of the Church and the ecclesiastical accounts. The real practice of tezkar, which is accompanied by extravagant expense, has been found as a major cause of economic crisis. Tezkar unequivocally hampers the economic development of the people of East Gojjam. Accordingly, awareness creation by both the government and the Church, institutional response and producing legal framework were recommended to be taken by concerned stakeholders of tezkar.
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