Why do we have to wear black thread on our neck?
In our Church of Ethiopia: the Kingdom of God, the MATEB we all wear, is made up of three Tri-coloured filaments of Green, Yellow and Red, symbolizing the Rainbow, which is the sign of the Covenant that God established with Noah and his children, and which we, Ethiopians, still preserved as our National Flag.
However, the practice of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, in this regard is quite different from ours. As this Church, in reality, is not an Ethiopian Church, but a Church that the Egyptians claim to have founded in the 4th Century A. D., we refer to it as "the Coptic (or Egyptian) Orthodox Church in Ethiopia." According to the custom that the Egyptians introduced in this Church long ago, the colour of the Mateb that is tied on the neck of its members at the time of their Baptism continues to be black, white and red: the tri-colours of the Egyptian National Flag to this day.