Happy New Year to any Ethiopian readers. While for the rest of us today is 11 September 2007, in Ethiopia, which runs on a unique Coptic calendar more than seven years behind our Gregorian calendar, it is a far more auspicious day: New Year's Eve, 1999. The Coptic Orthodox Church, founded in AD451, has more than 15 million members, mainly in Egypt. It broke away from the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches following the Council of Chalcedon, when the Coptics took a different position on a doctrinal issue – the nature of Christ. Coptics maintain Jesus has a purely divine nature and never became human. There is an informative page here on the history of the calendar. Look for coverage of a huge celebration througout the country, with a concert in Adis Ababa at its centrepiece. So too I'm sure there is plenty written on the state of the country and its people at this benchmark.