One of the more hip things you can say at a party is to claim a personal acquaintance with the Dalai Lama. There's a mystique about Buddhism that isn't shared by African Christianity. In fact when the words "African Christianity" are mentioned, the image that comes to mind is probably the missionaries of the African Queen, who bring the enlightenment of Europe to the benighted heathen of Africa. But historically, Europeans were the original heathen. Africa's Christianity as represented by Coptic Egypt and Ethiopian Christianity is far, far older than Europe's. Even today, a monastic tradition survives. It is strange to think there is an "African Tibet" in an area now close to one of the principal battlegrounds of the War on Terror.