Ethiopia - Homes with children playing outside - Photo: VOMC

Ethiopia

The Gospel came to Ethiopia during the first century. Despite its early origins, many Ethiopian Christians still face persecution. In predominantly Islamic areas, like the Greater Somalia Region in southeastern Ethiopia, communities and families persecute Christians, and militant Muslim groups have used recent political unrest as an opportunity to launch attacks. Churches have been destroyed and Christians beaten and/or killed. In northern Ethiopia, some traditional Christians persecute evangelical believers by tearing down their churches, causing physical harm, and denying them jobs and burial places. Freedom of religion is upheld in Ethiopia by the government, which generally works to protect the rights of Christians.

Life for Christians:

Most Christians worship freely and openly. However, evangelicals sometimes face pressure to join the Orthodox Church, and Christian converts from Islam face great challenges and even death threats in Muslim-majority areas, particularly in the east and within refugee camps for Somalis. In addition, vestiges of Communist rule lead authorities to monitor the activities of churches and Christian organizations, particularly those that are evangelical. Still, these churches in Ethiopia continue to establish new congregations and send missionaries into difficult areas.

Current Ministry Project

VOMC has partnered with a ministry to strengthen the witness of the local church by equipping evangelists with the means to build sustainability through the development of a small business in a tentmaker project.

Project Fund: Relief and Development

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
108,113,150 (July 2020 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Oromo (34.9), Amara (27.9), Tigray (7.3), Sidama (4.1), Welaita (3), Gurage (2.8), Somali (2.7), Hadiya (2.2), Afar (.6), Other (12.6)

Religion (%)
Ethiopian Orthodox (43.8), Muslim (31.3), Protestant (22.8), Catholic (0.7), traditional (.6), other (0.8)

Leader
President Sahle-Work Zewde (2018)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Civil law system

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Ethiopia

Ask the Lord to direct Ethiopia's governmental leaders as they continue to work toward solutions to the ongoing religious tensions in the country. While this is taking place, pray that His people will not become weary in doing what is right. Rather, may they be further strengthened and encouraged to boldly proclaim the Gospel, overcoming hatred with the powerful love of Christ.

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Ethiopia News

  • Christians Targeted in Violent Outbreaks
    Property damage from a fire - Photo: Steadfast Global www.steadfastglobal.org
    Fire damage in Shashamene.
    Photo: Steadfast Global

    The Oromia region of Ethiopia is in the midst of turmoil as separatists spread dissent against the government. The murder of prominent singer Hachalu Hundessa on June 29th set off the civil unrest, leaving hundreds dead.

    During the third week of Aug

    ...
  • Church Destroyed and Believers Beaten
    Believers in Ethiopia - Photo: VOMC
    Ask God to give Ethiopian believers wisdom and grace as they navigate the challenges before them.

    On March 13th, a church in the town of Jeru in northern Ethiopia was burned to the ground. During the attack, believers were severely beaten and expelled from their homes by fellow villagers. Those resp

    ...
  • Evangelical Church Not Allowed
    Debarq, Ethiopia - Photo: Wikipedia / Bernard Gagnon
    Debarq, Ethiopia
    Photo: Wikipedia / Bernard Gagnon

    Authorities in the town of Debarq (also spelled Debark) have told an evangelical fellowship group that they are no longer permitted to meet. The town, which consists of 25,000 citizens, is considered holy by members of the dominant Ethiopian Orthodo

    ...
  • Church Ordered to Vacate
    Worship in Ethiopia

    Despite meeting in the same location for ten years, a church in central Ethiopia has been ordered to vacate, citing noise violations. Members of the Mekane Yesus Evangelical Church in the town of Robe were told by state authorities that neighbours have complained about the noise and that the buildin

    ...