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.