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About Ethiopia

  • Leader:Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
  • Government:Federal republic
  • Population:99.5 million (62.7 million Christians)
  • Main Religion:Christianity (mainly Orthodox)
  • Persecution Level:Severe
  • Source of Persecution:Islamic extremism/Ecclesiastical arrogance

Ethiopia has a long history with both Christianity and Islam, and over time both religions have engaged in attempts to expand their sphere of influence. Additionally, Ethiopia has many tribes. These are not necessarily favorable to Christianity, and in some places like Afar and the Somali regions, tribes are interconnected with Islam. The ruling party in the country has blocked all the channels for freedom of expression and assembly, and has also tried to control all religious institutions in a bid to curb dissent. Amidst all of this, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) experiences a great deal of difficulty trying to reconcile itself with the growing number of both traditional and non-traditional Protestants in Ethiopia and reform-oriented groups within the church itself. Fanatical groups within the EOC use inflammatory rhetoric against Protestants/Evangelicals in their magazines, websites and newspapers, using such expressions as “newcomers”, “false prophets” and “menafikan” (deniers of Virgin Mary and the saints) to portray them as non-believers.

Recent News from Ethiopia

Nov 4 2016

Militants Occupy Somali Towns as Ethiopia Withdraws Troops

Found in Prayer

The withdrawal of Ethiopian forces from some Somali towns opened the doors for al-Shabab to take over. Intensified rivalry between al-Shabab and IS could also add a new dimension to Somalia’s violence.


Aug 25 2016

Ethiopian Protesters Target Churches

Found in Prayer

Since November of last year, Ethiopia has been experiencing unprecedented levels of political unrest. An estimated 240 people have died in the violence and scores have been arrested.


Apr 19 2016

Christian Woman Martyred in Ethiopia Leaves a Strong Witness

Found in Stories

“Workitu is like Stephen,” commented a local evangelist.


Prayer Points for Ethiopia

  • Pray for a wave of Biblical reform within the churches claiming Christ in Ethiopia.
  • Pray for God to reveal the Truth to Ethiopian government officials.
  • Pray for Christians persecuted for leaving the Orthodox Church, Islam or traditional beliefs.

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Take Action

Pray for those that are suffering by reading the latest prayer requests from persecuted Christians around the world.

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Advocate for persecuted Christians by sending the 2016 World Watch List to President Obama.

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