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Ethiopia Facts

Score: 65 / 100
Region: Africa
Persecution Type: Islamic Oppression
Persecution Level: Very High
Population: 107,535,000
Christians: 64,037,000
Main Religion: Christianity
Government: Federal Republic
Leader: President Sahle-Work Zewde

Profile of Persecution

Violence 81%
Church Life 62%
National Life 65%
Community Life 61%
Family Life 60%
Private Life 60%

Expanding Islam and Christian targets

In Ethiopia, radical Islam is growing at the local, regional and national levels. Particularly in the rural areas, where Muslims are the majority, Christians are harassed and often denied access to communal resources. The new prime minister has spurred hope for Christians regarding the future of Ethiopia, but the government is not in control of the entire country. In areas where control is lacking, Christian persecution is a common fear and believers are still targeted.

How Christians are suffering

All Christian communities are affected by persecution in Ethiopia, although some denominations are more affected than others. Non-traditional Christians face the harshest persecution both from the government and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Converts to Christianity from a Muslim background, particularly in eastern and southeastern parts of the country, as well as cross-denominational converts from an Orthodox background, face harsh mistreatment from their families and communities. In some areas, Christians are denied access to community resources and sometimes ostracized from society. In addition, in some regions of the country mobs will attack churches.

Examples

On August 4, 2018, a two-day period of violence erupted in which Muslim mobs targeted the Christian minority in Ethiopia’s Somali Region; 15 Orthodox priests were among those killed. Ten Orthodox churches were set ablaze and nine evangelical churches were also vandalized or looted.

Pray for Ethiopia

  • Pray for the government to investigate violence perpetrated against Christians and bring  those who are responsible to justice.
  • Pray that Christians from different denominations will have unity to face the challenge of persecution as one church.
  • Pray for Islamic oppression to weaken and for the threat against Christians to soften within the country.
  • Pray for greater freedom for the Church in Ethiopia, and for God to reveal His truth to Ethiopian government officials.
  • Christians are often denied resources and discriminated against when looking for work. Pray the Lord would provide for persecuted believers.

Stories from Ethiopia

May 21, 2019

In Africa, Christians Are in the Flames of Persecution—and On Fire for Jesus

Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Christians are being held, feet to the flames, and told to deny Christ.

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March 25, 2019

Pray With 13 Churches Attacked by Mob in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, a mob carrying sticks, stone and fuel targeted the first church building. The crowd then moved from church…

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March 8, 2019

Hidden Wounds—Christians Say Rape Is ‘Common’ Persecution Method Against Women

Around the world, Increasing numbers of Christian women are doubly vulnerability to persecution—for both their faith and their gender.

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