Ethiopian Religion

Ethiopian Religion

Ethiopia has close historical ties with all three of the world's major Abrahamic religions. It was one of the first areas of the world to have officially adopted Christianity as the state religion, in the 4th century. While Christianity remains the majority religion, there is also a substantial Muslim demographic, representing about a third of the population. Ethiopia is the site of the first Hijra in Islamic history and the oldest Muslim settlement in Africa at Negash. Until the 1980s, a substantial population of Ethiopian Jews resided in Ethiopia.

According to the 2007 National Census, Christians make up 62.8% of the country's population (43.5% Ethiopian Orthodox, 19.3% other denominations), Muslims 33.9%, practitioners of traditional faiths 2.6%, and other religions 0.6%. This is in agreement with the updated CIA World Factbook, which states that Christianity is the most widely practiced religion in Ethiopia. According to the latest CIA factbook figure Muslims constitute 33.9% of the population.

The Kingdom of Aksum was one of the first nations to officially accept Christianity, when St. Frumentius of Tyre, called Fremnatos or Abba Selama ("Father of Peace") in Ethiopia, converted King Ezana during the 4th century AD. Many believe that the Gospel had entered Ethiopia even earlier, with the royal official described as being baptized by Philip the Evangelist in chapter eight of the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 8:26–39) Today, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, part of Oriental Orthodoxy, is by far the largest denomination, though a number of Protestant (Pentay) churches and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tehadeso Church have recently gained ground. Since the 18th century there has existed a relatively small (uniate) Ethiopian Catholic Church in full communion with Rome, with adherents making up less than 1% of the total population.
A mosque in Bahir Dar.

Islam in Ethiopia dates back to the founding of the religion; in 615, when a group of Muslims were counseled by Muhammad to escape persecution in Mecca and travel to Ethiopia via modern day Eritrea, which was ruled by Ashama ibn Abjar, a pious Christian king. Moreover, Bilal ibn Ribah, the first Muezzin, the person chosen to call the faithful to prayer, and one of the foremost companions of Muhammad, was from Abyssinia (Eritrea, Ethiopia etc.). Also, the largest single ethnic group of non-Arab Companions of Muhammad was that of the Ethiopians.

A small ancient group of Jews, the Beta Israel, live in northwestern Ethiopia, though most emigrated to Israel in the last decades of the 20th century as part of the rescue missions undertaken by the Israeli government, Operation Moses and Operation Solomon.[108] Some Israeli and Jewish scholars consider these Ethiopian Jews as a historical Lost Tribe of Israel.

There are numerous indigenous African religions in Ethiopia, mainly located in the far southwest and western borderlands. In general, most of the (largely members of the non-Chalcedonian Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church) Christians live in the highlands, while Muslims and adherents of traditional African religions tend to inhabit more lowland regions in the east and south of the country.

Tagged as:

Ethiopia, history, Religion, Religion, history, Religion


7596 Views Comments

5 Ethiopian Drama Series You Have To Watch

Ethiopian television programs are growing in popularity among the majority of the population. As access to technology is steadily increasing, viewers are being exposed to

1728 Views Comments

10 Delicious Ethiopian Foods You Must Eat Before You Die

Ethiopian cuisine generally consists of vegetables, spicy meat dishes and breads. Now, if you are a food lover and particularly one with soft spot for


1065 Views Comments

Ramat Lehi

Watch The Ethiopian Movie Ramat Lehi

4990 Views Comments


Watch The Ethiopian Movie Misale

3244 Views Comments


Watch The Ethiopian Movie 

473 Views Comments

Ketekelekelew Fre

Watch The Ethiopian Movie Ketekelekelew Fre

8769 Views Comments

Yimechesh Ye Arada Lij 2

Watch The Ethiopian Movie 


906 Views Comments

This Olympic Athlete turned the Rio Running track into a Protest

This Olympic athlete turned the Rio running track into a protest against Ethiopia’s treatment of the disadvantaged Oromo people.

165 Views Comments

Agul Tselot

Watch Agul Tselot (Ethiopia Comedy Movie)

263 Views Comments

Made in Ethiopia - Textiles and Apparel for the Global Market

Made in Ethiopia - Textiles and Apparel for the Global Market

495 Views Comments

A Sad Goodbye Letter From The Refugee To His Mother

A Sad Goodbye Letter From The Refugee To His Mother

682 Views Comments

Abel-o DX - Yene Mar

Abel-o DX - Yene Mar

324 Views Comments

Somalia Protestors Burn the Second Time OLF and Organic old Ethiopian Flag

Somalia Protestors Burn the Second Time OLF and Organic old Ethiopian Flag


0 Views Comments

Addis Ababa City Cup: St. George defeats Ethio-Electric 4-1

Saint George vs Ethio-electric (photo credit: Saint George kicked off the 2009 Addis Ababa City Cup with a 4-1 victory over Ethio–Electric and newly promoted Jimma Aba Buna

0 Views Comments

Tirunesh Dibaba wins Great South Run

Tirunesh Dibaba winning Great south Run (photo credit: Portsmouth, UK – Tirunesh Dibaba was a dominant winner as she made her 10-mile debut at the Great South

19 Views Comments

Mahmoud Ahmed Brings Down the House at Carnegie Hall Debut Concert – Photos

Mahmoud Ahmed performing at Carnegie Hall in New York on Saturday, October 22nd, 2016. (Photo: Tadias) Tadias Magazine By Tadias Staff Published: Sunday, October 23rd, 2016 New York (TADIAS)

What's next