Religions in Ethiopia

Follow Us On:  

The main religions in Ethiopia are Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Paganism. Ethiopia is a predominantly Christian country and the majority of Christians are Orthodox Tewahedo Christians, who belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. There are a minority of Christians who are Roman Catholic or Protestant. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is headed by a patriarch and is related to the communion of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Armenian Orthodox Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church and Malankara Orthodox Church of India.

Christianity in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Orthodox Union church, an autonomous Christian Church headed by a patriarch and closely related to the Coptic Church of Egypt, was the state church of Ethiopia until 1974.

Ethiopia has a rich history that predates the Old Testament. According to the Old Testament, The Queen of Sheba was born in Axum, but travelled to Israel to meet King Solomon. They had a son named Menelik, who later became the first emperor of Ethiopia and adopted Christianity in Ethiopia about the beginning of 4th Century long before Europe accepted Christianity. Menelik brought the original Ark of the Covenant back to Ethiopia from Israel. Today, the Arc, which once housed the Ten Commandments, remains well hidden in Axum. It is guarded by a select group of monks, whose sole commitment is to protect the sacred vessel. Ethiopia's religious tradition is reflected in the day-to-day lifestyle of the people, and nowhere does this spiritual energy echo more than in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Ethiopian Muslims history
In Islamic history and tradition, Ethiopia (Abyssinia or Al-Habasha) is known as the "Haven of the First Migration or Hijra." For Muslims, Ethiopia is synonymous with freedom from persecution and emancipation from fear.

Ethiopia was a land where its king, Negus or Al-Najashi, was a person renowned for justice and in whose land human rights were cherished.

The first migration [Hijra] of the Companions and relatives of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) to Ethiopia celebrates the birth of freedom of expression and beliefs, whereas, the Second Migration of the Prophet Muhammad to the Madinah celebrates the end of oppression.
The meaning and the significance of "Hijra" is embodied in the Islamic calendar. Since its inception, the Islamic calendar represents a history of perpetual struggle between truth and falsehood, faith and blasphemy, freedom and oppression, light and darkness, and between peace and war.