Ethiopia has a long history of both Christianity and Islam, and over time, both religions have been engaged in attempts to expand their sphere of influence. Ethiopia also has many tribes. These are not necessarily favourable to Christianity; and in some places like Afar and the Somali regions tribes are interconnected with Islam. The ruling party 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. Fanatical groups within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) use inflammatory rhetoric against Protestants/Evangelicals in their magazine, website and newspaper, using such expressions as "newcomers", the "false prophet", "menafikan" (deniers of the Virgin Mary and the saints) in portraying them.
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