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World Watch Update: Ethiopia

Region: Horn of Africa
2018 World Watch List Position: #29
Leader: President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu
Population: 104 345 000 (59% are Christians)
Main Religion: Christianity (Orthodox)
Government: Federal Republic
Sources of Persecution: Islamic Oppression, Denominational Protectionism, and Dictatorial Paranoia

Ethiopia was one of the first African countries to accept and adopt Christianity as its state religion. But, despite Ethiopia being a Christian-majority country, Christians face persecution from the government, extremist Muslims, and even each other.

Islamic oppression poses a real threat to Christ-followers. In areas where there’s a Muslim majority, Christians are harassed and often denied access to communal resources. Christians who leave the Orthodox Church also face persecution, as the Orthodox Church sees itself as the one true church. Christians also face persecution on a national level, as the government has become more authoritarian and suspicious of religion. This has resulted in the government banning religious broadcasting services and religious activities in schools.

  • Pray for unity and reform within the Church in Ethiopia.
  • Pray for greater freedom for the Church and for God to change the hearts of Ethiopian government officials.
  • Pray for provision for Christians, particularly those who are denied access to communal resources or have been rejected by their families for leaving Islam.
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