About country profiles

The country profiles are intended to provide some background and context for the descriptions of the churches. These profiles should be read in conjunction with those of the churches in the country.

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Surface area:1100000 km2
Capital:Addis Ababa
GNI per capita:90 US$
Classification:Least developed country






Christian: 62.00%

Muslim: 33.00%

African traditional: 5.00%


Orthodox: 38956642

Protestants: 10446017

Catholics: 550000

Independent: 1418900

(double affiliation)
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Ethiopia has a record of resistance against foreign attempts to colonize it, except for the Italian occupation of 1936-1941. The monarchy embraced Christianity at its very early stages, and it became the state religion in the 4th century. Already in the 7th century there was Muslim influence. Tensions and conflict have been recurrent between the Christian and Muslim communities. In the 19th century the monarchy extended its reign to the south of present-day Ethiopia. In 1974 the emperor was deposed and assassinated by a military junta. The coercive regime was overthrown in 1991 by the Ethiopian People's Liberation Front. Democratic elections were held for the first time in 1994. Ethiopia faces a difficult economic situation with cyclical droughts, and poor agriculture. Coffee is the main export product. As one of the most ancient nations of Africa, Ethiopia has a prominent place in the continent. It hosts the headquarters of the African Union. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is one of the churches that does not accept the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon on the nature of Christ. It was the state church under the monarchy but has lost this position. Catholic presence goes back to the 16th century, and Protestant missions arrived in the 20th century. The largest non-Orthodox church is the World of Life Church (Evangelical), followed by the Mekane Yesus Church (Lutheran and Presbyterian). There are also two large Pentecostal churches. Most of these churches belong to the Ethiopian Evangelical Churches Fellowship, which is affiliated with the WEA.


Ecumenical Organizations and Councils

    WCC member churches based in Ethiopia

    WCC member churches present in Ethiopia

    Note: The list of churches present in countries is still in development.

    Last updated: 01/01/06