Capital: Addis Ababa
Major Languages: Amharic, Oromo, English
Major Religions: Ethiopian Orthodox, Islam, Evangelical, African Traditional
Located in the middle of the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia has long been at the crossroads of African and Middle Eastern societies. Ethiopia itself has existed as a sovereign nation that can be traced back some 3,000 years. Ethiopia’s first emperor, Menilik the First, was allegedly the child of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. After three thousand years of rule by emperors and kings, Ethiopia’s royal family was deposed in the 1970’s and a communist regime was established. This brutal government ravaged the country for nearly twenty years until the early 1990’s. Since the downfall of the communist regime, the country has struggled to maintain a democratically elected government.
A nation of highlands and lowlands, Ethiopia enjoys a mild climate. Massive amounts of rainfall in the central highlands each year provide a lush environment for agriculture. In the southern parts of the country, large flat savannahs provide pastoralists adequate space for raising cattle, sheep, and goats. Ethiopia is considered the birthplace of coffee. Discovered by a young goatherd, coffee has been an integral part of Ethiopian culture for centuries and is the country’s chief export.
With over 80 million people, Ethiopia struggles each year to produce enough agricultural products to ensure that everyone gets enough to eat. While famous for large-scale famines such as the one in the mid 1980s, every year 2 to 5 million people on average cannot get enough to eat. In spite of the challenges of life in Ethiopia, the people are extremely resilient. Hospitality is an important part of Ethiopian culture. Sharing a meal with an Ethiopian family is an unforgettable display of selfless generosity.
Ethiopia has long been a country of religious pluralism. In Ethiopia Muslims, Orthodox, and Evangelicals live side by side in relative peace. The Ethiopian Orthodox church is the dominant religion in Ethiopia. Due to the sheer population size of the country, Ethiopia contains more Muslims than Saudi Arabia.
- Pray for the peoples of Ethiopia. The nation has seen a lot of suffering over the past thirty years. Pray that people would turn to the Father who hasn’t abandoned them in spite of the adversity they have faced.
- Pray for rain in Ethiopia. Local agriculture is almost entirely dependent upon a good rainy season.
- Pray for growth among evangelicals. Pray that they would share the truth they already have with their non-evangelical neighbors.
- Pray for peace and stability in Ethiopia. Political disruptions add to the stress on an already stressed economy.