Although Ethiopia is a majority-Christian country, complex religious and ethnic tensions, combined with political and civil unrest, mean that pressure on Christians is very high. In the Afar and Somali regions, where ethnicity and Islam are interconnected, Christians can face hostility from family and community. The government is growing more authoritarian and has restricted religious institutions. Fanatical elements of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church also try to undermine other denominations.

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Ethiopian PM sends condolences to Orthodox Church after 15 priests killed

Ethiopian PM sends condolences to Orthodox Church after 15 priests killed

Ethiopia’s prime minister visited the leader of the country’s Orthodox Church on Saturday to express his condolences after 15 priests were killed and ten Orthodox churches damaged in the eastern Somali region last week. Among the priests killed were Rev. Kidane Mariam Nibretu, Rev. Yared Hibu, Father Gebiremariam Asfaw, and […]

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Ethiopian Protestant loses appeal against prison sentence for ‘causing outrage to religious peace and feeling’

The Holy Saviour Orthodox Church in Addis Ababa. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

An Ethiopian court has turned down the appeal of an Evangelical Christian sentenced to seven months in prison for “causing outrage to religious peace and feeling”. In its verdict, published on 19 March, the court upheld an earlier sentence given by a judge in the southern city of Arba Minch […]

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Ethiopian Evangelical sent to prison for ‘insulting’ Orthodox Church

Ethiopia Orthodox Church

A judge in southern Ethiopia has sentenced an Evangelical Christian to seven months in prison for “causing outrage to religious peace and feeling” following accusations believed to come from members of the predominant Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC). The judge in the city of Arba Minch handed down the sentence on […]

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Ethiopian Christians arrested for ‘praying against government’

Christians worship during a church service in a town in central  Ethiopia. (Photo: World Watch Monitor, 2016)

Seven Ethiopian Christians have been arrested and detained in the north-western town of Chagni on suspicion of praying against the government. A local source told World Watch Monitor the seven men, members of the Meserete Kiristos church, were followed and overheard by a local militia group when they went up a […]

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Ethiopia: church attacked, then told to close and member arrested for ‘inciting religious clashes’

Ethiopia: church attacked, then told to close and member arrested for ‘inciting religious clashes’

A Pentecostal church in Ethiopia has been ordered to stop meeting in a residential area, in the wake of a mob attack on the church, after which a church member was arrested for “illegal activities” that “incited religious clashes”. The Full Gospel Church in Tikil Dingaye, 20km from the historic […]

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Ethiopian state considers restricting ‘Christian activity’ to church buildings

Ethiopian state considers restricting ‘Christian activity’ to church buildings

Ethiopia’s northern Tigray State is considering adopting a new law that would restrict Christian activities to within official church compounds, rendering illegal the activities of smaller churches that do not own their own buildings and gather in houses. The law, if passed, would most affect Christians from outside the Ethiopian […]

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