Religious beliefs in Ethiopia

A lot of religion is practiced in Ethiopia, of which Christianity and Islam are the predominant religions. Other religion includes Animism, Protestants, Judaism, Bahá'í Faith, Jehovah’s Witnesses and others.

Christianity is the predominant religion in Ethiopia with a total of 61.6% of the population. Of the 61.6 %, 50.6 % are from the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. The rest of the percentages are Protestant denominations and Ethiopian Catholics. Ethiopia is the oldest Christian state in the world and the country was said to be converted during the 4th century AD when St. Frumentius of Tyre converted King Ezana of Axum. Next to Christianity is the Islam religion, which comprises over 33.9% or 29 million people. Most Islam believers in Ethiopia belong to Sunni and a few belong to various Sufi orders. It is dominant in regions of Somali, Afar and Oromia.

The African Jews in Ethiopia are one of the most isolated groups in the country although they have lived in the place since the ancient times. Also known as the Beta Israel, the existence of the group was not commonly known and the same way the group did not know of the existence of any Jewish community aside from their own. It was only during the 19th and 20th centuries that the world recognized their existence and the Israeli government airlifted them from Ethiopia to Israel.

Furthermore, a small percentage of the Ethiopian population believes in Animism, a religious idea that souls does not only exist in humans but also in other inanimate objects such as rocks, animals and natural phenomena. Another minor religion is the Bahá'í Faith; it began during the 1916 when `Abdu'l-Bahá supported the acceptance of the religion in Africa. This monotheistic religion was founded in 19th century Persia; it gives emphasis to the spiritual unity of all humankind.