Three groups have increased their persecution of Christians in Ethiopia. Those groups are radicalized Oromo Muslims in the south; Ethiopian Orthodox Church (or “traditional Christians”) in the north, and Somali Islamic nationalists in the east:
- Christians have been severely beaten, sometimes beheaded, and their churches, homes and businesses devastated in attacks in the southern region, which is about 60% Muslim.
- Ninety-seven percent of people in the northern and northwestern regions belong to the EOC, whose teachings are extremely different from biblical Christianity. Those who do not adhere to EOC teachings face persecution.
- Almost 5 million Somalis fled their country and many settled in eastern Ethiopia, bringing with them Islamic nationalism. Somalis who become Christians risk being beaten, ostracized or killed.
Regardless, Christians in Ethiopia continue to love their enemies and tell others about Jesus Christ, states Voice of the Martyrs, a group defending persecuted Christians.
Ethiopia is No. 36 on Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.