Semitic Origin 45%. 8 peoples
Amhara 17.7 mill. (North and Central Highlands)
Tigray 6.09m (North and also Eritrea)
Gurage 2.73m (6 major dialects, South Highlands)
Adare/Harari 125,000 (3 groups)
Arab 231,000.

A few thousand Black Jews (Falasha) mainly Christians; over 70,000 airlifted to Israel.

42.2%. 25 peoples, the largest
Oromo 18.2M in a dozen tribal divisions in Central and southern Ethiopia
Somali 2.38M in east
Sidamo 1.85M
Hadiyya 945,000
Afar 857,000
Agew 720,000
Gedeo 670,000
Kambaata 638,000
Konso 138,000
Gawwada 77,000.

11.3%. Over 25 peoples in south and southwest
Wolaytta 1.6m
Gamo-Kullo 682,000
Keffa 651,000
Goffa 223,000
Bench(Gimira) 181,000
Yemsa 170,000
Aari 162,000
Basketo 67,000
Hamer-Banna 50,000.

1.2%. Over 20 peoples in south and west
Me’en 74,000
Gumuz 50,000
Bertha 50,000
Anuak 45,000
Nuer 40,000
Komo 38,000
Murle 9,000


Literacy 36%

National working language Amharic; 65% of population are able to speak it.


North Ethiopia was one of the first Christian nations, dating from the 4th Century. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church was the State Church from 1270 until the 1974 revolution. The Marxist regime persecuted Christians, especially Evangelicals. Many church buildings were destroyed and congregations scattered. However, since 1991 there has been unprecedented freedom for worship and witness. The government now seeks to deal even-handedly with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the increasingly active and growing Muslim minority.

Religion type:                                     % of population        Approx number

Christian                                                     65.02                          40,679,682

Muslim                                                        31.00                          19,395,111

Traditional ethnic                                      2.98                            1,864,433

Non-Religious other                                  1.00                            625,649

Prayer Needs

  1. Pray for wisdom, humility, courage and a seeking after God among those in government leadership and for peace and the right climate to bring about change for the better.
  2. Pray the rapid spread of the use of Scriptures and growth of Protestant denominations has led to both millions of defections and the emergence of strong evangelical and charismatic network to continue.
  3. Pray for a deep work of the Holy Spirit to bring the Orthodox Church to its biblical heritage and to new life.
  4. Pray for revival and growth not to be quenched by carnality, division and power-seeking in leadership.
  5. Pray for development of effective means for generating income to support men and women in the service of the Lord, develop the structures and facilities needed and fund social programs essential in the prevailing deep poverty.
  6. Pray for a definite prayer mobilization that will lead to breakthroughs among Muslim peoples and frustration of Islamic strategies.


Area: 1,106,000 square kilometers

Fertile mountain plateau surrounded by the drought-prone lowlands and deserts of the Red Sea coast, and borders on Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya and Sudan. It is landlocked as a result of the secession of Eritrea.

Major Cities:

Addis Ababa – capital                                                          2,650,000.

Urbanites                                                                               11.5%.


The main export is coffee – believed to have originated in Ethiopia. The government has initiated wide-ranging reforms and is developing the communications network. This follows decades of underdevelopment due to wars and famine. Periodic droughts and the 1998-2000 war with Eritrea have slowed economic development. Unemployment is over 35%.