Who lives in Ethiopia?
The main ethnic groups represented in this land-locked country of East Africa are the Oromo (occupying the southern region and extending into Kenya) and the Amharic occupying the northwest highlands. While these are only two of the eighty ethnic groups represented in Ethiopia, they are the largest and make up over 60% of the population. Because previous political leadership encouraged ethnic division, there has been tension between these groups for years causing many small feuds and climactic wars over time. This tension is also visible within larger denominational churches.
What is there to know about Ethiopia?
A few short months after the Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed was given the regional Nobel Peace Prize for bringing peace to Ethiopia and Eritrea, he ordered the military into the Tigray region, northwest Ethiopia that borders Eritrea.1 These orders are directly related to underlying economic, ethnic, and political tensions. While the Prime Minister offered hope of a quick resolution, eight months at war left thousands dead and many taking refuge in Sudan. Others fled their homes but are still within the borders of Ethiopia, some in refugee camps, while others try to survive alone.2 Many women and girls have been raped and brutally abused as soldiers try to wield their power over the region’s political authorities.3
On June 28, 2021, Prime Minister Ahmed called for a unilateral ceasefire because of all the humanitarian needs and displacement of families in the war-torn areas. Girma Bekele calls the ceasefire “an opportunity for re-thinking the conflict”, and later adds that it would be “unjust and immoral to deny the historical reality of the TPLF’s [regional political authorities] major share of the responsibility of human suffering in [Ethiopia]” while also admitting that “selective and preferential justice doesn’t heal a nation”.4
How can I help in Ethiopia?
The Tigray region is mainly unreached with the HOPE of the Gospel.
The regional government system has often been harsh on churches outside the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. This region and Ethiopia at large are in great need of the Gospel! We began airing the GOOD NEWS to the Amharic-speaking people in April of 1999 and to the Oromo-speaking people in October of 2004. The HOH program still airs to bring HOPE to the many souls weary from war and ethnic tensions that rage around them.
A Word from Ethiopian listeners:
“I live in the Northern part of Ethiopia where most are dominated by tradition and conservative Orthodox religion. I am a protestant follower and am happy to be a regular listener of Heralds of Hope Amharic radio program. This program presents educative spiritual teachings. It teaches us that Jesus Christ is our Hope and Savior. Really, you present the real messages that all human beings should hear and listen to. We live in the world where things became complicated. The solution for all the challenges we are facing right now will only be found in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Heralds of Hope Amharic program is very vital for my spiritual life. You are teaching the pure Word of God that helps us to grow. God bless you!”
“Dear Heralds of Hope, thank you for your encouraging messages and the teachings on the book of Genesis. In our place, due to political reasons a lot of people are killed and abused physically and sexually. We cannot do anything to help these people, because we are afraid for our own lives. There is no church, a place where we got relief, we only have you. Please pray for us and encourage us through your radio programs. We can only tell you of our grief and deep sorrow!”
“I am an evangelist and Heralds of Hope radio program helps me to understand the Gospel well. Also, I invite unbelievers and discuss with them about Jesus. Please pray for my spiritual life to be strengthened so that I witness Jesus to people in my village. I need prayers to grow in my faith and to be renewed in my hope and serve the Lord faithfully.”
“We are a family of eighteen! Our father is blind and we are following traditional religion. We did not hear about God before. And now we listen to Heralds of Hope program every day. We learn to trust God from this program.”
These broadcasts are not fully funded, please consider donating to help many Amharic’s and Oromo’s hear the HOPE of the Gospel.
If your business or church would like to sponsor a broadcast to a specific area or language, please call our office, toll-free: 1.866.960.0292 or send us an email.
Sources: Pastor Mulugeta
4. “A Time to Reread the Narrative about Ethiopia and Move Towards Healing Dialogue” by Girma Bekele, PhD
– Luronda Hege