Haile Selassie, in his decree in 1944, prohibited missionaries from attempting to convert Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, and they had little success in proselytizing among Muslims.
During the time, the focus of most missionaries was on adherents of local religions–but still with only small success. In the 1960s, there were about 900 foreign missionaries in Ethiopia, however many were layperson.
One obstruction to the missions’ achievement in the rural areas may have been the imperial government’s insistence that Amharic be used as the medium of religious instruction except in the earliest stages of missionary activity.
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Tags: Catholic·Christians·church·Ethiopia·Ethiopian Evangelical Church·Evangelical Believers·Keywords: missionaries·Mekane Yesus·Orthodox Church·protestant·Seventh-Day Adventists·Sudan Interior Mission
Until 1974, The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, an independent Christian Church headed by a patriarch and closely related to the Coptic Church of Egypt, was the state church of Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the only pre-colonial Christian church of Sub-Saharan Africa, it has a membership of about 40 million people (45 million asserted by the Patriarch), mainly in Ethiopia, and is therefore the largest of all Oriental Orthodox churches. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Ethiopia).
About 58 percent of the people of Ethiopia are Christians, and Christianity is predominant in the highlands.
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Tags: Aksum·animists·Beta Israel·Christianity·church of Ethiopia·Ethiopia·Ethiopia's Christians·Falashas·Judaism·Keywords: Orthodox Tewahedo Church·Muslim·Oriental Orthodox churches·rock-hewn churches