Area: 1,106,000 sq km
Fertile, mountain plateau surrounded by the drought-prone lowlands and deserts of the Red Sea coast; borders on Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya and Sudan. Landlocked since the secession of Eritrea.
Population: 84,975,606 Annual Growth: 2.62%
Capital: Addis Ababa
Official language: Amharic; majority of the population are able to speak it; English widely taught. Regional languages are very important Languages: 88 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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The Bible is increasingly distributed and read; demand far outstrips supply. New translation projects are springing up amid several of the many languages. Access to the Bible in the Orthodox Church has brought tens of thousands into living faith in Christ. Increasingly, Orthodox churches are seeing the Spirit move, and they are relating more amicably with other Christian groups, including Catholics and evangelicals.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is enduring a time of immense change. Centuries of isolation from the rest of the Christian world as a Christian island in a sea of Islam helped form its unique culture, theology and traditions.
a) It had to adjust to losing political privilege under Communism, which has only been partially restored since 1990. Syncretism and superstitions are widespread among millions of the more nominal Orthodox.
b) The rapid spread of the use of Scriptures and the growth of Protestant denominations led to millions of defections and the emergence of strong evangelical and charismatic networks within the Orthodox Church. Orthodoxy is learning to find common ground with evangelicals while retaining its own unique character.
c) Pray for a deep work of the Holy Spirit to revitalize this ancient Church, its biblical heritage and its spiritual legacy.
For an additional 10 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Ethiopia.