Ethiopia
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Orthodox

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Orthodox (39.1%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Ethiopia Eastern Africa World
Christian (all denominations combined) 63.5% 65.3% 29.9%
 
  • Orthodox
  • 39.1% 10.7% 3%
     
  • Protestant
  • 21% 15.8% 5.6%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 2.8% 8.9% 2.8%
     
  • Catholic
  • 0.7% 20.1% 15%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • < 0.1% 2.7% 2.3%
    Muslim (all denominations combined) 34.6% 22.1% 22.8%
     
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 33.7% 19.8% 19%
     
  • Shia Muslim
  • 0.8% 1.4% 3.4%
    Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist) 1.4% 8.7% 2.5%
    Other Religionist < 0.1% 0.1% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 0.1% 0.5% 12%
    Unknown 0.3% 1.2% 4.8%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 472,000 square miles, and a population of 77 million. An estimated 40 to 45 percent of the population belongs to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC), which is predominant in the northern regions of Tigray and Amhara.

    Approximately 45 percent of the population is Sunni Muslim, of which the overwhelming majority is Sufi. Islam is most prevalent in the eastern Somali and Afar regions, as well as in many parts of Oromiya.

    Christian evangelical and Pentecostal groups constitute an estimated 10 percent of the population. Established Protestant churches such as Mekane Yesus and the Kale Hiwot are strongest in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Regional State (SNNPR); western and central Oromiya; and in urban areas. In Gambella region, Mekane Yesus followers represent 60 percent of the population. The Evangelical Church Fellowship claims 23 denominations under its religious umbrella throughout the country.

    There are small numbers of Oriental Rite and Latin Rite Roman Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews, animists, and practitioners of traditional indigenous religions.

    The country has a small Falash Mura community. Falash Mura are being processed for immigration to Israel, and the number remaining is dwindling rapidly. The Israeli Government is expected to finalize immigration of the remaining Falash Mura in 2008. Many additional individuals claiming to be Falash Mura are also seeking immigration to Israel, but many appear to be economic immigrants rather than genuine Falash Mura. The Government is cooperating with the Government of Israel to facilitate emigration of the remaining Falash Mura community.


    Sources

    1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

    3.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

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