Histories of Christianity in Ethiopia

(1) General Introduction

Getachew Haile. “Ethiopia,” in Religion Past and Present: Encyclopedia of Theology and Religion, vol. 4, edited by D. Betz et al. Leiden and Boston: E. J. Brill, 2004. [German original: “Äthiopien” in Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 4th ed., vol. 1, ed. by H.D. Betz et al., col. 889‒94. Tübingen (Germany): Mohr Siebeck, 1998.]

Hastings, Adrian. The Church in Africa: 1450‒1950 (The Oxford History of the Christian Church). Oxford (UK): Clarendon Press, 1994.
[Google Books; on Ethiopia see esp. chapters 1, 4 and 6]

Sundkler, Bengt, and Christopher Steed. A History of the Church in Africa. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press, 2000.
[Google Books; On Ethiopia, see esp. p. 34ff, 73ff, 150‒68, 694‒99, 927‒31]

(2) History of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Elli, Alberto. Storia della Chiesa Ortodossa Tawāḥedo d’Etiopia. 2 vols. Milano (Italy): Edizioni Terra Santa, 2017. [Google Books]

Esler, Philip F. Ethiopian Christianity: History, Theology, Practice. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2019. [Baylor]

Getachew Haile, ed. and tr. Teaching and Tradition of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Older Amharic. (Supplement to Aethiopica. International Journal of Ethiopian and Eritrean Studies 9). Wiesbaden (Germany): Harrassowitz, 2021. [Open Access publication]

Paulau, Stanislau. Das andere Christentum: Zur transkonfessionellen Verflechtungsgeschichte von äthiopischer Orthodoxie und europäischem Protestantismus (Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Europäische Geschichte Mainz, Abteilung für Abendländische Religionsgeschichte 262). Göttingen (Germany): Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 2020. [Online]

» Use deepl.com or a similar service
if you want an English translation

Paulau, Stanislau, and Martin Tamcke, eds. Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity in a Global Context: Entanglements and Disconnections (Texts and Studies in Eastern Christianity 24) Leiden (Netherlands): Brill, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004505254

Seblewengel Daniel. Perception and Identity: A Study of the Relationship between the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Evangelical Churches in Ethiopia. Carlisle, Cumbria (UK): Langham Monographs, 2019. [Google Books]

Taddesse Tamrat. Church and State in Ethiopia 1270‒1527 (Oxford Studies in African Affairs). Oxford (UK): Clarendon Press, 1972. [Internet Archive]

» In addition, see the respective bibliography
in the Vignette and Liturgy sections

(3) History of the Evangelical Movement

3.1 Pathbreaking analysis

Tibebe Eshete. The Evangelical Movement in Ethiopia: Resistance and Resilience. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2009. [2nd ed. 2017; Baylor]

3.2 Specific aspects

Ahrens, Christel, and Ebise Ashana, eds. In Memory of Them: Women witnessing to Christ in Ethiopia (1870‒2019) (Contributions to Mission Studies/Intercultural Theology 48). Zürich (Switzerland): LIT Verlag, 2020. [Google Books]

  • Oromo edition: Christel Ahrens and Ebisee Ashanaa, eds. Seenaa isaaniitiif in dubbatama: Lixa Itoophiyaa keessatti dubartoota Kristosiif dhugaa ba’an. Oslo [(Norway:) R-Media?], 2021.

Arén, Gustav. Evangelical Pioneers in Ethiopia: Origins of the Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (Studia Missionalia Upsaliensia 32). Stockholm (Sweden): EFS förlaget; Addis Ababa: Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, 1978. [View online]

—. Envoys of the Gospel in Ethiopia: In the Steps of the Evangelical Pioneers 1898‒1936 (Studia Missionalia Upsaliensis 75). Stockholm: EFS förlaget; Addis Ababa: The [Ethiopian] Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, 1999. [View online]

Bakke, Johnny. Christian Ministry: Patterns and Functions within the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (Studia missionalia Upsaliensia 44). Oslo (Norway): Solum Forlag; Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1987. [Search on BookFinder]

Balisky, E. Paul. Wolaitta Evangelists: A Study of Religious Innovation in Southern Ethiopia, 1937‒1975 (American Society of Missiology Monograph Series 6). Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2009. [Google Books]

Bascom, Kay. Overcomers: God’s Deliverance through the Ethiopian Revolution as Witnessed Primarily by the Kale Heywet Church Community (Christians under Pressure: Studies in Discrimination and Persecution 2). Bonn (Germany): Culture and Science Publ., 2018. [PDF version]

Cenerini, Stefano. “First Evangelization of the Anyuak.” Paper to be read at the 21st ICES, Addis Ababa, 2022. [Proceedings forthcoming]

  • Summary of id., First Evangelization of the Anyuak. Addis Ababa: Addis Ababa Univ. Printing House, 2018. [185 pp.; ISBN: 9994472720, 9789994472727]

Cumbers, John. Count It All Joy: Testimonies From A Persecuted Church. Kearney, NE: Morris, 1995. [BookFinder]

Daniel Worku Kebede. “Women in the Ethiopian Pentecostal Movement,” Journal of Pentecostal Theology (published online ahead of print 2022). https://doi.org/10.1163/17455251-bja10033

Debela Birri. Divine Plan Unfolding: The Story of Ethiopian Evangelical Church Bethel. Minneapolis, MN: Lutheran Univ. Press, 2014. [Amazon]

Egeland, Erik. Christianity, Generation and Narrative: Religious Conversion and Change in Sidama, Ethiopia, 1974‒2012 (Studia Missionalia Svecana 116). Uppsala: Uppsala University, Department of Theology, 2016. [DiVA Record]

Eide, Øyvind E. Revolution & Religion in Ethiopia: The Growth and Persecution of the Mekane Yesus Church 1974‒85. Rev. edition (Eastern African Studies). Oxford (UK): James Currey; Athens: Ohio Univ. Press; Addis Ababa: Addis Ababa Univ. Press, 2000. [BookFinder]

Fargher, Brian L. The Origins of the New Churches Movement in Southern Ethiopia, 1927‒1944 (Studies on Religion in Africa 16). Leiden (Netherlands) and New York, NY: E.J. Brill, 1996. [Google Books]

Fekadu Gurmessa. Evangelical Faith Movement in Ethiopia: Origins and Establishment of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus. Translated and edited by Ezekiel Gebissa. Minneapolis, MN: Lutheran University Press, 2009. [Amazon]

Grenstedt, Staffan. Ambaricho and Shonkolla. From Local Independent Church to the Evangelical Mainstream in Ethiopia. The Origins of the Mekane Yesus Church in Kambata Hadiya (Studia Missionalia Svecana 82). Uppsala: Swedish Institute of Missionary Research, 2000. [DIVA Portal]

Haustein, Jörg. “Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity in Ethiopia: A Historical Introduction to a Largely Unexplored Movement,” in Multidisciplinary Views on the Horn of Africa (Studien zum Horn von Afrika 1), ed. H. Elliesie, p. 109‒27. Köln (Germany): R. Köppe, 2014. [Academia.edu]

Hege, Nathan B. Beyond Our Prayers: Anabaptist Church Growth in Ethiopia, 1948‒1998. Scottdale, PA and Waterloo: Herald Press, 1998. [On Meserete Kristos Church; BookFinder]

Hjort, Bengt, Mekonnen Gerremew, and Rune Imberg. Joint Endeavour in the Work for the Gospel: The Background, Formation and Development of the Ethiopian Evangelical Lutheran Church. Part 1: The Pioneer Period 1921‒1935. Stockholm: Books on Demand, 2022. [Sample on Amazon.com (Kindle)]

Launhardt, Johannes. Evangelicals in Addis Ababa (1919‒1991): With special reference to the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus and the Addis Ababa Synod (Studien zur Orientalischen Kirchengeschichte 31). Münster (Germany): LIT Verlag, 2004. [Lit Verlag]

Rønne, Finn Aa. Kontinuitet og forandring: Opkomsten og udviklingen af protestantisk kristendom i Kambaataa-Hadiyya, Etiopien – 1928 til 1974 [Continuity and Change: The Rise and Development of Protestant Christianity in Kambaataa-Hadiyya, Ethiopia 1928 to 1974]Copenhagen (Denmark): Akademisk Forlag, 2002. [English summary on p. 466‒73]

Samuel Handamo and Addise Amado, eds. Yewengel tarik behadiyana akababiw [የወንጌል ታሪክ በሐዲያና አካባቢው, The history of the Gospel in Hadiyya and its surroundings]. Addis Ababa, 2022. [Copies available at the zonal Kale Heywet Church office at Bobicho near Hossana and in Addis Ababa]

Tole, Arne. Sidama and Ethiopian: The emergence of the Mekane Yesus Church in Sidama (Studia Missionalia Upsaliensia 69). Uppsala (Sweden): Uppsala University, 1998.

Wondiye Ali. Bämäkära wəsṭ yabäbäč betä krəstiyan [በመከራ ውስጥ ያበበች ቤተ ክርስቲያን, A church blooming in hardship: The history of the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church; vol. 1: 1920‒1933 A.M. (1928‒41 A.D.)]. Addis Ababa: Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church Literature Department, 1998. [Download from Good Amharic Books]

—. Yä’əkulä lelit wägägta [የእኩለ ሌሊት ወገግታ, Awakening at midnight: The history of the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church; vol. 2: 1934‒1966 A.M. (1942‒74 A.D.)]. Addis Ababa: Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church Literature Department, 2000. [Download from Good Amharic Books]

3.2 Video

» Watch documentary on Lutheran mission work
(released around 1964)

(4) Churches not affiliated with the Evangelical Churches Fellowship of Ethiopia

» See the respective bibliography
in the Vignette sections
[Catholic, Adventist, Oneness Pentecostalism]
and Liturgy sections
[Catholic Ethiopian rite, Catholic Western rite]

Further reading

Abbink, Jan. A Bibliography of Christianity in Ethiopia (ASC Working Paper 52). Leiden (Netherlands): African Studies Centre, 2003. [View online]

Gitau, Wanjiru M., and Mark A. Lamport, eds. Globalizing Legacies: The Intermingling Story of Christianity in Africa. Introduction by M. Shaw. (The Global Story of Christianity Series: History, Context, and Communities 3). Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2023. [Google Books]

Krebs, Verena. Medieval Ethiopian Kingship, Craft, and Diplomacy with Latin Europe. Cham (Switzerland): Palgrave Macmillan, 2021. [Google Books]

Skreslet, Stanley H. Constructing Mission History: Missionary Initiative and Indigenous Agency in the Making of World Christianity. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2023. [Google Books]