From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Oromo people: Who are they?

Oromo Queen and Son  (UK Archives)
Because the Oromo people of Ethiopia have been abused for so long, they appear in some (but not enough) whistle-blowing headlines.

The latest involves 53 Oromo deaths from a stampede at their religious Irreechaa festival. This stampede was incited by “troublemakers” that physically attacked Oromo elders who
made “their way to the stage to say their blessings for the new year.”

Imagine that occurring at a Christmas service in a Western country.  The uproar would be deafening. However, the routine persecution of Oromo people often goes unreported.

Wikipedia explains that Oromos constitute a majority of 38 million “in Ethiopia and the wider horn of Africa.”  Oromos accounted for approximately 40% of Ethiopia’s 2015 census, and have lived in that region “for several millennia.”

Today only about 3% of the Oromo people adhere to their traditional religion (in which God is called Waaq, aka Waq or Waaqa).  The 2007 Ethiopian census revealed that the majority are Muslims, and that “Protestant Christianity is the fastest growing religion inside the Oromo community.”

Well-known Oromos include athletes Adebe Bikila, Kenenisa Bekele, Deratu Tulu, Fatuma Roba, Tirunesh Dibaba and Feyisa Lilesa.  Other notables include General Ras Gobana Dacche, Emperor Haile Selassie, President Mulatu Teshome and Poet Laureate Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin.   


Copyright October 4, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment