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Sidama in Ethiopia


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Sidama in Ethiopia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
4,717,000 Sidamo Christianity 95.00 % 86.12 % No   

Sidama in Ethiopia

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Introduction / History
The Sidama live between Shashamane town in the north and Dilla town in the south, spread out in a cone-shaped area of the middle of southern Ethiopia. Hawassa is a "capital city" for the group. A major asphalt road stretches from north to south in Sidama and the remaining roads are dirt/rock. Sidama is generally a fertile area, varying from flat land (warm to hot) to highland (warm to cold). Economically, most are subsistence farmers. Cattle especially, are a measure of wealth. Sidama is a major coffee growing area with it's prized coffee found on the world market. The false banana or "enset", along with maize, as well as fermented cows' milk and butter, are the major staple foods of the Sidama and are found in most yards. Awasa, the people group's as well as region's main center, is the largest city, with a population of about 300,000 people. Since the end of the Communist regime in 1992, the population has grown tremendously and there is a resulting considerable strain on schools and job availability. There is also a pattern of urban migration, especially to Awasa and even abroad, in search of education and jobs.

The Sidama were evangelized in the early-mid 1900s by Kambata Christians and later, by Norwegian and Danish Lutheran and SIM missionaries. The first Kambata missionaries were martyred by the Sidama, but the Kambata persevered and finally, a small group of Sidama Christians resulted. Now, Sidama is largely Christian including a number of Orthodox. Nearly a tenth are Muslim, non-Christian cults, and traditional religionists. The main churches, in order of size are: Mekane Yesus (Scandinavian Lutheran roots), Kale Hiwot (SIM, Baptist roots), Orthodox, Hiwot Birhan (Swedish/Finnish Pentacostal roots), Mulu Wengel (Full Gospel roots), and Catholic.

Over the past 10-15 years, most Protestent churches have adopted a charismatic/pentecostal, style of worship. Youth choirs are influential in the church and keyboards are the choice of musical instruments of church worship.

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Country: Ethiopia
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, East and Southern
Persecution Rank:39 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:South central, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ region: northeast of Lake Abaya; Oromia region: southeast of Lake Awasa.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Sidama
People Name General: Sidama
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 108499
Joshua Project People ID: 14630
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 4,717,000
Population all Countries: 4,717,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Horn of Africa Peoples
People Cluster: Omotic
People Name General: Sidama
Ethnic Code: CMT33d
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Sidamo (4,717,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): sid    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Sub-division:Protestant
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity95.00 %(Evangelical: 86.12 %)
Ethnic Religions3.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam2.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant100.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have a significant presence.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 6   Greater than or equal to 10% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1933-2007
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 2015
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsOral Bible
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Sidamo
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Sidama in Ethiopia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Omotic     Africa, East and Southern    
      Sidama Ethiopia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Sidama in Ethiopia          
      Religion Language  
      Christianity     Sidamo  
    All Religions                              

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