The Introduction and Expansion of Protestant Christianity in Wondo Genet Woreda and Its Surroundings, 1928-1991

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Addis Ababa University


The general objective of the research was to construct the history of introduction and expansion of Protestant Christianity in Wondo Genet area in the period from 1948 to 1991. The study mainly focuses on the way Protestant Christianity was introduced in the study area and the local converts and expansion of the religion. In addition, the socio- economic influences of the religion in the area as well as Challenges and persecutions of the adherents of the Churches in the time of the Imperial and Derg regimes. A qualitative methodological approach is employed in eliciting information from different sources on the subject in question. The study relied on primary and secondary sources. Among the primary sources: archival materials, unstructured interview from different group of informants, such as early missionaries, evangelists and local converts, elders, Church leaders, government officials. Magazines, newspapers published and unpublished materials used as a secondary source from library and internet. Finally, the collected sources crossed-checked and analyzed by using content narrating and describing method. Based on the study findings and analysis, the study suggested that in the study area before the introduction of Christianity, most of the people practiced different traditional beliefs. Orthodox Christianity was the first to be introduced in the area in 1896. After the Orthodox Christianity the next Christian Church planted in Wondo Genet was the MekaneYesus Church followed by Kale Hiwot and Hiwot Birhan Churches. During the expansion of Protestantism, Churches faced both internal and external challenges but the challenges did not stop the expansion of Protestantism. Before the introduction of Christianity to the area, there was continuous clan conflict. However, after the spread of the new faith, the People became peace seeker and clan conflict and violence in the area is diminished.