People Group Profiles

“All nations will come and worship before you."

- Revelations 15:4

Ethiopian, Amhara of Canada

People Group Info

Total Population: 10,760

ROP3 Code: 100293
IMB Affinity Group: North African and Middle Eastern Peoples
Affinity Bloc: Horn of Africa
People Cluster: Ethio-Semitic
Language: Amharic - (amh)
Religion: Christianity - Orthodox
Country of Origin: Ethiopia

Photo courtesy of Joshua Project.
By Anonymous

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Brief Profile

The Ethiopian Amhara people originated from Ethiopia and neighboring countries Eritrea and Djibouti. They come from the same descendants as the Tigray-Tigrinya people (see Ethiopian, Tigrinya).

Amharic, the language of the Amhara, shows its Semitic origin both in its alphabet and words shared with Hebrew and Arabic.

Amharic is descended from Ge'ez, a language extinct since the middle ages. Ge'ez developed from the original Sabaean language, changing through the influence of the non-Semitic languages of the earlier peoples.

The Bible is sometimes read in Ge'ez in the Coptic Church. A modern translation is available now in Amharic.

Coming from a Semitic ancestry background, they became a unique people as they intermarried and absorbed some of the Cushitic peoples who preceded them. There was a strong Oromo (see Ethiopian, Oromo) strain in the royal family and nobles.

Since its introduction in the fourth century and the establishment of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Christianity has been a part of everyday life in Ethiopia. In fact, their ethnic identity is intrinsically tied to their religious identity. The majority of Ethiopian Amhara are Coptic Orthodox Christians. A smaller percentage are Muslim.

Ethiopian coffee, enjoyed throughout the world, is the Ethiopia’s main export. A good connection point with an owner or another worker in an Ethiopian restaurant is enjoying their food and asking to have a coffee ceremony, a treat in itself especially if the burning of frankincense is a part of the ceremony.

Prayer Points

  • Pray that God will send Christians to minister to the felt needs of Amharic people.
  • Pray that Christians will share a contextualized message of the gospel and plant churches among the Amharic.

Learning Resources

Learn more about "Learning Paths"
Online Courses for embracing, encountering and engaging diaspora people. Work at your own pace. Begin anytime and complete the course according to your schedule. Interactive, Hands-On Application.

Learn more about "Reaching the Nations"
This book delineates five disciplines Christians should develop in order to effectively reach the nations. More specifically, it will guide Christians to develop an engagement strategy in their locale.

World Religions - Beliefs Overview
An overview of major world religions and cults - their beliefs and practices.

Other Resources

Know God in 98 Languages
A CRU resource with 9 different witnessing models (e.g. 4 Spiritual Laws, etc.) in 98 languages.

Prayer Guide for Unreached Peoples
A 30 day guide to pray for unreached people groups.

Online Talking Bible - Amharic
The purpose of Talking Bibles is to give non-readers and the blind access to the Bible in their native language.

Prayer Guide using the GOSPELS acronym
A prayer guide that utilizes the acronym GOSPELS to pray for workers among diaspora.

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