Sidama in Ethiopia

Joshua Project has identified the Sidama only in Ethiopia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Sidama live between Awasa town in the north and Dilla town in the south, spread out in a cone-shaped area of the middle of southern Ethiopia. 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.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Sidama
People Name in Country Sidama
Population in Ethiopia 4,184,000
World Population 4,184,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Sidamo
Affinity Bloc Horn of Africa Peoples
People Cluster Omotic
People Name General Sidama
Ethnic Code CMT33d
People ID 14630
Country Ethiopia
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 22  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country South central, Sidamo zone, northeast of Lake Abaya and southeast of Lake Awasa.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Sidamo (4,184,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Sidamo 4,184,000
For Primary Language: Sidamo

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1933-2007)
New Testament Yes   (1990)
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film: view in Sidamo Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
Oral Bible Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Orthodox

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 86.00 %)
91.00 %
Ethnic Religions
3.00 %
0.00 %
6.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
70.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
30.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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