VOlUME 04 ISSUE 06 JUNE 2021
The Expansion of Protestantism and Culture Change among Gedeo
Eshettu Tesfaye Retta
Assistant Professor, Department of History and Heritage Management, Wolaita Sodo University, P.O. Box: 138, Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia

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This paper was primarly concerned with the expansion of Protestantism and culture change among the Gedeo people. It attempted to document the coming of branches of Christianity and their methods of expansion and the conversion of the people. Special emphasis is given to examine the impacts of expansion of Protestantism on the Gedeo traditional culture. The researcher employed qualitative paradigm; primary data were collected by formal and informal interview, document analysis, the use of oral tradition and secondary sources such as reports, journals and electronics media. Finally, the collected sources will be cross-checked and analyzed by using content narrating and descriptive method. Based on the study findings and analysis, it is deduced that, in the study area, before the introduction of Christianity, most of the people practiced indigenous belief known as Maganno, literally meant the “Sky God”. Mainly, the research reveals that Christianity arrived among the Gedeo before a century ago, following the conquest of the area by Emperor Menilek’s force. Protestantism expanded in the area by convincing method of donations and often by pulling factors that attract the people from traditional religion to Protestantism. The then general contextual background: political oppression, low economic status, lack of infrastructures, the event of epidemic and other world historical incidents have contributed to the peoples’ active conversion to Protestantism. The mass conversion of the people resulted in creating new spiritual orientations, which brought hollistic change, including the missing of indigenous cultural practices. Accordingly, the Gedeo indigenous culture was changed in many aspects: social customs, material cultures, oral literature and verbal arts or oral performance.


Protestantism, Culture, Orthodox Church, Traditional Religion, Change, Gedeo, Kale-Hiwot and Mekane Yesus


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VOlUME 04 ISSUE 06 JUNE 2021

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