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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hamer, John H.
This article analyses the conversion process and the experiences of the Sid�ma, in being proselytised by Protestant missionaries in an attempt to integrate them into the modernising Ethiopian state. The conversion process is considered in terms of reasons for accepting or rejecting the new religion. A minority of Sidama are shown to have changed from old beliefs and practices, partly because of the ease of moral reinterpretation and secular incentives, but primarily because of dissatisfaction with reciprocal exchange relations with indigenous spirits and a desire to transcend the finality of death. In advancing this proposition it rejects the possibility of Sidama beliefs as constituting a closed system of cosmology. Though Islam is also present in the region, for political and economic reasons it has been less attractive to prospective converts than Christianity.
Read more on: http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/9751648/religious-conversion-process-among-sidama-north-east-africa

The present work belongs to local African church history and international mission history.The author shows why and how the Sidama people in south Ethiopia became part of theevangelical movement. During the last hundred years this group has experienced a lot ofchanges, incorporated in the greater Ethiopia, being influenced by the internationalmissionary movement, occupied by an European power and becoming a part of themodernising movement.
As a result of all the changes and impulses the people faced, the Sidama to a great extendturned away from their traditional worldview and practices including their religion andaccepted the Christian Evangelical faith.
The origin and the development that led to the foundation of the Ethiopian EvangelicalChurch Mekane Yesus in Sidama are described, as part of the local church history. Theauthor wants to underline how political, social and cultural presuppositions paved the wayfor the church. On the other hand the Christian message through the evangelical movement had an impact on the political, social and cultural development in Sidamaland. Obviously the Sidamas used the missionary movement as a vehicle for progress.
On the basis of literature, archive studies and field research the author describes how theSidama people, in spite of strong opposition from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and locallandlords, welcomed and shaped an Ethiopian evangelism including education as well ashealth programmes.