A study has found that Orthodox Ethiopians have much higher levels of religious commitment than Orthodox Christians in Central and Eastern Europe.
Data from the Pew Research Center revealed that nearly all Orthodox Ethiopians (98 per cent) said religion is very important to them,
compared with a median of 34 per cent of Orthodox which said this across 13 countries surveyed in Central and Eastern Europe.
About three-quarters of Orthodox Ethiopians also said they attend church every week, compared with a median of just 10 per cent in Central and Eastern Europe.
While Russia has the largest Orthodox population in the world, just 6 per cent in the country said they attended church on a weekly basis.
The East African nation, which with 36 million Orthodox Christians make it the world’s second-largest Orthodox population are also more likely than Orthodox Christians in Central and Eastern Europe to wear religious symbols (93 per cent vs 64 per cent), to say they believe in God with absolute certainty (89 per cent vs 56 per cent), and to tithe (57 per cent vs 14 per cent).
According to the Pew Research Center, Orthodox Christians have been declining as a share of the overall global Christian population due to far faster growth among Protestants, Catholics and non-Christians.
However, in sharp contrast the Ethiopian Orthodox community “is highly observant and growing”.