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In light of their own interpretations, the Ethiopian Pentecostal church claims origins from Philip the Evangelist.(The mainstream Orthodox Church has claimed its earliest origins from the Ethiopian royal official said to have been baptised by Philip in Acts 9 .) However, every branch of the Evangelical community, including Mekane Yesus & Qale Hiywet, has its own unique beginning both in Ethiopia (19th-20th centuries) and their counterparts in Europe (10th-17th centuries.) For the most part, Evangelical Ethiopian Christians state that their form of Christianity is both the reformation of the current Orthodox Tewahido church as well as the restoration of it to the original Ethiopian Christianity.However, it was only during the early 20th century that American and European missionaries spread Protestantism with Mennonite and Pentecostal Churches through the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM).When SIM continued its movement after a brief ban during Ethiopia's war with Italy, it is written that the missionaries were taken aback by the fruits of their initial mission.Some P'ent'ay communities - especially the Mekane Yesus (Lutheran) Church for example - have been influenced by the Orthodox Tewahedo Church, which represents mainstream, traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean Christianity, but for the most part are very Pentecostal in their worship and theology.The Four Main Denominations: Some of the aforementioned denominations also have counterparts in Eritrea (Protestantism in Eritrea) with exact or similar names that existed prior to the partition of Ethiopia and Eritrea, (a majority of these denominations are under persecution in Eritrea for their beliefs and have been cut off from their sister churches in Ethiopia and international Christian organizations).The equivalent rendition in many other languages is Evangelical.
According to membership and adherent records provided by the various churches and denominations, Ethiopian Protestants claim as high as 18.59% of the country's population which is inline with the recent data from the US department of state.Although almost all Evangelical branches in Ethiopia have one or two theological differences or different approaches in the interpretation of the Bible, all of the four major branches follow the beliefs common to born-again Christians of the world.The four major denominations also exchange pastors (megabi) and allow the preachers to serve in different churches when invited (full communion).Languages: Oromo, Amharic, Sidama (‘Sidamo’), Tigrinya, Languages of Ethiopia, Languages of Eritrea, and other languages of the Ethiopian-Eritrean Diaspora (i.e.English, Norwegian, Hebrew, German, etc.) is originally an Amharic and Tigrinya language term for a Christian of a Protestant denomination, widely used in Ethiopia and among Ethiopians and Eritreans living abroad for Evangelical Christians.