The Unreached Peoples Prayer Profiles
The state of Eritrea is situated on the Horn of Africa, bordering Sudan, Djibouti, and Ethiopia. It was absorbed into the Ethiopian empire on Nov. 14, 1962, and from then on, government troops battled armed Eritrean secessionist groups, including the Muslim-led Eritrean Liberation Front and the Christian-dominated Eritrean People's Liberation Front. Fighting was particularly fierce in the years between the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974, and the collapse of Ethiopia's military-Marxist government. In April 1993 almost all of those eligible voted in favour of independence, which was declared on May 24.
The varied population of Eritrea includes Tigrinya-speaking Christians in the southern highlands, Tigre-speaking Muslims in the northern highlands and on the eastern and western slopes, speakers of Saho and Afar in the coastal desert plain, and speakers of Beja and Nilotic languages on the western plain.
Tigrinya and Tigre are the country's dominant languages, although education also is conducted in Arabic and English. The Tigray are one of two major Christian groups (the other, larger group being the Amhara, located wholly in Ethiopia) that long have dominated Ethiopian culture and politics. They are mostly farmers and make up almost half the population of Eritrea. The Tigre-speaking Muslims of the lowlands are mostly pastoralists.
Eritrea's economy is based on livestock herding and subsistence agriculture. Because of unreliable rainfall, soil erosion, and locusts, Eritrea's overall agricultural output remains poor, although irrigation has increased production. Sorghum, millet, barley, teff (a cereal grass), corn, and wheat are grown (mostly on the plateau), and goats, sheep, and cattle are raised (mostly in the lowlands). Some fishing is carried out in the Red Sea.
Select a People Group