Evangelizing Oromo traditional religion followers : a search for contextualization and points of contact for evangelization
Data do documento2010
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The objective of this paper is to present the importance of searching for similar elements between Oromo traditional religion followers and Christianity in our evangelization of followers of Oromo traditional religion. Oromo people have high value for their language, culture, and tradition. During the introduction of Christianity to the Oromo people by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the culture, language, and tradition of Oromo people were not considered. This created hatred toward Christianity by some Oromo intellectuals and some Oromo nationals so that they rejected Christianity as they seek to revive Oromo traditional religion, which is Waaqeffannaa.
The main focus in this paper is, then, to show that it is important to consider the host culture when we plan to evangelize any group of people. The implication of considering the host culture will help us to understand their language, culture, and tradition and use some of the similarities from the host culture in order to reach them with the gospel message of Jesus Christ. Oromo people believe in one God, who is the creator of the earth and the universe. They believe and teach that God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, merciful, self existent, loving and saviour. These are some of the points of contact Christians share with Oromo traditional religions.
Contextualizing the Christian message in the host culture is very important. This paper also explores the importance of searching for ways to contextualize the Christian message in the host culture by presenting some Biblical examples like incarnation in John 20: 21, the Pentecost event of Acts 2, Paul’s use of contextualization in Acts 17: 22-31, and other texts.
The claim of this paper, therefore, is that discovering common understandings about God and creation in Oromo traditional religion and Christianity allows Christians to use them as bridge for evangelization. It is through using common understandings that we can reach the Oromo traditional religion followers with the gospel of Jesus Christ, which I think is the best way of evangelization.