In ethnically diverse Ethiopia, Catholicism takes its cue from Orthodox Christianity, which dominates the national historical narrative. The Catholic Church here encompasses both the Latin rite liturgy, which is more contemporary and spoken in the vernacular, and the Ethiopian rite, a much longer Mass spoken in the antiquated Ge’ez language and sung in a style of chanting called zema, which dates to the sixth century. Ethiopians are especially endeared to angels — Gabriel, Michael and Raphael — whom they see as messengers between God and man and as protectors from evil. 74% of Ethiopians believe in angels, and 62% in miracles.
Nearly 80% of all Ethiopians, and 77% of Christians, report that religion is very important in their lives. While this number is low for Africa, it is much higher than in all of Latin America, Europe and North America.