Oromo Indigenous Religion: Waaqeffanna

Bedassa Gebissa Aga*

An academic paper by Bedassa Aga examines the Oromo indigenous religion, Waaqeffannaa, within the framework of African traditional religions, and the current status of Waaqeffannaa.

Despite its recent revival, Waaqeffannaa continues to be denied official status as a religion, and its marginalization by the state has not stopped, according to the paper.

“Waaqeffannaa is the religion of the Oromo people. Given the hypothesis that Oromo culture is a part of the ancient Cushitic cultures that extended from what is today called Ethiopia through ancient Egypt over the past three thousand years, it can be posited that Waaqeffannaa predates the Abrahamic religion in its origin.

“It is a monotheistic religion that emanates from and based on belief in the Supreme Being of Waaqaa. To believe in Waaqaa, means to be loyal to his laws, acknowledge his wisdom as the creator and source of all lives.

“According to Oromo mythology, Waaqeffannaa, the Oromo God created all human beings. He cares for all creatures as he brought them into life and earth for the sustenance of life. He does not discriminate among human races too.6 In Waaqeffannaa, therefore, there is no need for intermediaries between the believer and Waaqaa. The religion actively promotes peace (nagaa), reconciliation (araara), love (jaalala) and harmony (walta’iinsa, waliin jireenya).”

This paper discusses the African Traditional religion with a particular reference to the Oromo Indigenous religion, Waaqeffannaa in Ethiopia. It aimed to explore status of Waaqeffannaa religion in interreligious interaction. It also intends to introduce the reader with Waaqeffannaa’s mythology, ritual activities, and how it interrelates and shares with other African Traditional religions. Additionally it explains some unique character of Waaqeffannaa and examines the impacts of the ethnic based colonization and its blatant action to Oromo touched values in general and Waaqeffannaa in a particular.

For further it assess the impacts of ethnic based discrimination under different regimes of Ethiopia and the impact of Abrahamic religion has been discussed.

You can find the PDF format of a new paper that examines the Oromo indigenous religion, Waaqeffannaa, here: Oromo Indigenous Religion Waaqeffannaa


**Lecturer of Human Rights at Civics and Ethical Studies Program, Department of Governance, College of Social Science, of Wollega University, Ethiopia